Look what they started

Since 1977, when 26 friends got together to ride around Lake Taupo for fun and to raise funds for what was the local IHC, nearly 200,000 people have followed their lead and taken part in the annual Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge, providing $3.4 million for community groups and more than $700,00 for Heart Kids, the official charity of the event since 2006. 

Celebrating its 40th anniversary today around 7,000 participants pitched themselves across 14 different categories from solo and elite road rides, mountain bike tracks to short distant rides for families and kids.   

The elite road and mountain bike riders provided thrilling finishes for spectators with milliseconds separating the winners of the 100km Women’s Classic Road Race, Holden Men’s Classic and Huka XL and course records broken in the Women’s and Men’s events. 

It’s a sensational event that sees Taupo’s population almost double with spectators and supporters creating a festive, family atmosphere throughout the day in the event village with cyclists displaying everything from elation to exhaustion following their rides. 

There’s an outstanding list of major and minor spot prizes with an all-new Holden Trax, as well as a seven-night trip for two to Niue up for grabs at prizegiving later today.  Several memorial and special awards will also be given out at the ceremony. 

“It’s been an amazing day and we’re thrilled to have seen thousands of happy, smiling (and tired) faces cross the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge finish line. With everyone in all event categories receiving their own special 40th anniversary event medal, it’s a great reason to celebrate, says Event Director Aaron Carter. 

“I knew it was a big event, but in my first year as event director, to actually experience it has been amazing. We applaud and congratulate all the participants, supporters and especially the hundreds of volunteers for another fantastic event.  We love the fact that we’ve helped raise money for Heart Kids, our official charity, and net proceeds going back to communities.”