AFTER a five-year hiatus, the Milford Mountain Classic returned to Te Anau with 144 cyclists taking up the challenge.
The classic was won by Invercargill cyclist Hunter Gough, who was also first junior under-19 home in 3 hours 26 minutes 21 seconds.
Second was James Williamson, in 3:26.23, and third Myles Gibson, in 3:26.28.
The Homer Hundred was won by Mike White in 2:44.55 and the Eglinton Challenge was won by Grant Tremain of Te Anau in 1:52.36 using the race as training for the Coast to Coast.
The E-Bike section was won by eldest cyclist overall, 81-year-old Ron Weeks, of Tauranga, in 2:10.42 with his wife Maureen (78) second in 2:29.10.
The last Milford Mountain Classic was held in 2016. Organisers cancelled further events due to safety concerns caused by the high volume of traffic between Te Anau and Milford Sound.
Te Anau events spokeswoman Shevaun Taberner said 144 cyclists took part in three categories, the 120km Milford Sound to Te Anau Classic, the 100km Homer Hundred from the Homer Tunnel to Te Anau and the 65km Eglinton Challenge from Knobs Flat to Te Anau.
Of the cyclists, 66 came from the North Island, 42 from Otago, Canterbury and Tasman and 36 from Southland, she said.