Thursday, October 03, 2013

Taiwan Bike Federation won't let champ ride in Beijing race

Outside Dongshih, Taichung.

Silly -- a chance to display Taiwan as a producer of bikes and cyclists and destination for cycling... instead:
Champion System has been forced to change its planned line up for the Tour of Beijing, which starts on October 11th, after Taiwanese champion Kai Feng has been barred from taking part by his national federation. The five-day Chinese race, which will once again be the closing event of the International Cycling Union (UCI) WorldTour, is one of the biggest events of the year for the Chinese-registered Professional Continental team, and general manager Ed Beamon is clearly angry at having to leave one of his star riders at home for political reasons.

"We were looking forward to having Kai Feng wear his new Taiwan national champion jersey for the first time in Beijing, but the Taiwan Federation has banned his participation and threatened to bar him from any future national team competitions if he joins the team in China's premier event," Beamon said. "I am both saddened and sickened by the provincial pettiness the Taiwan Cycling Federation has displayed.
People often claim that China's desire to annex Taiwan is an esoteric political confrontation that has no real effect on the lives of Taiwanese. I beg to differ.
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Mike Fagan said...

"Beamon said. "I am both saddened and sickened by the provincial pettiness the Taiwan Cycling Federation has displayed."

Is it not likely they were leaned on by the Chinese organizers? Or is this a case of self-flagellation? And presumably, the presence of the Taiwan Federation at the competition will still mean some exposure for Taiwan's cycling industry, yes? How much difference does the presence or absence of the Taiwanese champion really make to foreign interest in dealing with Taiwan's cycling industry? My (admittedly uneducated) guess would be... not much.

Li Mu Hua (李慕華) said...

I wish I knew what was behind the Taiwan Federation decision. The article from Velonation is really one-sided and the "provincial pettiness" remark makes me wonder if China is not recognizing the national part of the national champion. Remember Champion Systems is a bike team that is registered in the PRC, even if it does have an American DS and lots of foreign riders it is registered in China. I really believe that it has a lot to do with China throwing a hissy over Taiwan having a "National" Champion.
Velonation has already replied to my complaint about the lack of comments from the Taiwanese side by saying they (just) contacted the Taiwan Federation to get their comments and will write a follow up.
Has this been in the local news? I haven't seen it in English or Chinese sources.

Li Mu Hua (李慕華) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

It could be an issue of China not allowing him to wear his NATIONAL Champion jersey.

Li Mu Hua (李慕華) said...

Actually Ed Beamon explains here, in an unsatisfactory way by still referring to the Taiwan National Champion to a pan Chinese champion, but he does admit he was wrong blaming the Taiwan Cycling Federation. It was not a political decision but Kai Feng had already committed to race for Taiwan in some Asian game races before Champion Systems got the Beijing invite.