Want to take part in NZ’s biggest cycling event? Entries for the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge  are open. If you want to ride, it’s time to get on your bike.


Deciding on the Taupo Cycle Challenge category to enter

Main categories include on-road, off-road, elite and group challenges with a heap of distances to choose from.

The on-road category includes the Cycle Challenge’s most popular event - the signature 160km race. If that’s too far, there are 80km and 40km options.

Looking to test your legs a little more? Enduro options range from cycling twice around Taupo to an excruciating eight laps of the Lake (1,280km).

Relay options aren’t available so consider the group challenges category instead. To win, your group needs to ride the biggest total distance. There’s no limit on the number of cyclists in a team.

The elite category promises fast-paced action.  Apart from the elite Huka XL, a current National Racing License or International License from your country’s cycling association to enter.

For non-roadies, mountain bike options range from 16 to 85km, with trails so picturesque the International Mountain Bike Association has given Silver Ride Centre status to the area.

Interestingly, the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge event organizers have decided to allow e-bikes across a few on-road races. To keep things fair, e-bikes will be timed separately from non-assisted bikes.


Getting ready to ride

With around 170 days to go until Saturday 25 November, now is a great time to think about your Taupo training – especially if you’re planning a ride that’s 160km or over.

If you’re not sure how to start and want to go train solo, the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge website has published complimentary training programmes which suggest starting event prep from late July or early August.

If your based in Auckland, VBike’s indoor cycling studio provides a realistic and effective training option. Our high-tech approach delivers cyclists individually tailored workouts, with every session incorporating key cycling training principles like combining high intensity interval training (HIIT) with recovery periods.

Alongside regular classes, we’ve got  a 12-week Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge training programme (starting 29 August) that’s suitable for cyclists of all abilities.

This year’s plan includes regular fitness assessments, weekly indoor training sessions and on-hand coaching. A highlight is a pre-race virtual ride of the most difficult elements of the course which allows riders to get to grips with round Taupo well before race day.

Whatever category you choose to enter and whichever way you decide to prepare, remember the key to having fun is starting early and training consistently and effectively.


Ready to get started? Sign up to VBike's 12-week Lake Taupo indoor cycling training programme by 31 July to get your $300 early bird discount.