More than 9,000 cyclists from around New Zealand and the world ‘Faced the Challenge’ in sunny and very windy conditions at the 35th Contact Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge.


The Challenge offers a range of events for road riders and mountain bikers, competing either individually, in relay teams or at elite level. For road riders there is a circuit of Lake Taupo, in the heart of New Zealand’s North Island. Mountain bikers face an equally challenging 80km course in the nearby Wairakei mountain bike park.


The Avanti Men’s Classic was won comfortably by Michael Torckler from Pure Black Racing, two minutes ahead of team mate Mike Northey and Joseph Cooper from Wellington.

Despite the wind, a great battle was had in the OPI 100km Women’s Road Race with track cyclist Kaytee Boyd from Auckland taking away 1st place, closely followed by previous winner Sonya Waddell (Hamilton) and Auckland’s Mel Burke.


For safety reasons, the Contact Huka mountain bike events were stopped as the wind was causing trees to fall on the track. However organisers were able to advise provisional placings in the Contact Huka XL Race. Last year’s winner Mike Northcott from Tokoroa placed 1st for the second year in a row in the Men’s event and Karen Hanlen from Whakatane placed 1st in the Women’s.




More than 90 hours after he started, Wellington-based Nick Dunne was the first rider ever to complete a unique 10 lap Enduro (1,600km) in honour of his late father, Dan Dunne.


The 2011 event attracted a record number of riders in the Extreme Track Enduro Events and the Contact Huka mountain bike events. Some 395 International riders from 16 countries participated, including 333 from Australia. Six cyclists rode the event on a unicycle!


The Cycle Challenge is New Zealand’s largest cycling event and is held annually on the last Saturday in November. It attracts thousands of cyclists from around New Zealand and overseas.

There are 12 different events available, catering for cyclists of all fitness and ability levels.


It is a community event, operated by a charitable trust on behalf of the Taupo Moana Rotary Club. Over 1,000 local volunteers contribute to the event with the proceeds going back into the Taupo community. @Heart is the official charity of the Cycle Challenge. Last year’s event raised more than $50,500 for @Heart which will be put towards Camp Brave Hearts, a national camp for heart kids aged 8-12 years.


Date: 24th November 2012

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