Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge has announced three new categories to an already packed stable of cycling options for the annual November event.

Best known for its one lap 160km bike ride around Lake Taupo, the Cycle Challenge is New Zealand’s largest cycling event. More than 8,000 riders from New Zealand and 20 countries across the globe take part each year. 


Responding to feedback from participants, organisers have created a 73km road course, called Half the Lake.  This mid length category caters for solo riders who might not be up to the full lake circuit.  Their bikes will be transported for them to ride the second half of the 160km route.


The new Time Trial event takes cycling Taupo to an entirely novel venue more used to a petrol rush than pedal power. Held at the Taupo Motorsport Park, riders will complete eight laps on this exciting track.


“We’re holding this event on Friday afternoon before Cycle Challenge day,” says Event Director Kay Brake.  “We think it’s the perfect warm up for the big ride on Saturday.”


Third in the newbies is the Urban Jungle MTB Challenge which gives riders a chance to display their mountain biking skills on ramps and jumps.  Fast and furious is how the organisers see this elimination style event, and with the set-up in the heart of town, there’s bound to be a whole bunch of captivated spectators. 


“Cycle Challenge is in its 38th year and we’re really mindful of the need to refresh what’s on offer to people as well as to listen and respond to suggestions and feedback,” says Kay.


Another milestone being celebrated this year is the 20th anniversary of the multiple lap enduro categories.

Over the years, an incredible 1347 riders have taken on two or more laps of Lake Taupo, covering a distance of up to 1600km.


“This year’s entrants in the Barfoot & Thompson 2 lap Enduro, 4 lap Maxi Enduro and 8 lap Extreme Enduro will all receive a special anniversary memento, with plans well underway for an extra special Enduro breakfast showcasing the past 20 years,” Kay Brake said.


Earlier this year a new middle distance 60km mountain bike race, the Contact Steamer, was launched.


Whether you’re a weekend warrior, a mountain bike enthusiast, an elite or enduro, cycle the café circuit with your mates, looking for some family fun, or a weekend away with the girls, there’s a ride for you.”




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