After Jason schooled the kids, and adults, at WTB Taiwan's MTB Skills Camp, he went on to work four days straight on his feet all day at Taichung Bike Week. He shut down the OEM sales trade show, woke up foolishly early, and was on the road by 6AM to race the Merida Cup Race in Changhua, Taiwan.
Not to be slowed down by things like skills camps nor trade shows, Jason stormed his way to third place right behind UCI World Cup XC Racers Ondrej Cink and Rudi van Houts of Team Mutivan Merida. The course was full of tight single track turns, a crowd appeasing rock garden, and loose, dusty conditions. Last year, Merida Cup was a mud bath. This year, dehydrated Corn Flakes.
See if you can guess who works 70 hours a week (when he's taking it easy) and who gets paid to race and race only. Yep, third is awesome, way to go Jason!
Worried that combating UCI World Cup racers and nailing a spot on the podium might seem like getting off the hook too easy, Jason competed the next day in the Super 8 Enduro. Nope, it's not as fun as it sounds. Enduro in places other than France and the US is short for endurance as in Super 8 hours of nonstop Endurance.
Who says XC racers can't enjoy North Shore wooden features? Jason pinning it, first lap at the Merida Cup.
Driving to the race, Jason and Kevin Lai of WTB's Taiwan Branch Office got lost. As a result, Jason started the Super 8 Enduro 45 minutes late. Not one for excuses, Jason pressed on, battling those who had a 45 minute advantage on him.
Enduro has a little different meaning in most Asian countries - it's short for Endurance. Something may have been lost in translation when Jason willingly signed up for the Super 8 Enduro after leading two skills camps, working as WTB's OEM Sales Manager at Taichung Bike Week, and racing the Merida Cup XC Race the day before.
And his efforts paid off! Jason took second place at the Super 8 Enduro! Just imagine if he started with everyone else. Jason, exhausted, commented on the Super 8 Enduro:
8 hour races are very interesting. There comes a point where you reach a stage of, well, lets just say hallucination. It was quite nice to switch the brain off, and simply focus on trail today. 15 laps, 72.4 miles (116.5km), and 11,110 feet (3,386m) later, I was done, and wondering what in the world I was thinking. I was left with an empty, hollow feeling, that took away any trace of the week's trade show. I have to give special thanks to my Taiwan co-worker Kevin Lai for taking such good care of me, both at the Merida Cup, and at the Super 8. Supporting a rider in an 8 hour race is no easy job. Kevin made it look simple.
Jason ran WTB Frequency i19 29" TCS Team rims, WTB Nano 2.1 29" TCS tires, WTB Tech Trail Lock-On Grips, and a WTB Volt SLT saddle. Way to go Jason! Jason will wrap up his Taiwan stay meeting with key vendors and customers, flying back this coming Wednesday. Not one for rest, Jason will go straight to product testing and a photo shoot with Cannondale on rock-riddled, Northern California trails Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Did I mention this guy works hard?