Tour de Zwift 2020 Pro-Am Invitational Race Series Details

Tour de Zwift 2020 Pro-Am Invitational Race Series Details

Tour de Zwift 2020 is shaping up to be the biggest, most exciting series of Zwift events in history. The group rides will be gigantic and fun as always, but the biggest news of this tour is Zwift is running races alongside the typical TdZ group rides.

And it’s not just open, categorized community races being held. Zwift has also organized a Pro-Am Invitational Race Series where each stage’s world will be raced by top pros and amateurs the day before the stage opens for the rest of the Zwift community.

Schedule

The Pro-Am Series races will happen at 11am PST/7pm GMT the day before each new stage begins. There will men’s races and women’s races alternatively between each stage.

Here’s the full 7-stage schedule:

  • Stage 1 (London): 11am PST/7pm GMT Jan 11 – women’s race
  • Stage 2 (Innsbruck): 11am PST/7pm GMT Jan 15 – men’s race
  • Stage 3 (Watopia): 11am PST/7pm GMT Jan 19 – women’s race
  • Stage 4 (Bologna): 11am PST/7pm GMT Jan 23 – men’s race
  • Stage 5 (New York): 11am PST/7pm GMT Jan 27 – women’s race
  • Stage 6 (Richmond): 11am PST/7pm GMT Jan 31 – men’s race
  • Stage 7 (Yorkshire): 11am PST/7pm GMT Feb 4 – women’s AND men’s races

Where to Watch

Zwift has created a page where the live streams of each race will be available – see it at zwift.com/video/tour-de-zwift-live.

Races will also be broadcast on Facebook via the Zwift Live.

Here are the recorded streams of completed races:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HoWBlAEbvUQ&t=1192s

View Race Results >

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XN_O7cgIkOQ

View Race Results >

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngsRxk7HXOU&t=944s

View Race Results >

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBCu69sNqzE

View Race Results >

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZztWblhF78

View Race Results >

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FaPIkYf5gI&t=1s

View Race Results >

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=594pPtZWkFs

View Men’s Race Results >
View Women’s Race Results >

Rules

Here are the rules in the event description for the first race of the series:


NAME FORMAT

Racer’s team name must be placed in square brackets after the racer’s last name and can be entered into the last name field in-game. For instance, Mary Wilkinson racing for Team Turbo may use the name M. Wilkinson [TRBO] or Mary Wilkinson [TRBO]. Riders who do not use this format will be disqualified.

TEAM KIT

  • It is mandatory to race in your team kit. Failure to do so will result in disqualification.
  • Zwift National Champion kits are not allowed. All riders must race in their team kit.
  • Time trial helmets are not allowed. Disqualification for using a Time Trial helmet.

BICYCLES // WHEELS

  • Zwift concept bicycles (aka “Tron” bicycle) are not allowed. Disqualification for using a Zwift concept bicycle.
  • Time Trial bicycles are not allowed. Disqualification for using a Time Trial bicycle.
  • Disc wheels are not allowed. Disqualification for using a disc wheel.

Zwift Insider’s Comments about the Rules

The most interesting rules in the list above are those restricting the use of certain bikes, wheels, and helmets. Most of those rules simply prevent riders from using equipment normally seen only in TT events: disc wheels, TT helmets, and TT frames.

The TT helmets, in our tests, haven’t impacted speed at all. But the disc wheels certainly do, with the Zipp 858/Super9 wheelset being the fastest wheelset on Zwift for flat/rolling routes, and the Zipp 808/Super9 being the second-fastest.

The TT frames, likewise, are more aero than standard road frames, and thus faster in a solo effort. But they don’t let you draft, so winning in a Pro-Am race with a TT frame is going to be challenging.

It’s possible some of these rules (the TT helmet rule especially) are because of the optics: that is, it just looks silly to have someone wearing a TT helmet (or using a disc wheel, or riding on TT bars) in a road race.

Eliminating the Tron makes sense as well, since the only way to keep pace with a Tron bike on flat races is with one of the fastest frames coupled with a disc wheelset.

