Wong puts his younger rivals in the shade again

PUBLISHED : Monday, 12 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 12 March, 2012, 12:00am


Veteran Wong Kam-po proved he is still a force to be reckoned with in the region by winning the second stage of the Tour of Taiwan yesterday.

The Asian road-race champion, riding for the Hong Kong team, who will celebrate his 39th birthday tomorrow, outpaced four other riders in the final sprint to clinch the 131-kilometre stage in New Taipei City in two hours, 58 minutes and 37 seconds.

The group had broken away from the peloton with 20km left.

German rider Dirk Muller of Nutrixxion Abus was second and Floris Goesinnen of the Netherlands, who rides for Drapac Cycling third. All three were credited with the same time.

Wong (pictured) said his prime target remained achieving the best possible team overall performance.

'I have not set any specific objective in the general classification,' he said. 'I do hope to take one more stage, which would be great, but we come here as a team and of course I want to see Hong Kong do well.

'Tomorrow's race will be crucial as the finish is a category A climb. It will be a tough test for all the riders and the winner may gain a lot of time advantage.'

The third stage, out of a total seven, will be held in Tao Yuan City and the 130km leg will finish 500 metres above sea level in Kanpanzan.

Hong Kong have already booked a place in the London Olympic Games this summer, but the Cycling Association will not name the rider until June.

'I will try my best to compete for the place, but at this moment I only hope to do well in a couple of forthcoming races,' said Wong.

Hong Kong are currently 11th out of 19 teams in the overall standings, which are led by Drapac Cycling. Yeung Ying-hon, a silver medalist at the 2009 East Asian Games, was the second best Hong Kong rider with a 48th-place finish yesterday.

Japanese rider Takashi Miyazawa of Saxo Bank, a UCI Pro Team, leads the general classification with an accumulated time of 4:05:49 after two stages. Australian Rhys Pollock of Drapac Cycling is second and just six seconds behind, same as third-placed Wong.