The summer cycling season is slowly but surely coming to an end in the northern hemisphere, and if you cannot bear the thought of packing your bike away and heading to spinning classes for the next three to four months, why not head on down to New Zealand and take part in the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge!
Image rights: cyclechallenge.com
As New Zealand’s Premier Cycling Event, the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge is something every cyclists should tick off their Bucket List, and as it takes place at the end of November each year, it is the perfect end of season race for Europeans who are not ready to head indoors.
The Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge is not only one of New Zealand’s most established events, it’s one of its largest. It attracts some 6,000 riders each year, which is not huge when you to compare it to other international sportives such as the Cape Town Cycle Tour, but it is sizable and suitable for all ages and abilities.
In November 2019, the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge will celebrate its 43rd year, and if you love the idea of cycling New Zealand and taking part in this auspicious event, you’ll be pleased to know that you still have time to enter!
Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge: The Events
So much more than a one-day, one-race event, the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge offers something for everyone. There are road bike races, mountain bike races, elite races, family rides, and even team challenges. Here’s an overview of each:
Road Bike Events
- Bike Barn Around The Lake 160km: The most popular event, it includes a single lap around Lake Taupo.
- Half The Lake 75km: If 160km is out of your comfort zone, you can do half the lake instead!
- Quarter Lake 40km: An easy-peasy ride along the banks of the lake.
- Enduro 320km: 160km not enough? Then ride around Australasia’s largest lake twice!
- Maxi Enduro 640km: Or indeed four times, who’s counting?
Mountain Bike Events
- BDO Huka Challenge 82km: A hardcore event for hardcore bikers.
- BDO Huka Steamer 60km: Still tough, but doable if you have been training hard this year.
- BDO Huka Teaser 31km: Explore the picturesque trails around the Waikato River on this easy-ish ride.
- Lakeside 16km: Ideal for families and recreational cyclists, this off-road course is relatively flat and very scenic. MTB and cross bikes only. Not suitable for road bikes.
- Kids Heart Ride 5km: A charitable ride for kids up to 10-years-old.
- Holdens Men’s Classic 160km: One lap around Lake Taupo. Open to licensed riders only.
- Bayleys Women’s Classic 100km: Open to licensed elite women riders only.
- BDO Huka XL 82km: The MTB race for elites.
Team / Group Challenges
Lake Taupo Group Cycle Challenges are available teams of four riders. The following events are available:
- Bike Barn Round the Lake
- Half the Lake
- Quarter Lake
- BDO Huka Challenge
- BDO Huka Steamer
- BDO Huka Teaser
Of course, New Zealand is a long way to go for a one-day sportive, but with two great islands to explore, you can easily spend two or three weeks exploring this cycle-friendly country. So what you are waiting for? Book the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge today!