Ahead of the first UCI Cycling World Championships to take place in Glasgow and across Scotland, Zwift’s virtual Glasgow will already host battles for the rainbow jerseys between the best esports races.
Elite cyclists are already taking over Glasgow. There are still a few months to go before the first edition of the UCI Cycling World Championship (from August 3 to 13) but the Scottish city of Glasgow has been recreated in the virtual world of Zwift to host this Saturday the third edition of the UCI Cycling World Championship. UCI Esports Cycling (February 18).
Competitors will not only explore a new environment, but also take on an unprecedented competition format, to bring more excitement to the event and push contenders to their limits, with the coveted rainbow jerseys up for grabs.
Here’s everything you need to know about the competition and the field that will attempt to succeed South African Ashleigh Moolman Pasio, Dutch Loes Adegeest (first and second UCI Esports Women’s World Champion), and German Jason Osborne and Australian Jay Vine ( winners of the first and second editions in the men’s events).
Three races, one UCI World Champion
The “Battle Royale” for the rainbow jersey in both the men’s and women’s competition will consist of three consecutive races: The Punch, The Climb and The Podium. As the races progress, the riders will be eliminated until the last three survivors make it to the podium. The men will go first, and the winner will be crowned around 7:30 p.m. m. (UTC), and then the women will battle it out until the new UCI World Champion takes glory before 9:15 p.m. m.
The action will come thick and fast with very short breaks between races. Medal hopefuls will have to manage their efforts throughout the event, but they can’t afford to hold back too much, for fear of early elimination.
The Punch is a 14.2 km scratch race, with 106 m of elevation gain. Riders will go through many ups and downs to make an impact on the Rolling Highlands course at Zwift World of Scotland, with grades reaching 14%. The first 30 will qualify for the next round. They will pick up a PowerUp, a Burrito (by wiping out the draft of a biker’s opponents).
After a 10-minute break, it’s time for The Climb, with three steep climbs (maximum gradient: 13%) on the City and Sgurr route, adding up to 161m of elevation over 8.6km. The only PowerUp available will be the Anvil (making a rider 50kg heavier for 30 seconds on downhill sections). Only the top 10 riders will remain in the competition.
Finally, The Podium will be held on the 3 km Glasgow Crit circuit, with two arches, going up the Clyde Kicker climb (0.3 km at 3.1%, maximum gradient of 9%) and at the end of each lap. The last runner is eliminated each time he goes through an arc, until the last three runners run for medals. Riders will collect a Burrito as they pass under the Champion’s Sprint Arch each lap.
Dozens of cyclists to take control of virtual Glasgow
A total of 172 contenders (85 male and 87 female riders) will line up for Saturday’s battles. Loes Adegeest comes to defend her UCI World Champion title and showed great form at the start of the road season. Among her main rivals, Britain’s Zoe Langham will be determined to return to the podium and perhaps claim a different food medal than the bronze she received in 2022.
Men’s winner in 2020 and bronze medalist in 2022, Jason Osborne faces stiff competition from Danes Anders Foldager (runner-up in 2020) and Nicklas Pedersen (bronze the same year), as well as Australian Freddy Ovett (silver in 2020). ).
And plenty of new contenders line up in virtual Glasgow, including Australian Sam Hill (three-time UCI downhill mountain bike world champion), Belgian Victor Campenaerts (former UCI hour record holder timed by Tissot and bronze medalist in the individual time trial). at the 2020 UCI Road World Championships) and former Zwift Academy winners such as Ollie Jones (NZL) and Tanja Erath (GER).
Their battles for glory will be streamed live on YouTube on Saturday. And in the meantime, everyone can discover the UCI Worlds courses with exclusive courses on Zwift.