How far would you be willing to travel to participate in a one day international cycling sportive? Well, if like the rest of us, you would go to the end of the earth to cycle an amazing route, the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge in New Zealand could be the perfect choice for your winter cycling holiday!
An award-winning cycling event that celebrates its 42nd year in 2018, the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge attracts some 7,000 riders from across the globe who flock to New Zealand’s North Island year after year to take part in one of 5 main road bike categories. NZ’s largest cycling event also offers a selection of challenges for off-road cyclists, elites, and groups, and there’s even kiddie rides, so the whole family can join in.
The most popular route by far is the ‘Bike Barn Around the Lake’, which is a single lap, 160km circumnavigation of Lake Taupo. Offering spectacular scenery, it really is one of the most beautiful rides in all New Zealand, and while the event is deemed ‘suitable for all abilities’ you need to be in good shape if you are to compete with the pros, who finish in less than 4 hours.
If 160km with +/- 300m elevation doesn’t sound like much of challenge to you, then you’ll be pleased to know that there is more on offer. The 320km Enduro will see you cycling around New Zealand’s largest lake twice, while the 640km Maxi Enduro will see you spinning around the lake a whopping four times, but it is an official qualifying ride for the Race Across America, so if you are thinking of taking part in the “World’s Toughest Cycle Race” in 2019 – this could be the perfect warm up!
Of course, New Zealand is a long way to go for a one-day sportive, and so most international entrants combine the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge with a self-drive holiday visiting both the North and South Islands. The good news is, New Zealand was made for cycling holidays, so you can rent bikes and bike racks on one island and leave them on the other.
Where will your next cycling adventure take you?