Who will be the first official UCI World Champion on Zwift?
First announced last September, today is the day that the UCI Cycling Esports World Championships becomes a reality, hosted on Zwift (www.zwift.com).
Given the way that the world has changed since that announcement, few will be able to claim that they haven’t spent too much time on their indoor trainer, learning the details of indoor racing.
If Lionel Sanders was seeking an easy week following his efforts for fourth place on Sunday at the PTO 2020 Championship / Challenge Daytona, 50km against some of the best road riders in the world is unlikely to provide it.
Lionel recently broke the Canadian Hour record on the velodrome – but one of his competitors today will be Victor Campanaerts (BEL), the current world record holder for that discipline. Victor used to be a triathlete too.
Rigoburto Uran, Edvald Boasson-Hagen, Ed Clancy and Tom Pidcock are among the familiar names from the world of cycling who will also be racing
There’s triathlon interest in the women’s event too, where Angela Naeth – who also raced in Daytona – will be part of the Canadian women’s team. In addition, Lou Bates (who was better known in triathlon circles as Louise Collins), won her Age-Group at the IRONMAN World Championships a decade ago, and also finished second overall – as an AG athlete – at IRONMAN Lanzarote.
Lisa Brennauer, Elinor Barker, Kirsten Wild, Annemiek Van Vleuten and Anna Van Der Breggen are some of the high profile names set to compete.
Riders will be taking to Zwift’s Watopia for a 50km race on the Watopia Figure 8 Reverse course, finishing on top of the Hilly Q/KOM. Both the Elite Men and Women will compete on the same course over the same distance. With 483m in elevation, this course will suit a rider with all-round abilities. At an average gradient of 5.5% over 0.9km, the Watopia Hilly Q/KOM will be a testing finish.
Where to watch
On the 9th of December, the world’s best cyclists take to the start line of the inaugural UCI Cycling Esports World Championships. You can watch both the Men’s and Women’s elite races from 14:00 UTC/GMT.
- Europe: Eurosport 2 with commentary in 21 languages (https://www.eurosport.co.uk/)
- Asia Pacific: Eurosport
- Belgium: RTBF (www.rtbf.be/sport)
- Belgium: VRT (www.sporza.be)
- France: L’Equipe (www.lequipe.fr)
- New Zealand: Sky TV NZ (https://www.sky.co.nz/)
- Norway: TV2 (https://sumo.tv2.no)
- Spain: TVE (https://www.rtve.es/deportes/mas-tdp/directo/)
- South Africa: SuperSport (https://supersport.com/)
- USA & Canada: FloSports (https://www.flosports.tv/)
If you don’t find a broadcaster in your country above, make sure to go to https://www.youtube.com/zwift to catch the live action.