Three Wanganui Collegiate mates worked well as a team to get two of them on the podium for the 'Half The Lake' race at the 42nd Lake Taupō Cycle Challenge on Saturday.
More than 5700 people raced in the event's 13 road and mountain bike races over two days, on Friday and Saturday.
Among them were some 62 Whanganui competitors, and around 33 others from the wider region in Taihape, Ohakune, Marton and Ashhurst.
Finnegan Murphy, 15, would win the Half The Lake race over 80km, with Hunter Gibson finishing third and their schoolmate Logan Hoskin, representing Ashhurst, coming in fourth.
There was another big success from Ashhurst as Jeremy Rowe entered the long Enduro event, winning it in 9h 48m 24s, which was over 23 minutes ahead of his nearest competitor in the 53-strong field.
For the Half the Lake race, mother Sarah Gibson said the three Collegiate teenagers have been training together for a few years now, every week across various codes such as road cycling, track cycling and triathlon.
They began strongly from the startline at Kuratau School, aiming to break away on the first hill amongst a field of 620 men and 360 women in their half lake grade.
"With no one taking up the challenge to stay with them they worked together till Turangi, where an Elite group of about 60 men doing the whole 160km caught them," said Sarah Gibson.
"After a welcomed breather sitting in the pack they hit the Hatepe Hill, where the three boys broke away and split the Elite men group in half.
"With a pat on the back by an Aussie at the top, the boys stuck in there till the end, hitting speeds of 79.5km coming down the other side into Waitahanui.
"The last 10km into the event centre didn't have them mucking around."
As well as their Men's Under 18 grade, the teenagers were among the quickest overall, with only Auckland's Samuel Dawkins breaking up the trio with his runnerup performance.
Murphy won the race in 2h 1m 48s, three seconds ahead of Dawkins, while Gibson was another two seconds back in third, followed immediately by Hoskin, who posted an identical time finishing on Gibson's wheel.
"The boys first time at 80km had them pretty chuffed to take the podium from every age group," said Sarah Gibson.
Amongst the other results, Whanganui's Jack Overweel did well in the 'Quarter Lake' race.
"He took off from the start," said Sarah Gibson.
"Not having a group to settle in with, he held his own till the end to pick up a second behind his track cycling buddy Blake Bailey from Cambridge in the [Men's] Under 18, with a third overall."
Overweel completed the course in 1h 16m 53s, coming in just over a minute behind Kilbirnie veteran rider Euan Henderson, who was second overall to Bailey.
Kyle Hoskin, representing Ashhurst, and Whanganui's Glenn Haden entered the main event – the Holden Men's Classic Race for Elite riders over 160km.
"[Hoskin] came in with a time of 3h 53m, sitting on an average speed of 40km," said Sarah Gibson.
"Hamish Bond took the win with Kyle only seven minutes behind at only 16 years of age – this is an impressive start to what will be an exciting career for Kyle."
Haden, who recently finished 14th at the Tour of Southland, had a tough day to finish 56th.
"Made it into the key move of the day early on with Hamish Bond, Micheal Torkler, Dylan Kennett, James Oram...and was looking like a dream day for me with all the big hitters," he said.
"Until I completely run out of talent at the 120km mark and blew up like a tyre exploding and I'm sure my four-year-old daughter could have ridden the last 20km faster then me."
In constant rain, Haden put his blow out down to fatigue from getting too cold because he was wearing minimal gear.
"But also I've got no regrets, I need to be working up front with those guys in races like Taupo if I want to achieve results at nationals in January.
"I heard Sam Gaze once say "sometimes you're the hammer, sometimes you're the nail," Haden said, quoting the 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallist.
Among the other notable results from locals, Ohakune's Payson Partridge finished runnerup in the men's race of the BDO Huka Challenge, three minutes behind Taupo's Isaac Schuurman racing on his home course, while Whanganui's Shane Williams finished tenth.
Whanganui's Shanan Whitlock came seventh for males in the BDO Huka XL Elite Race, with townmate Adam Gosney 13th, around seven seconds ahead of Marton's Brent Bismark.
Millie Frampton came sixth for females in the Lakesider race, while Taihape's Poppy Hobbs was 18th female in the Quarter Lake race, both of them at Under 18 level.
Marton's Maddison Gray was sixth for females in the Half The Lake race, also at Under 18 level.