The Wattyl Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge was in it's 33rd year this year, and it's one of the top seven recreational bike races in the world. It's NZ's biggest sports event and there was more than 11 100 riders taking part this year, the second biggest turnout since the beginning!
Only once have all the starters (all 26 of them) finished the circuit, and that was at the first event in 1977.
The oldest participant this year was a 79 year old from Hamilton, NZ - who did the race after three knee replacements, two hip replacements and a major spinal surgery.
Five 12 year olds completed the race this year, the fastest one going around the lake in 5:44 mins!
Mind you, in 2004 they had a 7 year old girl who completed the whole 160 km!
7 guys finished the Maxi Enduro Challenge, which is going around the lake four times (=640 km!)!! The fastest one in 24:32.
By request, there will be a 1200 km Enduro next year!
In the 160 km solo ride around the lake, there was 5278 cyclists finishing. 4308 male and 970 female - the average time for the circuit was 5:54. The fastest time around was 3:31, which is also the record so far!
Our boys did us really proud! The "Brunei Flyers"!
The father and son team with Captain Watson x 2 (Nathan and his dad Bruce, who flies for Korean Airways) was the fastest international 2-men relay team - and came in as team 29 out of 296 men's teams. (804 2-person relay team took part overall - 300 mixed and 208 female teams).
Some of my favourite relay team names were: "Are we there yet?", "We thought this was the wine trail!" and "A drunken decision..." amongst others.
The other 3 boys did the solo ride, and came in on the following times:
Jeremy Saap (pilot with RBA) 6:13 - 959th in his age group (35-44)
Linton Law (pilot with RBA) 5:41 - 812th in his age group (45-54)
John McLean (with the British Loan Service Team in Brunei) 5:42 754th in his age group (35-44)
We also had young Sean Saap with us, 9 years old, who accompanied his dad Jeremy on the last 5 kilometers in the special Wattyl Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge Heart Ride, for the kids.
There was unicycles going around, tandems, pennyfarthings and tri-tandems (?) - it was totally spectacular, a fantastically well organized event and all in all absolutely amazing to take part in!
(More photos will follow!)