All About the Olympic Virtual Series Events on Zwift

All About the Olympic Virtual Series Events on Zwift

Nearly five weeks ago, the IOC announced the Olympic Virtual Series, with cycling events to be held on Zwift. Today Zwift and the UCI released the details of the many events which make up the series.

Details can be found on Zwift’s website at zwift.com/olympic-virtual-series

The series is anchored by three different types of events happening throughout the month of June: podcast rides, group workouts, and chase races. Along the way two special events will also happen: the Celebrity Chase Event on June 18th, and the Olympic Day 24 hour series on June 23. Here are the details…

These group rides are 60 minutes long and held on a different route for each featured athlete. During the ride, a podcast episode will play from within Zwift interviewing with the featured athlete. Here’s the list of athletes, along with their event route and dates:

  • Georgia Simmerling (Watopia’s Waistband): June 1-3
    The first Canadian to compete in three different sports in three different Olympic Games (cycling, alpine skiing and skicross).
  • Nino Schurter (Tick Tock): June 4-6
    3x Olympic Medalist and 8x UCI World Champion, this Swiss rider is arguably one of the greatest male cross-country mountain bikers of all time.
  • Chris Hoy (Flat Route): June 7-10
    The second-most decorated Olympic cyclist of all time, with six Gold Medals and 11 UCI World Championship titles.
  • Anna van der Breggen (Sand and Sequoias): June 11-13
    The Dutch pro racer is a dominant force on the tarmac. She’s racked up huge number of wins over the course of her career, including a Gold Medal in Rio 2016 and 3x UCI World Champion.
  • Nelson Vails (Beach Island Loop): June 14-16
    “The Cheetah” is a next-level athlete known for going from zero to 40+ mph in the blink of an eye. In the 1984 Olympics, he took home the silver in the track sprint event, becoming the first African American to win an Olympic medal in cycling.
  • Sarah Storey (Tempus Fugit): June 17-19
    A 14x Gold Medalist, Sarah is the most decorated and successful British Paralympian of all time. Oh, that’s not enough? She also holds 23 UCI World Championship titles and 75 world records across both cycling and swimming, making her a veritable multisport legend.
  • Anna Meares (Two Village Loop): June 20-22
    With six Olympic medals, this Australian is the most decorated woman track cyclist of all time. Her credentials also extend to being the most successful woman at UCI World Championships with 11 gold medals (a distinction shared with Germany’s Kristina Vogel).
  • Mariana Pajon (Two Village Loop): June 24-27
    Won her first national title at the age of five and her first world title at nine. To this day, she has won 14 UCI World Championships, 9 Latin American championships, and 10 Pan American championships. Oh yeah, she’s also a 2x Olympic Gold Medalist in BMX, the first-ever Colombian to do so.

Schedule and signup at zwift.com/olympic-virtual-series

Each Olympic Virtual Series Group Workout was designed by a specific Olympian to help take participants to the next level in their training. See the Companion App for details on each workout’s intervals!

  • Workout 1: Team Pursuit Inspired by Georgia Simmerling: June 1-3
    Georgia is a bona fide expert in Team Pursuit, scoring herself a Bronze medal in the 2016 Olympics.
  • Workout 2: Punchy Climbs Inspired by Nino Schurter: June 4-6
    Arguably one of the greatest mountain bikers of all time, Nino shares tips and tricks on how to overcome punchy climbs.
  • Workout 3: Keirin Inspired by Sir Chris Hoy: June 7-10
    One of the most visually striking track events, keirin is one of Sir Hoy’s specialties.
  • Workout 4: Road Race Inspired by Anna van der Breggen: June 11-13
    A top Dutch cyclist, Anna is a versatile force on the tarmac with plenty of tips to help get you race-ready in no time.
  • Workout 5: Sprint Inspired by Nelson Vails: June 14-16
    The first African-American to win an Olympic medal in cycling, Nelson is well-known for unleashing top sprinting efforts.
  • Workout 6: Individual Pursuit Inspired by Dame Sarah Storey: June 17-19
    When she’s on the track, Dame Sarah Storey often chases down the competition so she’s the perfect person to impart her fitness wisdom.
  • Workout 7: Team Sprint Inspired by Anna Meares: June 20-22
    A highly decorated track cyclist who’s fine-tuned her sprinting skills for years, who else could help you up your game?
  • Workout 8: Force Development Inspired by Mariana Pajon: June 24-27
    Mariana has long called on what she’s learned with force development to earn her unofficial title as the Queen of BMX.

Schedule and signup at zwift.com/olympic-virtual-series

These are handicap-style race events where Zwifters of all abilities can take part and work together. Group D takes off first, followed by C, then B, then A. The challenge? Try to stay ahead of the category behind you while catching the category in front of you! Time gaps are set with the intention of all categories coming together at the end of the race for a final push to the line.

Multiple Chase Events happen each day, with the routes changing each week:

  • Week One (June 1-7): Watopia’s Tick Tock (2 Laps)
    Lap Distance: 10.4 mi // 16.8 km, Lap Elevation Gain: 144 ft // 44 m, Lead-in: 1.5 mi // 2.4 km
  • Week Two (June 8-14): Watopia’s Volcano Flat (2 Laps)
    Lap Distance: 7.6 mi // 12.3 km, Lap Elevation Gain: 151 ft // 46 m
  • Week Three (June 15-21): Watopia’s Tempus Fugit (2 Laps)
    Lap Distance: 10.7 mi // 17.3 km, Lap Elevation Gain: 52 ft // 16 m, Lead-in: 1.5 mi // 2.4 km
  • Week Four: Makuri Islands Flatland Loop (2 Laps)
    Lap Distance: 8.1 mi // 13.0 km, Lap Elevation Gain: 325 ft // 99 m

Be sure to enter the correct category, to help ensure a fair and fun race for everyone.

