Covid-19 and the country's recent move to red on the traffic light alert system have scuppered plans for one of Taupō's biggest events.
BDO Lake Taupō Cycle Challenge organisers said large-scale events would not be able to go ahead in red and, combined with no clear direction as to when we will change levels, they made the tough decision to cancel the February 19 event.
Attracting about 5000 riders and 7500 supporters, the Cycle Challenge had already been postponed from its originally planned November 2021 date and was not run in November 2020 because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
"With a 43-year history and having not been able to deliver the Cycle Challenge over the past two years, the Lake Taupō Cycle Challenge Trust and event management team are hugely disappointed to be making this announcement, however with less than four weeks to go until event weekend, the decision was the only one that could be made with the current situation that we all face right now.
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"Events the scale of the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge bring significant social and economic benefit, so we know this will be disappointing for not only the thousands of riders who have already entered and are looking forward to event weekend, but also to everyone who support and help bring the event to fruition including our incredible volunteer groups, suppliers, sponsors and event partners, accommodation and hospitality providers, along with other stakeholders and the Taupō community as a whole."
Organisers said there has been a significant uptake in cycling and people getting out on their bikes over the past two years and as organisers of New Zealand's largest cycling event, they look forward to welcoming people back to Taupō for the next planned Lake Taupō Cycle Challenge on Saturday, November 26.
All those who were already entered for the February 2022 event have also been contacted via email.