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Head to the Highlands: Zwift Unveils Scotland Expansion with 58 New Km

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At the tail end of 2022, we got our first glimpse of Scotland. No, not the actual Scotland which will be home to the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, but the virtual Scotland which will be home to the 2023 UCI eSports World Championships.

That last bit is key as this is Zwift’s first world designed exclusively for the eSports World Championships. There will be five new worlds at first with three of those being used for the new multi-format racing on February 18.

A combination of inspiration was taken from the Scottish city of Glasgow and the Scottish countryside, with the usual Scottish-themed Zwift Easter eggs thrown in to keep things interesting.

New Zwift Scotland Routes

Descriptions from Zwift:

Rolling Highlands – 14.1 kilometers with 105 meters of climbing. This rollercoaster ride around the loch will have Zwifters constantly going up or downhill. In races, the punchy course provides lots of places to attack. In riding and training, the rolling hills are the perfect place to train quick bursts of power as you push yourself up the repeated short climbs.

City and the Sgurr – 8.6 kilometers with 161 meters of climbing. Sgurr means “rocky peak” in Scottish Gaelic, and this route tackles Zwift’s newest hill from two directions. Roundabouts at the bottom of both sides of the climb mean that Zwifters can easily lap the climb, making it the perfect place for hill repeats, or very challenging racing!

Glasgow Crit Circuit – 3 kilometers with 33 meters of climbing. Zwift’s newest crit course is set in the heart of Glasgow’s city center and shows off the city’s distinctive architecture. The short course has short, punchy climbs, tight, twisty roads, and two arches. The course provides options for any length of race on the easily lapable route that’s sure to produce intense racing.

Loch Loop – 8 kilometers with 71 meters of climbing. This loop is a time trialists’ paradise – the long, lapable course, is mostly flat and incorporates some of the Rolling Highlands, but skips the bigger climbs, giving Zwifters only a few gentle hills thrown in to break up their effort. The course measures 5 miles, making it the perfect place for 5-, 10-, 15-, or 20-mile time trials or team time trials. Or, keep riding for harder efforts! For traditional racing, exploring, and training, the Loch Loop also offers a flatter alternative to the Rolling Highlands.

The Muckle Yin – 25.1 kilometers with 279 meters of climbing. This is the big one – a single route that incorporates almost all of Scotland’s roads in one single loop. The route starts in the heart of Glasgow city center and quickly takes riders out to the sheer cliffs on Scotland’s west coast before rolling along north to the loch, and then to the sugar and its dramatic views. This challenging route lets you take in all of Scotland’s most distinctive and engaging features in one ride or race.

How Do I Ride the New Zwift Scotland?

Initially, these routes will only be available for races and events. That means your first chance to ride it will be during Stage 8 of the Tour de Zwift, which will take place Feb. 3-12 (follow the link to register, then add the Scotland event to your calendar). You can also ride it during Ride Scotland and Race Scotland events from Feb. 6 – Mar. 7. Additionally, the February ZRacing series will be on the Scotland map – and if you complete a ZRacing or Ride Scotland event on the new map, you’ll earn a Zwift Tartan virtual cycling kit.

Complete map access will start in early March with free ride, club events, meetups being added in.


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1 year ago

“…Expansion with 58 New Km” makes it sound like there’s 58 km of new road, when it’s actually 58 km of new routes. It’s what, maybe 26 km or new road?

1 year ago

Actually, The Muckle Yin repeats road in the opposite direction… so even less total new road. Maybe 15 km?

Collin S
Collin S
1 year ago
Reply to  Bracken

Yea, it’s not much. You can explore the entire map pretty quickly. However, in terms of course design, for racing, it was really thought out well and will make for very challenging racing. For example, the highlands has a short punch climb a mile from the finish, followed by the a small false flat followed by a 45-50 second climb to the finish. The crit course has a few punch climbs which will hurt, and the climbing route where you go up and over a hill in both directions will be a leg burner real quick. I’d love to see expansions of this course with more of this type of riding.

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