Avila and Summerhill each strike success in Taiwan

Edwin Avila and Danny Summerhill win stages at Tour of Taiwan, and Avila finishes second in the overall.

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.