The 43rd annual BDO Lake Taupō Cycle Challenge saw some fast and furious racing results in epic finishes throughout.

More than 5000 cyclists competed in events on and off the road, from individual and elite road rides, mountain bike events, through to short distance rides for families and kids.

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Spectators lined the streets of Taupō on Saturday to watch the 100km Bayleys Women's Classic Elite Race. It was a tight race with the top three finishing within a second of each other. Hokitika's Sharlotte Lucas finished first in 2h 50m 21s, going one better than she did in the Criterium the night before where she placed second.


Christchurch's Kirsty McCallum was milliseconds behind in second (2h 50m 21s) and Jorja Swain, of Whangārei, was third (2h 50m 22s).

Dunedin's Kees Duyvesteyn won the Holden Men's Classic Elite Race (3h 43m 6s) followed very closely by previous winner Michael Torckler, of Cambridge, (3h 43m 6s). Hayden McCormick, of Te Awamutu, placed third (3h 43m 7s) an impressive result considering he had two mechanical failures throughout the race.

Cyclists prepare to hit the road at the Lake Taupō Cycle Challenge. Photo / Supplied
Cyclists prepare to hit the road at the Lake Taupō Cycle Challenge. Photo / Supplied

Rotorua's Connor Johnston blitzed the BDO Huka XL men's mountain bike event (3h 43m 19s). Sam Shaw, also of Rotorua, was second (3h 43m 22s) in a repeat of his 2018 result and Palmerston North's Caleb Bottcher was third (3h 47m 33s), also repeating last year's placing. Taupō's Emma McCosh (4h 36m) took first in the Huka XL women's mountain bike event, followed by Sarah Beadel, of Rotorua (5h 36m 19s).

Clint Kimmins, of Sydney, completed the four-lap Maxi Enduro in an impressive time of 22h 1s.

First place in the Bike Barn Round the Lake 160km ride was Mark Parry (3h 50m 54s) and first woman was Louise Delaney (4h 12m 24s).

Premium gold

Event director Debbie Chambers said it was one of the best crowds she'd ever seen at the finish line.

"It was great to see heaps of supporters out enjoying the sunshine and cheering riders along. Congratulations to the first round of winners and everyone who is taking part today.

"New Zealand's increasing recognition as a world-class cycling destination is growing thanks to the Cycle Challenge. As always, all of Taupō town got behind the event and the supporters created a vibrant atmosphere throughout the day."