Rapha Prestige Takao, Taiwan

Freedom and Escape

Fan Yung Yi, a semi-professional cyclist from Taiwan, tells us how the Rapha Prestige Takao provided him with a sense of freedom and carelessness that his riding had long missed.

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Looking back 10 years when my passion for cycling was growing, I used to ride my bike on the roads around my hometown of Taitung every weekend. And by every weekend I mean every single one, regardless of the weather. Being on the bike was a time of excitement and elation for me and together with my close friend Peter we rode through the local hills and mountains with a sense of freedom.

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It was easy back then, there was no training programme, there was no diet and there were no target races to aim for. The only reward for exploring those isolated passes was a deep sense of satisfaction. The rougher the road, the steeper the climb, the more it excited us.

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I found passion, contentment and peace as well as friendship in cycling and I discovered a sense of enlightenment that I had never experienced before. Such was my love for these rides that the bike and the mountains became my temples of worship.

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As my cycling became more competitive I rarely had the privilege of riding in such a carefree manner as before. But that sense of freedom and carelessness came back to me as I lined up with my FTL teammates at the start of the Prestige Takao. And as we started to roll that familiar feeling of happiness washed over me.

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Fan Yung Yi is a semi-professional rider and Rapha Ambassador from Taiwan. Affectionately known as “Teacher Fan” because of his day job as an elementary school teacher, Fan has been competing at the highest levels in cycling in Taiwan since 1999 and his palmares include two Taiwan KOM Challenge titles.