To some, the word ‘crit’ is truly a four letter word. The thought of banging bars with a bunch of other Cat 5 heroes may elicit painful memories of broken carbon & missing skin. But there are also those who love the high speeds, close quarters, and intense racing. No matter what your stance on racing crits IRL, the new Crit City course will welcome all virtual riders with a new playground that is specifically for races and events.
At just 1.9km in length and offering 26 ft of elevation gain, Crit City is laid out like your typical criterium race course with tight turns parallel straightaways, cobbles, and more.
Notably, the Crit City course is an event-only map. That means you can’t just select the map to ride on your own – you must select to join an event taking place on the course. These events can be found within the Companion App, or online and will have ‘Crit City’ included in the event title. Racing in Crit City should start by the end of this week with signups open prior.
Zwift goes Gravel (and MTB) training
While Zwift may seem like a training tool specifically built for roadies, there are quite a few riders who identify as off-road only that use the program as well. Whether you split your time between paved and unpaved, or spend as much time as possible avoiding the roads, the new Zwift off-road training plans will help you get faster when your tires touch the dirt.
Adding to the current gravel & MTB workout plans (Absa Cape Epic and Gravel Grinder), the new Pebble Pounder and Dirt Destroyer training plans add more options. The Pebble Pounder is an entry level training plan aimed at cyclists who are looking to do their first gravel event. The Dirt Destroyer plan on the other hand is an intermediate program designed to increase a rider’s mountain bike specific power, anaerobic capacity, and peak pedal torque. Look for another MTB plan aimed at XC cyclists early in 2020.
Additionally, Zwift has a number of new in-game gravel and mountain bikes to go along with these new training plans. Like other bikes in the game, each has their own attributes and will perform on different surfaces differently – as in the mountain bikes will be faster on dirt and the gravel bikes will be faster on gravel. We know of the current mountain bike extension in Watopia, but does this hint at a new off road specific world or addition to current maps? Time will tell…
For now, you can find the bikes in-game or purchase them in the Drop Shop. For those not familiar with the Drop Shop, this is where you can spend Zwift’s ‘currency’ – your sweat. As you ride along in Zwift you collect ‘Drops’ which can then be spent to purchase new bikes, components, clothing, and more. Initially, you’ll be able to purchase the new Canyon Grail, Inflite and Cervelo Aspero gravel bikes plus the Canyon Lux, Scott Spark and Specialized Epic mountain bikes.