Schedule and signup at zwift.com/olympic-virtual-series/chase-races/

Celebrity Chase Event

The celebrity chase is an exciting and unique broadcast event on June 18. Olympians and a few lucky Zwift community members will get seeded and take off at certain intervals across Zwift’s roads with the goal of finishing the event before being chased down by whoever’s behind them.

This event can be watched at olympics.com/en/sport-events/olympic-virtual-cycling-event

On June 23rd, a series of 24 50-minute group rides is scheduled. Rides will be hosted by a rotating roster of Olympians and other special guests, and each ride is held on one of the new Makuri Islands routes. Join for just one ride, or see how many you can knock out!

See Olympic Day events at zwift.com/events/tag/ovs2021olympicday

Unlocks

Finish any event in the Olympic Virtual Series to unlock the slick Olympic Virtual Series-inspired kit as well as the official bicycle of the Olympics, the Bridgestone Anchor RS9s.

Complimentary Access for New Zwifters

The IOC and the UCI are offering new Zwifters complimentary access to the Zwift platform throughout the Olympic Virtual Series (1st – 27th June). Codes can be obtained by registering on the UCI Website.

Questions or Comments?

Share below!

About The Author

Eric Schlange

Eric runs Zwift Insider in his spare time when he isn't on the bike or managing various business interests. He lives in Northern California with his beautiful wife, two kids and dog. Follow on Strava

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Evan
Evan
3 months ago

I literally just bought the Bridgestone bike, and now you’re telling me I could have waited a week and unlocked it for free??!!

M. d. s. Günther
M. d. s. Günther
3 months ago
Reply to  Evan

I hope you can recover from this loss in drops 😵

JohnD
3 months ago

comment image

But yeah it’s weird to sell it for drops and also give it away for just taking part in easy events

M4rk0
M4rk0
3 months ago

Those chase events should be a hoot with no category enforcement in place.

rdcyclist (Mark Crane)
rdcyclist (Mark Crane) (@rdcyclist)
3 months ago
Reply to  M4rk0

I’m not sure I’d call it a “Hoot” without category entry rules in place. “Debacle” comes more to mind. Or even “Clusterf…” 😡

Jimmy
Jimmy
3 months ago
Reply to  M4rk0

I’m looking forward to the first one, I think they should be good fun, especially if most people go in with the intended mindset. If the 4 groups work as a team and form some large blobs they can treat it like a race between groups rather than an individual race. A cat B rider in the D group for instance is missing the point and will have a hollow victory.

grant.b.smith
grant.b.smith (@grant-b-smith)
3 months ago

So with the promo code my friends can join Zwift for free for from 1-27 June?

Grant Smith
Grant Smith (@grant-b-smith)
3 months ago
Reply to  Eric Schlange

That’s flippen fantastic!

Dani
Dani
3 months ago
Reply to  grant.b.smith

so it’s 1 month free? or just 1 to 27 june?

Dan Connelly
Dan Connelly
3 months ago

Interesting the one route in “Japan” chosen for the chase series is 100% paved, avoiding the much-anticipated equipment choice challenge of the new map.
https://zwiftinsider.com/route/flatland-loop/

Evan
Evan
3 months ago
Reply to  Dan Connelly

ok but lets be honest, im glad it is all paved. no one likes dirt

Chris
Chris
3 months ago

“UnlocksFinish any event in the Olympic Virtual Series to unlock the slick Olympic Virtual Series-inspired kit as well as the official bicycle of the Olympics, the Bridgestone Anchor RS9s.”

So…. Unlocked. But we still have to buy it. Right?

Chris
Chris
3 months ago
Reply to  Eric Schlange

Sweet!

JayDee
JayDee
3 months ago

When can we expect details about the workout rides? Tried to look up the Schurters workout but to no avail.

Carsten
Carsten
3 months ago

I’m surprised (even a bit disappointed) that there is no “official Olympic route” with Mt.Fuji available.
Eric, do you know if there are plans to add that route ? And do you know if ZHQ plans to build a Velodrom for track cycling events (like Keirin, Teamchase or Madison) in the future ? This would be amazing and a new dimension.

Carsten
Carsten
3 months ago
Reply to  Eric Schlange

Thanx for your thoughts about both themes.

Dave
Dave
3 months ago

Well, at least the first Chase Race event appears to have been two laps, not one. Any idea about the rest?

Mark
Mark
3 months ago

stop these pop ups they’re so annoying!

Chris
Chris
3 months ago

I tried one of the podcast rides today. I read somewhere that the podcast sound would be through Zwift, but I never was able to hear it.anyone know how to actually heat the podcast while doing the ride?

Evan
Evan
3 months ago
Reply to  Chris

maybe turn up the volume of your device? I could hear it fine

Chris
Chris
3 months ago
Reply to  Evan

I tried that…I could hear game sounds just fine but not the podcast.

Alex
Alex
3 months ago

Is the ‘unlock’ a permanent addition to the garage, or will it be a bit like the Ceramic Speed that was only for the month of the partnership?

Rick Goris
Rick Goris
3 months ago

The first chase event was a blast! Well done.

Ronnie Naistadt
Ronnie Naistadt
3 months ago

What do you have to do access the Bridgestone bike and kit. I completed a ride but nothing is there. Zwift companion says I did it.

Matt
Matt
2 months ago

I did the Sarah Storey individual pursuit workout Friday night and it was far from easy, if that’s any reassurance… though it was a 9pm start and I probably should have held back on the steak earlier in the evening…

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