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Taupo Embraced by 9000 Cyclists
27 Nov, 2011

Over 9,000 cyclists from around New Zealand and the world ĎFaced the Challengeí and rode the 35th Contact Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge in sunny but windy conditions.


The Avanti Menís Classic was won comfortably by Michael Torckler from Pure Black Racing in a time of 3:48:53, two minutes ahead of team mate Mike Northey and Joseph Cooper from Wellington. 


Despite the wind, a great battle was had in the OPI 100km Womenís Road Race with Track cyclist Kaytee Boyd from Auckland taking away 1st place in a time of 3.04.38 closely followed by previous winner Sonya Waddell (Hamilton) and Aucklandís Mel Burke.


For safety reasons, the Contact Huka mountain bike events were stopped as the wind was causing trees to fall down on the track.  However organisers were able to advise provisional placings in the Contact Huka XL Race.  Last yearís winner Mike Northcott from Tokoroa placed 1st for the second year in a row in the Menís event and Karen Hanlen from Whakatane placed 1st in the Womenís.


Over 90 hours after he started, Wellington-based Nick Dunne was the first rider ever to complete a unique 10 lap Enduro (1,600km) in honour of his late Father Dan Dunne.  The first Extreme Track Extreme Enduro (8 laps, 1280km) rider home was Ron Skelton of Auckland, the first Extreme Track Maxi Enduro (4 laps, 640km) rider home was Steve Mangino of Auckland.  Jim Mcmurray (Tirau) and Deb Trendle (Wellington) were the first male and female Extreme Track Enduro (2 laps, 320km) riders home.


This year the event attracted a record numbers of riders in the Extreme Track Enduro Events and the Contact Huka mountain bike events.  395 International riders came from 16 different countries to participate, including 333 from Australia.


This year an estimated $50,500 has been raised for the eventís official charity @Heart.


The date for the Contact Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge for next year has been confirmed and will be held on Saturday 24 November 2012.


Facts from this yearís event

  • 4911 cyclists took part in the 160km Solo event
  • 113 (record number) of cyclists took part in one of the Extreme Track Enduro events including the Extreme Track Extreme Enduro (8 laps), Extreme Track Maxi Enduro (4 laps) and the Extreme Track Enduro (2 laps).  Two cyclists rode a unique 10 lap Enduro this year.
  • 395 entrants from 16 different countries including 333 Australians took part
  • 6 cyclists rode this yearís Cycle Challenge on a Unicyle!



Race Results


Avanti Menís Classic Race

1.       Michael Torckler, New Plymouth 3:48.53

2.       Mike Northey, Auckland 3:51.18

3.       Joseph Cooper, Wellington 3:51.23


OPI Womenís Road Race Results

1.       Kaytee Boyd, Auckland 3:04.38

2.       Sonya Waddell, Hamilton 3:04:39

3.       Mel Burke, Auckland 3:04:39

Click to enlarge...

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