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The countdown till New Zealand’s largest cycling event has begun

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

On Saturday 30th November, thousands of cyclists from around the country, and the world, are set to descend on Taupo for the 43rd annual BDO Lake Taupō Cycle Challenge, New Zealand’s largest cycling event.

It’s not too late to enter with entries available either online until 6am on Thursday 28 November, or at the event registration day on Friday 29th November. There are plenty of category options and course lengths for all abilities - from the last-minute trainer to the seasoned rider.

There will be many famous Kiwi household names for spectators and participants to look out for on the course. Hamish Bond, who won last year’s Holden Men’s Classic, will be taking it slightly easier this year and participating in the 160KM Bike Barn Round the Lake with some of his fellow rowing New Zealand crew.

Former All Black Ian Jones will also be doing Bike Barn Round the Lake, his first time competing in the BDO Lake Taupō Cycle Challenge. The 160KM distance wasn’t enough of a challenge for him so Jones and his crew will be riding retro bikes complete with heavy steel frames and dated gearing. Ian’s bike is a 1980s classic built by former Olympian cyclist Brian Biddell.

Debbie Chambers, event director, says the BDO Lake Taupō Cycle Challenge is a favourite cycling event for cyclists and spectators alike.

"The great thing about the Cycle Challenge is that there’s something for everyone, kids, first timers, seasoned riders and the many friends and families that come to town to support their loved ones.

"It’s a great event to challenge yourself, many participants return year after year, often looking to see if they can beat their personal best time. Some riders push themselves to their absolute limits, others coast along and enjoy the scenery."

There’s plenty of free entertainment and activities on offer on Friday, and all-day Saturday - live music, interesting speakers, 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.

Spot prizes remain a highlight of the event, and lively entertainment from DJ Jak, live band and a Maori Culture Performance will help get everyone in a 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 Equinox - valued at $35,990.

"Spectators always play a huge part on the day, they love the atmosphere and excitement they experience," says Debbie. "Most cyclists bring their families as support crew, it’s a great opportunity to introduce your kids to cycling and the perfect excuse for long weekend in the beautiful Central North Island. A new addition for this year will be the mountain bike Supporters Zone where Holden will be providing a sausage sizzle for spectators on event day to see their riders in the thick of the action"

Download the app for all the event info and to follow rider’s progress on the day. Simply search Lake Taupō Cycle Challenge in your app store.

BDO Lake Taupō Cycle Challenge event and entry information can be found at: www.cyclechallenge.com

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