The net effect of these rules is to level the playing field significantly in terms of virtual equipment. The fastest setups available for flat races under these rules will use one of these frames:

  • Specialized Venge S-Works (level 33+)
  • Felt AR (level 34+)
  • Cervelo S5 (level 25+)
  • Trek Madone (level 20+)

Coupled with one of the fastest wheelsets:

  • Zipp 858 (level 37+)
  • ENVE SES 7.8 (level 39+)
  • ENVE SES 8.9 (level 31+)
  • Zipp 808 (level 13+)

The 4 frames listed turn in essentially the same times on our flat tests. The 4 wheelsets listed are separated by only 4 seconds on a ~50 minute flat test.

Any Zwift racer worth their chamois should be at a high enough level (20+) to access a fast setup, so no racers will be at a significant disadvantage due to their virtual bike.

Scoring

The Pro-Am Series isn’t just about who crosses the finish line first. It includes a points-based team and individual competition which includes sprint and K/QOM arches.

Here’s how the scoring works:

  • First 20 riders score points at the finish. Points are awarded as follows: 20-19-18-17-16-15-14-13-12-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1
  • First 10 riders score points at each K/QOM and Sprint arch. Points are awarded as follows: 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1

Teams

This is an invitation-only race, so Zwift has reached out to amateur and pro teams. Here are the women’s teams who participated in the Jan 19th race:

And the men’s teams, for the Jan 23rd race:

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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Aoi Niigaki
Aoi Niigaki
1 year ago

No TRON bikes. Also known as the Cameron Jeffers rule.

Seriously though, I think Zwift is trying to make virtual racing look more real and getting rid of fake glowing bikes is a step in that direction.

tempocyclist
1 year ago
Reply to  Aoi Niigaki

“…the Cameron Jeffers rule…”

Brilliant! 😉

For these events, making the gamer racing look like real pro racing (so no glowing bikes, no time trial helmets, all in team kit, etc) is probably a sensible step for Zwift in getting virtual racing accepted by more cyclists out there. I do love using my TRON bike though, haha! Will be interesting to see how this series goes.

Robert
Robert
1 year ago

I don’t think the reason Zwift is disallowing the Tron bike is its performance. I think it’s the same reason that Zwift is disallowing TT equipment – Zwift wants these races to look as much as possible like real-life road races. So no TT bikes or helmets, and until we see a real-life Tron bike, no Tron bike either. A secondary reason is that Zwift may want to avoid another Jeffersgate. Is there any word as to whether all non-Tron bikes will be unlocked for the racers or whether their availability will be limited by Zwift level? If the latter,… Read more »

Ian Jackson
Ian Jackson
1 year ago
Reply to  Robert

But what if you wear no helmet or wear one of those big caps? Big hair will be fine as you’ll look like Daniel Oss

Paul Mason
1 year ago
Reply to  Robert

Tron bike not the fastest on either flat or hills these days. Now where was it that someone has done some very helpful testing on that..? Derek someone I think he’s called …

Marco Schult
Marco Schult
1 year ago

I hope Kirchmair will be invited, since Stefan Kirchmair can win the series.

Jacek ZTPL.CC
Jacek ZTPL.CC
1 year ago
Reply to  Marco Schult

But they dont have team kit

Jon Wakefield
Jon Wakefield
1 year ago

I notice that Heino Racing Team are also showing up … but are not included in the ‘invited teams’ above. It will be exciting racing, looking forward to it!

M4rk0
M4rk0
1 year ago

when is the first men’s race?

Daniel Pettinger
Daniel Pettinger (@daniel_pe)
1 year ago
Reply to  Eric Schlange

first mens race is innsbruck. the races scheduled for men are innsbruck, bologna, richmond and yorkshire

Derek
Derek (@dpr4473)
1 year ago

Why no Tron bikes? Does this mean the Trons have hidden abilities that give racers an unfair advantage?

Rick
Rick (@rwenger)
1 year ago

Why not Men’s and Women’s races for each stage? Would love to watch them all!

Marcus Wilson
Marcus Wilson
1 year ago

As there are group rides and races, how do you access the group rides? On the Zwift Companion, only the races show up (filter = groups, races). I’ve done Stage 1 (category D), which was good fun, and I think I’ll do Innsbruck, but how do you get on the group rides, when there is no sign up on the companion?

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