As the virtual eSports World Championships quickly approach, the UCI has unveiled the new pixelated rainbow stripe jerseys that will be on the line – both for the winners’ avatars in-game, and to wear in real-life at sanctioned UCI Cycling Esports events in 2021. Beyond new virtual threads, we now also have the lineup of professional heavy-hitters who will be logging-in on-board their own Tacx NEO 2T Smart trainer, plus community events where we all can join to ride for our own countries, or ride virtually with former World Champions…
2020 UCI Zwift Cycling Esports World Championship inaugural details
There’s always a lot of details to sort out when you make up a completely new category for UCI World Championships. After debuting the idea more than a year ago (and pre-COVID), in a year where more cyclists are riding indoors, it seems fitting that the UCI eSports Worlds is set to kick off in Zwift’s Watopia on December 9th. We’ve heard about sponsors and the same 50km Watopia Figure 8 Reverse course for both Elite Men & Women.
Now we have details of who will be racing….
“Riders from both the professional road cycling peloton and some of the very best cycling esports racers from within the Zwift Community have been selected to race. Many of the world’s top professional athletes will be taking part from many different areas of the sport, including Olympic and Paralympic Gold Medalists, current and former UCI World Champions across many disciplines, and professional triathletes. Top names include Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (South Africa), Esteban Chaves (Columbia), Anna van der Breggen (Netherlands), Lawson Craddock (USA), Tom Pidcock (Great Britain), Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway), Dame Sarah Storey (Great Britain), Annika Langvad (Denmark) and Lionel Sanders (Canada). Joining these household names will be big-name riders from the cycling esports space. Riders such as Lionel Vujasin (Belgium), Ollie Jones (New Zealand) and Cecilia Hansen (Sweden) may be relatively unknown in comparison to the World Tour professionals but will certainly be amongst the favorites to take home the rainbow bands. Full start lists for each event can be found here.”
Zwift Power Up Podcast Recon Rides for everyone
Starting from the 1st of December, riders on Zwift will also be able to train on the virtual Worlds course while listening to special podcasts from past real-world champions across many disciplines. The Power Up Podcast Recon Rides include fifty minute training rides & stories from Sir Chris Hoy, Mark Cavendish, Anna van der Breggen, Annika Langvad, Lisa Brennauer, Kristen Armstrong, Mathieu van der Poel & Ceylin Alvarado.
Zwift Nations Challenge lets you ride for national pride
The weekend before the UCI eSports rainbow stripes racing, anyone on Zwift can get in on some racing action by competing in the Dec 5/6 Nations Challenge. The new format group competition “will allow all Zwifters the opportunity to represent their country and will determine which country is fastest”. Any Zwift rider can join in, and will be grouped into country-specific events where the goal is to work together as part of a national amateur team to post the fastest average speed over the race course. It’s not entirely clear how the mechanics will work, but Zwift says “no matter your ability, all rides matter!” suggesting that even entry-level virtual riders can contribute to boosting the speed of their virtual national team.
More on the inaugural 2020 UCI Zwift Cycling Esports World Championships and surrounding events can always be found at: Zwift.com