Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) ended his 2017 season with victory at the Taiwan KOM Challenge, finishing more than a minute ahead of Spain's Oscar Pujol and John Ebsen. Nibali reportedly set a new record for the event with a time of 3:19:54. The 106km event starts at sea level and finishes at an altitude of 3,275 metres atop the Wuling Pass, Taiwan's highest road.
Former Cannondale rider Phil Gaimon finished sixth, 10 minutes back, with 2011 Tour de France winner Cadel Evans 10th. Britain's Emma Pooley won the women's race.
The Taiwan KOM Challenge brought down the curtain on Nibali's 2017 season. He raced for a total of 81 days, finishing third at Giro d'Italia, second to Chris Froome at the Vuelta a Espana and winning Il Lombardia for a second time.
"It was a hard race because we went from sea level up to 3,275 metres. I've never ridden such a long and hard climb before in my entire life," Nibali said after posing on the winner's podium.
"I waited until the final 10 kilometres to attack when I saw the other riders tired and suffering. It was my last race of the season and so now its finally time for some holidays."
A total of 600 riders took part in the event. Nibali and Pooley each collect a prize of 500,000 Taiwan dollars – close to 14,000 Euro - for victory. Nibali took part with his brother Antonio and Bahrain-Merida teammate Chun Kai Feng and team manager Brent Copeland.
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