President Tsai Ing-wen met on the afternoon of October 16 with Mr. Cadel Evans, an internationally famous racing cyclist from Australia who will participate in the 2017 Taiwan King of the Mountain (KOM) Challenge. She expressed hope that, through cycling, Taiwan will become more connected with the world.
In remarks, President Tsai noted that the 2017 Taiwan KOM Challenge will take place this Friday, October 20. In addition to Mr. Evans, she said she was also very happy to meet with Troy de Haas, Head of Sport at BMC Switzerland, and representatives from the event organizer, the Taiwan Cyclist Federation.
The president said that everyone knows that Taiwan has the best bicycle R&D and manufacturing capabilities in the world. Bicycles are the pride of Taiwan, and her guests, she said, have all done much to promote cycling in Taiwan and throughout the world.
The president stated that the Taiwan Cycling Festival is highly regarded internationally. The Taiwan KOM Challenge route starts at Qixingtan beach in Taiwan's eastern county of Hualien, passes through Taroko Gorge, and rises to Nantou County's Wuling Pass, the highest highway in Taiwan. Racers climb from sea level to an altitude of 3,275 meters in an event regarded as one of the ten most difficult competitions in the world, creating just the kind of challenge that top cyclists from around the world are looking for.
President Tsai noted that Mr. Evans is a leading figure in the international cycling world, compiling a record of extraordinary achievements in many famous international competitions, and that his visit is significant in two ways. First, it further raises the international profile of the Taiwan Cycling Festival, which was already quite well known. The news that Mr. Evans would come to Taiwan to participate in the competition attracted the attention of netizens and cycling enthusiasts, and many top racers have come to Taiwan just to compete against him, which is something to look forward to. Second, bicycles are one of Taiwan's premier products, and an important link between Taiwan and the world. We want to broaden and deepen these links, said the president, adding that this visit by Mr. Evans is a very good start toward that goal.
Finally, President Tsai again thanked the Taiwan Cyclist Federation for getting the world to come to Taiwan and see the nation's efforts, and also thanked Mr. Evans for his support for Taiwan. She said that she looked forward to more cooperation and exchanges, and offered her best wishes for a smooth and successful Taiwan KOM Challenge.