Since 1977 Lake Taupō Cycle Challenge has been a mainstay of cycling in New Zealand, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic has not taken place since 2019. Last weekend the storied event finally returned with over 5000 cyclists lining up for the 44th edition.

Lake Taupo Challenge Champion Michael Torckler

Earning first place in the iconic 160 kilometers long Round the Lake gran fondo was 35 year-old Michael Torckler (GD Pringle p/b Spoken Cycles) with a time of 3:49:16 at an average speed of 41.8km/hr. Torckler finished 2nd in 2019 and is a former winner of the KOM title at the Tour of Utah pro race in America. 22 year-old Theo Gilbertson finished nine seconds back at 3:49:25 and James Fouche, 24, was third in 3:52:15.

Multisport athlete Dr. Claudia Weidekamm won the women’s race in 4:23:49, followed by Kate Mccarthy and Ally Wollaston, both with a time of 4:28:05.

Teenager Maui Morrison took first place in the inaugural 75km Shimano Gravel Grinder with a time of 2:42:53. Bradley Jones (2:42:54) was second and Olly Shaw (2:44:39) took third place. Sonia Foote claimed the top women’s gravel spot in 3:08:42, with Ruby Livingston (3:30:20) and Adelle Wilson (3:38:18) next.

Top finishing riders shared a prize list valued at over $30,000, including bikes, lease of a Suzuki automobile and gift vouchers.

Complete Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge results HERE.

Photos: Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge