The Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge is one of the most anticipated and longest-running cycling events in New Zealand which picks up more enthusiastic participants and supporters every year.
From humble beginnings back in 1977 when just 26 people took part in the race, the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge has grown to become New Zealand’s biggest cycling event with around 8,000 riders from New Zealand and countries around the globe now taking part each year.
It’s a great event to be a part of which takes place on 24 November this year so we thought we’d look into it in a little more detail for those who are interested in taking up the challenge!
About the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge
Whilst the event was originally set up as a one-lap 160km race around the Lake, since its inception, the race has continued to grow. In 1994, the management of the event was taken over by the Rotary Club of Lake Taupo and that is when things really started to kick off with the introduction of new initiatives such as the relay, endurance rides and races for professional cyclists.
Today the one-lap race around the Lake is just one of 13 event categories on offer and whilst this is still the big draw, mountain biking and team races are growing in popularity each year.
The event is a monumental effort from all those involved with the Rotary Club of Lake Taupo with over 800 local volunteers helping to ensure the smooth running of the various races throughout the weekend.
The Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge is a not for profit event and over the past 18 years, over $1.9m has been distributed to community and charitable groups from Cycle Challenge proceeds and each year the event injects an estimated $7.4m into the Taupo economy. Not bad for a race that started out with just 26 people!
The road races remain the most popular events at the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge and there are six different road race events from the kid’s 5km Heart Ride to the 600km Maxi Enduro – four laps of Lake Taupo which is not for the faint-hearted. The classic 160km round the lake circuit continues to be the most popular and is still a big challenge for cyclists of all abilities.
Taking things off-road, there are also five categories for mountain bikers this year which includes rides for the recreational cyclists – a 16km Lakesider ride, to something a bit more challenging – the Huka XL which is an 85km mountain bike ride with the chance to win some prize money.
Like we said before it’s a great event to be a part of so if you think you’ve got what it takes, be sure to enter one of the 13 categories of the race at this year’s Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge. Better yet, if you enter 4 people into the team challenge you’ll receive a 10% discount! Here is some of the stuff that is included in your entry:
- The chance to win spot prizes at Registration and major spot prizes at Prizegiving
- Online results
- Welcome Guide
- Electronic timing
- Bike & Bus transport FREE of charge for Half the Lake and Quarter Lake participants
- Drop bag service
- Bike mechanical support around the course
- First aid cover from St. John Ambulance
- Water and hydration stations on the course
- Free training programmes
- Secure bike park facilities
- Unique opportunities from sponsors
- Live updates on event day.
To find out more about the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge, visit the official website where you will also be able to complete the online registration form.
*All images courtesy of the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge website