In August we reported on a new racing series brought to you by Flamme Rouge Racing (FRR). The first series, which started on Saturday 4th September, took riders on a weeklong adventure through France with the race series introducing some concepts that I have not seen before on Zwift such as a Prologue and rolling or “neutralised” starts. The neutralised starts were well received by racers who commented “it is a good idea so that no one suffers a technical and gets dropped” and “LOVED the neutral start — I think the Zwift Sprint starts are the stupidest things. 2 min. of insecurity and insanity!”
The pilot event was liked by all and minor concerns that riders raised mid-race were addressed and as a consequence, FRR have taken the lessons learned from their first offering and returned with their next event, called Tour Britannia.
This new team stage race runs from November 13-21, covering 6 stages, 220km, and 4,500m of climbing, all in 9 days – definitely one of the hardest stage events seen on Zwift! Pre-registration of teams is open and is required by November 7 so there is plenty of time to build a team and formulate tactics.
Tour Britannia Essentials
Tour Britannia will be offered in two time zones, to cater for the global community of Zwift. This series is a little different from what is currently offered on Zwift, making it a bit special. The details include:
- 9 days, 6 stages, 3 different race formats (TTT, iTT, Points)
- First two stages run consecutively on the same day, TTT Prologue and a full Points race
- Ladies can race a mixed category down (as in real life) but of course do not have to
- Teams (mixed) can be formed of different CAT riders (max 2 outside of Team CAT)
- Neutralised starts
- Same bike setup enforced
- No powerups
- Broom wagon time cut (keeps riders racing)
- Single rider team placement (if you don’t have a Zwift team, FRR will find one for you)
What is good about the race schedule for this event is that it is varied. For example, there is an Individual Time Trial on the Tour of Tewit Well route, at 11km in length. I have never undertaken an Individual Time Trial on that course, so that will be unique and I will be interested to see how I will be able to manage a max effort after several days of hard racing.
One major key to success in a stage race of this nature is how well you can recover from consecutive days of racing, and how well you manage your fatigue. One thing for certain: is that it’s going to be entertaining racing, especially with the Surrey Hills route to finish on!
Routes and Schedule
- Stage 1 (Nov 13): Greater London Loop TTT – 21km
- APAC @ 0800GMT, EMEA @ 1800GMT
- Stage 2 (Nov 13): 2019 UCI Worlds – 40km, 735m
- APAC @ 0900GMT, EMEA @ 1900GMT
- Stage 3 (Nov 14): Royal Pump Room 8 – 56km, 980m
- APAC @ 0800GMT, EMEA @ 1800GMT
- Stage 4 (Nov 19): Tour of Tewit Well iTT – 11km, 204m
- APAC @ 0800GMT, EMEA @ 1900GMT
- Stage 5 (Nov 20): London Pretzel – 55km, 980m
- APAC @ 0800GMT, EMEA @ 1800GMT
- Stage 6 (Nov 21): Surrey Hills – 50km, 1,250m
- APAC @ 0900GMT, EMEA @ 1600GMT
Teams and single riders must pre-register at FlammeRougeRacing.com to take part in the event. Registration deadline is midnight November 7 (GMT). I have registered for the event and the platform to register is easy to navigate. You do need a Zwift Power account to participate and will need to take note of your Zwift Rider ID.
A full list of the rules and points available can be read here.
FRR can be emailed at [email protected] for further information, but everything can be found on the registration page, rules document, and event poster.
Once registered, team managers can create and manage teams. Additionally, all riders can access the event content, race communications, and most importantly the results.
“Club Race Team” Management
As mentioned, to undertake this series FRR have developed online functionality to enable teams to manage their roster of riders. This is referred to as ‘Club Race Team’ Management. Richard Vale, the creator of the site and organiser of the event is currently supporting Zwift Team Race3R, who use the system to manage their global race team for popular events like TTT and ZRL. It is available for all to utilise.
Richard is keen to emphasize that the platform is moving forward quickly and yet was only first put together 6 months ago.
More Than Just an Event
After catching up with Richard to discuss the first series he explained that he has ventured in a direction not envisaged and has moved FRR towards Charitable status and fundraising. This was a direct consequence of one team that entered. The Masaka Cycling Club, the first Ugandan Zwift Club, competed in event 1. They were however only limited to 4 riders because they only had 4 smart trainers in the region! By event 2 they will have 6 as FRR has provided the equipment to enable them to compete and will look to support them and other similar causes through fundraising events and donations. (In addition to supplying them with smart trainers, FRR supplied them with sporting apparel.) If you feel empowered to help, please contact FRR.
Zwift are experts at marketing and the phrase “Fun is Fast” lingers in the mind, but Sam Mutton, club organiser for Masaka Cycling related that for riders in his club, Zwift is not simply cycling for fun. The club offers an educational programme which includes racing on Zwift, and by completing their studies and racing they get a small income. The more committed to their studies and training and the better they can become, the more the level of financial support offered by the club increases. The club is supported by the charity called Joy for Children and Communities (a UK-based charity).
Zwift provides a fantastic platform and Richard recognises that we are currently only scratching the surface of its potential. He has other interesting and different events in the pipeline, and I am going to look to use his platform for something I have planned. In the meantime, be sure to look at giving this event a go as it provides us with something different.
It’s important to note that this event is very different from the popular Zwift Racing League. I particularly like this concentrated, multi-stage race concept and so do many other Zwifters and as a consequence the FRR Team have already got 2 additional events planned: Tour Watopia, kicking off on January 2 followed by Tour International, commencing March 12 which will be a full 2-week stage event.
Questions or Comments?