2017 Tour de Taiwan kicks off with rainy first stage in Taipei

The first stage in the 2017 Tour de Taiwan bicycle race kicked off in Taipei on Sunday. Large parts of the city were closed off to traffic as teams from around the world braved the rain to set off on eight circuits around the city for a total distance of 83.2 km.

At the end of the first stage, three riders finished with a time of 1:40'34 seconds. Those three riders were: William Clarke from the Australian team Drapac Professional Cycling; Carlos Alzate from the United States' UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team; and also from the US, Alexander Ray of Team Illuminate.

The first stage of Tour de Taiwan is thought in particular to be ideal for sprinters. The remaining four of the five stages will take place one a day between Monday and Thursday. Riders will travel southward, with stages in Taoyuan, New Taipei, Nantou, and Pingtung, for a total of 682 km.

The Tour de Taiwan has been held every year since 1978 as a part of the UCI Asia Tour. It was classed as a 2.1 category race for the first time in 2012.

Source: Radio Taiwan International