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John Ebsen Wins Taiwan KOM Challenge

He came, he saw, he conquered! Following on his fine form this season, CCN Cycling Team's Danish rider John Ebsen won the 2012 Tawain KOM Challenge, a muscle-straining ride from 0m sea level up to the top of the highest passable peak in Taiwan, the 3,275 summit of Wuling. John, who just turned 24 a week after the race, saw off the challenge of a world-class field that included ProTour riders Anthony Charteau and Jeremy Roy, as well as Marco Rabottini, all riders who have won and won KOM jerseys in the Grand Tours.

"The last 5km was not easy, I can tell you that," said John, who won by 30 seconds from Peter Pouly and by several minutes from David McCann in 3rd. "But I knew I'd won it so I did sit up a little over the last kilometers."

John stuck to his pre-race plan to sit in with the leaders and to unleash his power over the closing kilometers, but his well-worked plan almost came to nothing when he suffered a flat tire with about 15km to go. "I lost about a minute there, waiting for a spare. I was not happy about that. When I got the wheel on finally I just went crazy, I rode full gas back up to and then straight past the leaders. From there I just went for it."

And go for it he did, completing the 90km plus climb in just about 4 hours dead, a 4 minute improvement on the time of the 2011 winner. John happily pocketed the $80,000NT (about US$2,500) first prize too, with which he was kind enough to buy dinner for his CCN teammates! Will he be back next year? We hope so.

"It's an amazing climb," said John after the race. "Just so beautiful."

It certainly is, and a beautiful result for John and the CCN Cycling Team.

Alex Grant, Going for the Whole Enchilada

Marco Gobbi Pansana is responsible for marketing and communication for cycling events at RCS Sport and key part of Michele Acquarone's team. He talks about how RCS Sport is trying to modernise the Giro d'Italia. Is it possible to modernise something that is close to one hundred years old and make it more appealing to a younger audience? t depends. First of all the people who own the event have to really want to do it, and then it's also important to do things right.