The weekend of cycling atmosphere got underway on the streets of Taupō tonight at the annual BDO Lake Taupō Cycle Challenge, with Laurence Pithie and Annamarie Lipp winning the elite men’s and women’s races.
After a damp start to proceedings the Criterium races took over the central CBD streets, which were a great precursor to tomorrow’s main event, which kicks-off early in the morning (Saturday 30 November), with over 5,000 cyclists taking up many of the on and off-road challenges around Lake Taupō.
The Criterium races started with the NZ Defence Force and emergency services, which had the NZ Army, and Air Force take on the NZ Police to cycle it out for bragging rights. It was a close finish with the Army coming first overall, the Police second and the Air Force third.
This led into the more competitive Criterium races, with elite female and male riders racing for prize money.
Laurence Pithie was first across the line in the Men’s Criterium. This was on the back of Laurence’s win at the National Criterium Champs held in Christchurch last weekend. Andrew Bidwell was a close second and Keegan Hornblow third.
The Women’s Criterium was won by Annamarie Lipp, with Sharlotte Lucas second and Maddi Douglas third.
Taking an even longer way around Lake Taupō, the four-lap Maxi Enduro’s took off at 8am this morning on their 640km journey.
Debbie Chambers, event director, says it’s great to see the town coming alive again.
“The event village was buzzing with locals and visitors checking out the expo before heading out to cheer on the participants in the races. It was a great start to 2019’s BDO Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge.”
While cyclists are participating in the many levels of road and mountain bike challenges, supporters are well looked after at the Event Village with live music, activities for children, food and beverages, as well as Taupō’s range of boutique retail, scenic and adventure tourist attractions.
There’s an outstanding list of major and minor spot prizes with an all-new Holden Equinox – valued at $35,990 up for grabs.
“Lake Taupo is a great place for this event and the residents and local business are always happy to get behind the cyclists and their supporters. Good luck to everyone taking part in the event, it’s wonderful to see such a diverse mix of people here to give it their best,” says Chambers.
Download the app for all the event info and to follow riders’ progress on the day. Simply search Lake Taupō Cycle Challenge in your app store. Other BDO Lake Taupō Cycle Challenge event information can be found at: www.cyclechallenge.com