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Nibali to race 10,000-foot Taiwan hill-climb in October

Former Tour de France champion Vincenzo Nibali will race the Taiwan KOM Challenge this fall, joining another former yellow jersey winner, Cadel Evans. Race organizers announced that the Italian has committed to the 105km race that climbs 3,275 meters — more than 10,000 feet.

Nibali’s brother Antonio, also on the Bahrain-Merida team, will race the hill climb as well.

Other top professionals have raced the KOM challenge over the years. Omar Fraile (Dimension Data) and Emma Pooley raced in 2016 with Pooley winning the women’s title. Oscar Pujol (UKYO) won the men’s race last year.

The race pays out equally to men and women, 500,000NTD apiece, which is approximately $16,500.

Also of note, the race bars any rider with a prior doping suspension from competing.

The route climbs through the Taroko Gorge then up Hehuan Mountain to Wuling Pass after starting on Taiwan’s eastern coast in Hualien Qixingtan. The route begins with an easy 0-2 percent gradient for the first 20km. Then, the road climbs at a steady 6 percent average gradient until the final 9.5km. At the top, the course offers 10-22 percent gradients to the finish.

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