British Cycling has announced the nine elite men and women who will compete at the UCI Cycling Esports World Championships next month (Wednesday 9 December).
The first-of-its-kind world championships will take place entirely virtually on Zwift, the global online training and racing platform for athletes, and comes after British Cycling’s first-ever national eSports cycling championships – hosted live in London – in March 2019.
Competing using the first over the line scratch race format, men and women will compete over the same route and 50km distance of the same course, the Watopia Figure 8 Reverse with Hilly KOM Finish. The two new world champions will then be awarded a physical rainbow jersey each, to be worn for sanctioned cycling esports events in 2021. Zwift will also create a digital version of the jersey, to be worn in-game.
Stephen Park, Performance Director for the Great Britain Cycling Team said: “I’m really looking forward to the inaugural UCI Cycling Esports World Championships, and I’d like to commend the UCI and Zwift on this exciting collaboration.
“Amongst the talented Great Britain Cycling Team line-up, we have reigning Olympic and Paralympic champions, including Elinor Barker, Ed Clancy and Dame Sarah Storey, all vying to add another rainbow jersey to their collection. Senior Academy rider Meg Barker will be keen to show what she's capable of in this first year of her Paris 2024 cycle and I’m looking forward to seeing Andy Tennant compete once more in Great Britain colours. It’s good to also be able to extend this opportunity to riders who have excelled on the online platforms this year, with Dani Christmas, Max Stedman and Rob Scott all making selection.
In another competition-first, British Cycling, and indeed other national federations, may see their squads bolstered by individual riders invited to compete by the UCI and Zwift as wildcards. Tom Pidcock and Anna Henderson join the British ranks.
“In what has been a tumultuous year, indoor cycling has provided many cycling enthusiasts, including members of the Great Britain Cycling Team, with an outlet to keep themselves physically and mentally healthy, as well as allowing racing in some form to continue during those more difficult months in the early lockdown period.
“The uptake for British Cycling’s own Zwift Cycling Series has been brilliant to see, and the forthcoming world championships will do nothing but boost the popularity further.”
For more information, visit the event website.
The Great Britain Cycling Team for the UCI Cycling Esports World Championships:
Dame Sarah Storey
*denotes a wildcard rider