Two American teams animated last week’s Tour de Taiwan, winning three of the five stages in the UCI 2.1 race March 26-30. Team Illuminate’s Edwin Avila opened things up with a stage 1 win in Taipei, and two days later, Danny Summerhill, riding for UnitedHealthcare, won stage 3 in Taoyuan.
“I train very hard for nationals. Last year I’m road champion and try to repeat. I come to Taiwan with good form and wow, two wins. The team is so strong. I’m excited,” said Avila. He went on to win stage 4 and finished second overall, only eight seconds behind race winner Benjamin Prades (UKYO). Illuminate’s 27-year-old Colombian also won the points classification.
“Out of the five stages, we placed top-3 in four with two stage wins. Obviously Edwin is riding really well right now, but this was a team performance,” said Illuminate team director Chris Johnson. “The fans in Taiwan were awesome and it is cool to see the team’s fanbase grow. Our concept of no logos is a stark contrast to the teams we race against and our concept was very well received.”
For Summerhill’s UHC team, Taiwan was a continuation of strong early season results in Asia and Oceania — Travis McCabe won stage 3 of the Herald Sun Tour, as well as two stages in Le Tour de Langkawi.
“I felt really good today. I’ve had a great time racing at the Tour of Taiwan. My team did a great job racing as a unit and clearly it paid off with a victory, which is always the plan,” said Summerhill after stage 3.
UnitedHealthcare’s next international race will be Tour du Maroc, April 7-15, in Morocco. The squad will also race the Amgen Tour of California. Illuminate is headed to the Sea Otter Classic, April 20-23.