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Top Cyclists Race Into Taupo

For immediate release 24 November 2010

Top Cyclists Race Into Taupo

Elite cyclists from around New Zealand and Australia will be racing in Taupo as part of this weekend's Contact Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge.

The field in the 160km Avanti Men's Classic is headed by defending champion Patrick Bevin (Taupo), Jeremy Yates (Hawke's Bay), Commonwealth Games hero Gordon McCauley (Auckland) and Sam Bewley (Rotorua), who rides for Lance Armstrong's RadioShack Pro Team.

The field in the Workout|Zone Women's Road Race is just as strong with US national champion Cath Cheatley (Wanganui), national road race champion Rushlee Buchanan (Te Awamutu) and Serena Sheridan (Hawke's Bay) expected to challenge Australia's Prime Estate team of Nicole Whitburn, Rebecca Locke, Jenny MacPherson and Naomi Williams.

The Contact Huka XL Mountain Bike race will be a hotly contested event with defending champion Stuart Houltham expecting challenges from Mark 'Cabin' Leishman and Richard Anderson, both of whom bring a wealth of national and international experience.

In the women's MTB race, Annika Smail is the defending champion and will be pushed to the finish line by Nic Leary, who has had a memorable season racing overseas, and Karen Hanlen

A selection of the elite riders will race in the Street Criterium races on Friday 26th November (6pm) around the streets of Taupo and at the Taupo Velodrome on Thursday 25th November from 6.30pm

Over 9500 riders are expected in Taupo on Saturday 27th November to take part in the less competitive events including the 160km solo ride, the Linfox Relay and the Contact Huka MTB 80km solo and relay events.

The event offers three endurance options with 20 determined cyclists starting at 2pm on Wednesday 24th November in their quest to complete the Extreme Track Extreme Enduro, which is 1280 kilometres or eight laps of the lake.

"The Contact Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge is owned and operated by the Taupo Moana Rotary Club and is supported by over 900 local volunteers," said Rob McKnight, Event Director.

"It's not too late to enter - we will be accepting late entries at Event Reception at the Great Lake Centre from 10am to 10pm on Friday 26th November and from 6am - 8am on Saturday 27th November.

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