NZ’s Largest Cycling Event promises a weekend of excitement
This Saturday 24 November thousands of cyclists from around the world are set to join some of New Zealand’s most acclaimed riders in the 42nd annual BDO Lake Taupō Cycle Challenge, the largest cycling event in the country.
It’s not too late for riders to enter, entries are open until midnight Wednesday online, or at the event on Friday 23rd November. Even if cyclists feel unprepared for the full round the lake, there are plenty of category options for all abilities.
Sam Gaze, Commonwealth Games gold medallist, is back this year to defend both his Criterium and Holden Men’s Classic road race titles. Also competing are previous place holders Michael Torckler and Luke Mudgway, along with Dylan Kennett and Hayden McCormick, and keep an eye out for the NZ Men’s Elite Track team who’ll be racing in the World Cup next year. Acclaimed cyclists, Rushlee Buchanan and Michaela Drummond, will be competing in the Bayleys Women’s Classic, and in the mountain bike Huka XL elite races, Samara Sheppard winner of the elite women's section of the Australian Mountain Bike National Series 2018 will be competing, along with last year’s men’s Huka XL winner Sam Shaw, who’s back to defend his title.
Debbie Chambers, event director, says the BDO Lake Taupō Cycle Challenge is designed for participants of all cycling abilities, and spectators alike, whether you are a first timer or seasoned rider. “Many have returned time and again to further the challenge they originally set themselves, often looking to see if they can beat their personal best time. Many simply return because they love the atmosphere and excitement they experience on the day.”
There’s plenty of free entertainment and activities on offer on Friday, and all-day Saturday – live music, interesting speakers, fun ride CycleMania, the Kids Fun Zone, and the always intense criterium races. It’s expected that competition will be as tense as always between the NZ Defence Forces and emergency services, as well as the men and women’s individual criterium events.
Three Kiwi boys who recently completed a 23,000km bike trip across Asia and Europe will be riding the Bike Barn Round the Lake, their panniers loaded with everything they took on the big trip! They will be speaking at the Great Lake Centre theatre Friday at 3.30pm, followed by Aussie cycling legend and Cycle Challenge ambassador, Robbie McEwen. Entry to both talks is free.
Spot prizes remain a highlight of the event, and local act The Live Wires will help get everyone in festival mood in the lead up to the event’s main prize giving ceremony, where one lucky rider will win the ultimate spot prize of the all new Holden Calais Tourer - valued at $65,990.
“We encourage everyone to come down and make a weekend of it, it’s always a fun atmosphere and there’s something for supporters and participants of all ages to enjoy,” says Debbie.
Download the app for all the event info and to follow rider’s progress on the day. Simply search Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge in your app store. Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge event and entry information can be found at: www.cyclechallenge.com