Epic results unfolded today at the 42nd annual BDO Lake Taupō Cycle Challenge with the elite men’s and women’s races providing two vastly different results courtesy of Ione Johnson and Hamish Bond.
Despite some rain, spectators lined the streets of Taupō to watch the fast-paced 100km Bayleys Women’s Classic Elite Race with Ione Johnson (2:40:42) finishing in first place. It was a tight race with the podium place getters crossing the finish line within two seconds of each other. New Zealand Women’s Track Endurance squad member Elyse Fraser came second, and New Zealand triathlete Teresa Adam third – both finishing at 2.40.43.
It was massive win by double Olympic rowing gold medallist Hamish Bond (3:46.14) for the 160km Holden Men’s Classic Elite Race. He crossed the line exactly two minutes ahead of second place getter Dylan Kennett (3:48:14) who also placed second in Friday night’s Criterium. He was followed very closely by Corbin Strong (3:48:14) who crossed the finish line a tenth of a second later, taking third place.
The BDO Women’s Huka XL 85km mountain bike race was won by elite world champion Jolanda Neff (4:03:05) from Switzerland. Samara Sheppard was second (04:05:53) and Kym Skerman third (04:54:28).
Frazer Clacherty (Whitby) blitzed the BDO Huka XL 85km men’s mountain bike event (3:39:32). With last year’s winner Sam Shaw (Rotorua) coming second (3:41:42), and third place going to Palmerston North’s Caleb Bottcher (3:48:28).
Craig Harper completed the Maxi Enduro in an impressive time of 21.45.23. Second place was Remco Biesheuvel with a time of 25.10.45.
Jeremy Rowe set off at 1.30am this morning to ride the two-lap Enduro event, completing it in 9.48.24. The first female home was Alice Chaplin, 10.11.47.
First place in Bike Barn Round the Lake 160km ride was Nga Poupouare (3:57:13) and first female was Rebecca Clarke (14:16:33).
Debbie Chambers, event director, says it was thrilling at the finish line with so many sprints towards the end. “It’s an amazing challenge which always puts on a good show for spectators. Great to see heaps of supporters cheering the riders across the finish line.”
Lake Taupō Cycle Challenge event information can be found at: www.cyclechallenge.com