11,154 entrants were treated to near perfect riding conditions in the 2009 Wattyl Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge on Saturday 28th November.
18 year old Patrick Bevin had his home town buzzing when he crossed the line first in the Avanti Classic Race – in a sprint finish at the end of the 160km race, he edged out the experienced Jeremy Yates and Cambridge's Eric Drower.
In the inaugural WorkoutZone Women's Road Race, Cambridge's Melissa Holt took victory almost one and a half minutes ahead of Wanganui's Cath Cheatley. Cheatley headed off a bunch of 13 to secure second place with Taradale's Serena Sheridan in third.
However, in an event where the focus is on participation rather than competition, event organisers were particularly pleased with a record number of entrants in the BNZ Solo 160km Challenge.
While most people around the country were sleeping, leading Kiwi triathlete and Ironman Kieran Doe was beating the Endurance record – starting at 1.30am, he slashed the current record by 8 minutes, taking 9 hours 28 minutes to ride 320kms.
In the Maxi Endurance 640km event, Josh Kench took riding '24/7' to another level taking 24 hours, 32 mins to ride four laps of New Zealand's largest lake, Lake Taupo.
In its second year, the Contact Huka Mountain Bike Challenge continues to grow in popularity with 330 riders tackling the 80km challenge. The race version was won by Wellington's Stuart Houltham marginally ahead of Mike Northcott.
In the women's race, Annika Smail led home a Rotorua 1-2-3 ahead of Katherine O'Neill and Eloise Fry.
"Putting on event like this would not be possible without the support of our dedicated sponsors and volunteers, and the efforts of the Rotary Club of Taupo Moana, who own and organise the event," said Event Director Keith Crate.
Avanti Men's 160km Classic Race
- Patrick Bevin 3:46:31
- Jeremy Yates 3:46:31
- Eric Drower +00:01
WorkoutZone 60km Women's Road Race
- Melissa Holt 1:28:58
- Cath Cheatley +01:21
- Serena Sheridan +01:22
Contact Huka XL 80km Men's Race
- Stuart Houltham 3:45:11
- Mike Northcott 3:45:11
- Mark Leishman 03:10
Contact Huka XL 80km Women's Race
- Annika Smail 4:22:04
- Katherine O'Neill +10:36
- Eloise Fry +18:21