Jet Fuel Coffee at Tour de Taiwan 2008 - Part XIV

Stage 7 of the the 2008 Tour de Taiwan was a criterium circuit held on the city block directly in front of the main entrance of the exhibition hall of the 2008 Taipei International Bicycle Show.

Tactically, it was not a key stage as it was simply a flat, 4 corner, 1.5km crit circuit. However, it was hugely important from political terms. Many of the participating teams' title and equipment sponsors are massive Taiwan industrial corporations (i.e. Maxxis, Giant, Merida) exhibiting at the Taipei bike show. As such, there was huge pressure on the those teams to win and create "face" for their benefactors while on stage in front of one of the largest industry gatherings in the world.

Despite being the shortest stage of the Tour de Taiwan at only 58km, it was described as the hardest so far. The speed and intensity of the race was just incredibly high.

Peter Morse mentioned that at one point, the speed was so high that he let a gap go to the rider in front of him. Then, as he was fighting to re-close the gap a massive pile-up occurred in the group that he just let go; the speed was so high and the effort so intense that guys in the pack were so maxed out that they couldn't see straight. Luckily for Pete, that gap saved him from being involved in the ensuing carnage. Unfortunately for some other riders, the crash was so bad that the race had to be neutralised for 9 laps while medical staff attended to injured riders. That's why the average speed is posted as only 44 km/h!

In the end, Hong Kong's Kam Po Wong put on an unbelievable show of strength, breaking away with 3 laps to go towing 5 other riders on his wheel and gapping the field. Then as the field started to catch the break in the finishing straight, he lead out the sprint and won by several bike lengths to take his second stage this Tour.

Stage 7 - March 15: Jingmao - Jingmao, 58 km

1 Kam Po Wong (HKg) 1.19.22 (43.847 km/h)
2 Shinichi Fukushima (Jpn)
3 John Murphy (USA)
45 Peter Morse (Can) Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling Team
59 Daniele Defranceschi (Can) Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling Team
62 Bryson Bowers (Can) Jet Fuel Coffee Cycling Team

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