For the first time ever, the hundred-year-old Tour de France is set to hold an Etape du Tour in Taiwan, starting on September 17 in Taichung. Taichung City Mayor Lin Jialong visited Tour de France Amaury Sport Organization (A.S.O.) headquarters on June 22. He stated that Taichung has both bicycle industry and beautiful bike baths, and successfully appealed for cycling to be included in the 2019 East Asian Youth Games, which, with the addition of the Tour de France in Taichung, will help the city become a cycling city. Additionally, Mayor Lin actively fought for cycling races to be held in Taichung for the next 3 years, creating an active city in the spirit of the East Asian Youth Games.
The A.S.O. plans and designs international sporting events such as the Tour de France, Dakar Rally, French Open, Tour de France a la Voile, and Paris Marathon. A.S.O. also holds over 100 days of cycling competitions annually, beginning holding events in 1903, and deeply influencing the world of cycling.
When visiting A.S.O. headquarters, Mayor Lin thanked organizer A.S.O. for their authorization and the Bureau Francais de Taipei for their support in holding L’Etape Taiwan competition, as well as thanking them for selecting the pleasant climate and convenience of Taichung as the location. He stated that the city government fully supports A.S.O. and invites more compatriots and athletes to attend the event.
Mayor Lin said Taichung is not just important for the cycling industry, home to world cycling leader Giant, but it also has beautiful bike paths including the Houfeng, Dongfeng and Tanyashen bike paths. At the same time, Mayor Lin succeeded in appealing for cycling to be included in the 2019 East Asian Youth Games. Now, with the addition of L’Etape Taiwan, set to take place in Taichung, the city is becoming a cycling city.
Mayor Lin stated, the route for this year’s L’Etape de Tour travels through Nantou and Miaoli in addition to Taichung, fully capturing the beauty of central Taiwan. He successfully requested for A.S.O. to hold races in Taichung for the next 3 years, creating a bridge between the Tour de France and Taiwan. The Mayor hopes this will improve relations between France and Taiwan.
A.S.O. HQ Chief Jean Etienne Amaury stated A.S.O. is glad to have the opportunity to hold races in Taichung, and looks forward to the first race to be held in Taiwan in September. He also inquired whether Taichung had plans related to developing bicycles as a tool for commuting.
Mayor Lin stated that the city government continues to promote the Bicycle 369 policy, which plans to construct 300 iBike public bike stations, create 600km of bike paths in the city, and bring 9,000 new bicycles to Taichung, thereby promoting a bike friendly environment, and making Taichung the fastest developing bike city.
The Taichung Sports Bureau stated that bike travel has been on the rise globally, and especially prevalent in countries such as France, Japan, and the Netherlands. In recent years, many foreign tourists have travelled in Taiwan by bike to experience Taiwan’s beauty. As Taiwan is a major manufacturer of bicycles, and also possesses an exceptional environment, the Bureau believes that this year’s event can attract many competitors from around the world, helping the tourism economy and industry.
This year’s L’Etape Taiwan is split into two different groups. The first is a 150km, 8 hour limit course called the Tour de France Challenge, and the second is the 55km 3 hour 30 minute time limit course called the Tour de France Experience. For more information, visit our website at http://letapetaiwan.com.