John Ebsen took one of the toughest wins in his career when he outpaced over 380 starters including FDJ-BigMat’s Jérémy Roy, Europcar’s Anthony Charteau and Francisco Mancebo to win the 100km Taiwan KOM Challenge. Ebsen finished in a time of 3:37:25 with France’s Peter Pouly and RTS team rider David McCann taking second and third respectively.
The challenging event begun at sea level in Hualien before winding its way through the Taroko Gorge, ascending over 3,000m to reach the finish line at Mt Wuling. Ebsen, who rides for the Brunei-registered CCN Cycling Team has been a challenger in a number of the hillier races on the Asian Tour circuit.
"It’s a fantastic feeling to achieve such a special victory at this altitude," said Ebsen after the finish. "It wasn’t an easy win as I sustained a flat tyre."
The Danish rider had to get a spare wheel and chased back to the leaders before taking off on his own with around eight kilometres remaining.
Ebsen won the KOM classification at this year’s Tour of Thailand and finished fifth overall after leading the race for one stage while also besting former Omega Pharma-Lotto rider Oscar Pujol (Azad University) to claim the Queen stage at the Tour de Singkarak.
The gradient which reached over 20 percent toward the finish meant huge time gaps were created over the final stages of the race. Mancebo was eighth on the day and over 12 minutes down while Tour de France stage winner Roy was nearly 20 minutes behind. The 2010 Tour de France King of the Mountains winner Anthony Charteau was just inside the top-ten and finished over 30 minutes down on the race winner.
"That was an absolutely grueling climb" said Ebsen. "My legs were burning because of the steep gradient in the last ten kilometers."