Increasingly MitoQ is being used by athletes and active people in combination with clever training to help them achieve performance gains. So it was a natural fit that we became principal sponsor of the K2 Cycle Classic – now in its 18th year and known as the toughest one-day cycle challenge in the Southern Hemisphere.
The MitoQ K2 is held in New Zealand’s stunning Coromandel region, characterised by steep forest-clad hills, golden beaches and turquoise waters. The challenge includes riding 192km and tackling seven peaks, the highest of which is a 425m climb, plus 2,300 meters of “screaming descent” as organisers put it.
This year’s MitoQ K2 Cycle Classic, held recently on 2nd November, was ridden by around 1,500 cyclists from across New Zealand and Australia who were rewarded with perfect weather – clear bright blue skies, a warm 25°C (77°F) and knockout views all the way. The riders set off in waves, beginning with slow riders at 6am, followed by Elite Men’s at 8am and Main riders shortly after.
“It’s a cool race and a good challenge for people to get into,” says respected New Zealand Endurance Coach Paul Cadman. “From a New Zealand perspective, it would be the closest to experiencing a Queen Stage in the Tour de France. There’s lots of us and downs, so from a road perspective it’s a reasonable taste of a hilly stage at the Tour.”
This year’s MitoQ K2 Elite Mens was taken by Michael Torckler (5.12.09), who’s won the title four times, and set the current record in 2018 at 5.00.47. “A race that challenges you physically, technically and mentally with its climbs, descents and length, the K2 is a true test and one of a kind in NZ,” says Torckler on the K2 website. “The event also has a very relaxed and welcoming nature which encompasses all that is Kiwi, always a highlight on my calendar.”
This sentiment was shared by MitoQ Chief Marketing Officer John Marshall, who took part in the Cervelo K1 on the same day, a slightly shorter ride at 96km but with numerous equally challenging climbs.
“It lived up to all expectations of physical toughness and mental challenge, balanced by stunning scenery and a great positive vibe all along the ride. Whilst it hurt deeply, I had a smile on my face the entire time,” laughs Marshall.
Elsewhere, one of our heroes of the day was 83 year old rider Fred Bloem, who began at 6am and completed the course in 11.42.55 – setting a record as the oldest rider of the K2 in its 18 year history. At MitoQ we’re all about celebrating ordinary people doing extraordinary things, so we reckon Fred and all the K2 riders are our kind of people!
The MitoQ team loved hanging out with this positive and active crowd to spread the message of how our world-first form of CoQ10 can help to power-up cells and give athletes and weekend warriors the opportunity to support their performance.
Rather than being a race day supplement, when MitoQ is combined with clever training in advance, it helps to energize cells which allows athletes to intensify their training while shortening their recovery periods, giving them incremental gains that can make all the difference out on the field. As you can imagine, this message was music to many K2 riders, and we eagerly look forward to meeting them all again at next year’s MitoQ K2.