When 26 riders decided to get together and ride around Lake Taupo back in 1977, no one knew that it was the beginnings of what is now New Zealand's largest cycling occasion.

Celebrating its 40th anniversary on Saturday, November 26, the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge is stronger than ever.

With recent funding from Major Events aimed at attracting more international riders, a new event director has been appointed - Aaron Carter - with previous event director - Kay Brake - taking on the newly appointed role of project manager, international marketing.

Mr Carter brought with him a "vision of creating inspiring event experiences for everyone, enhancing the overall rider experience". Organisers say with a purpose of providing cyclists, as well as anyone interested in physical activity, the flexibility to choose a ride distance which best suits their cycling ability, the event is providing options to ride either as a team, a group, a family or as an individual.

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Mr Carter said, "Accompanying our already popular road and mountain-bike categories, we're excited to confirm the introduction of the all new 40km Quarter Lake on-road event option (taking in the final 40km of the course), complementing the iconic 160km Round The Lake and the addition of the 80km Half The Lake category in 2014, which will now replace the traditional relay categories.

The event has just launched its revamped website where with all the information about New Zealand's premier cycling event. See cyclechallenge.com for more information.