The second edition of the UCI Cycling Esports World Championships is coming up soon, and there’s a whole pile of events leading up to the big day.
Here’s everything you need to know about the 2022 UCI Cycling Esports Worlds on Zwift, including start sheets, broadcasts, community events, and more.
All About the Big Race
The 2022 UCI Cycling Esports World Championships happens Saturday, February 26 at 6pm GMT/1pm EST/10am PST. The women will race first, followed by the men. Field size, broadcast exposure, race distance, and prize money will be equal for both Men’s and Women’s races.
The winners will be awarded the UCI Cycling Esports World Champions jersey with its famous rainbow stripes. Winners will earn the right to wear a physical jersey during the sanctioned esports races and activities they take part in throughout the following year, and these athletes will also be able to wear a digital version of the jersey on the Zwift platform.
Where to Watch
Races will be livestreamed on Zwift’s Youtube channel (here’s the stream link). They will also be broadcast live across Eurosport and GCN+.
Three PowerUps will be given out during the race. For the first time, specific PowerUps are being given at specific arches, presumably so all competitors receive the same advantages instead of leaving it to chance:
- Draft Boost (van): increases the draft effect you are experiencing by 50% for 30 seconds. In a double draft event, this powerup will give you 3x the standard draft effect.
Best used at higher speeds (flats and descents) when you are already drafting off another rider (since this powerup only helps when you are drafting.) This PowerUp will appear three times during the race at the Sprint Arch at 7.3 km, 29.7 km & 52 km.
- Aero Boost (helmet): makes you more aerodynamic (reduces your CdA by 25%) for 15 seconds.
Use at higher speeds (flats and descents), especially when no draft is available (although it is still useful when drafting.) This PowerUp will appear twice during the race at the K/QOM Arch at 9.7 km & 32.1 km.
- Lightweight (feather): reduces your weight by 10% for 15 seconds.
Use on climbs, when weight matters the most. This PowerUp will be available twice during the race at the Lap Arch at 22.5 km & 44.6 km.
Riders will tackle a special version of New York’s Knickerbocker route. The race route is essentially 2.5 laps of the Knickerbocker, with a finish atop the KOM. Three difficult climbs and constantly rolling terrain will make for a very selective race. Watch for a reduced field to reach the final climb, where winning attacks will be launched!
180 of the world’s top riders will be taking to the start across the two races. The full start lists for both fields can be found here.
Riders to Watch
Here are the riders Zwift has chosen as the 10 to watch on the big day:
- Sarah Gigante (Australia) – Runner-up in 2020, Gigante is a consistent Zwift racer and one of the best climbers out there. Gigante rides professionally on the road with Movistar Team and has an explosive kick that many of her competitors will fear.
- Illi Gardner (Great Britain) – One of the most important riders in the Great Britain team, Illi has a huge amount of Zwift racing experience and excels when the climbing starts.
- Zoe Langham (Great Britain) – Zoe qualified for the UCI Cycling Esports World Championships in the European Qualifying event. She has impressed this year in the Zwift Racing League Premier Divison.
- Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (South Africa) – The defending UCI World Champion. Ashleigh is one of the best climbers in the world, both on the road and in Zwift. She will want to retain those rainbow stripes!
- Jacquie Godbe (USA) – One of the strongest esports specialists in the field, Jacquie is rarely beaten in an uphill race.
- Freddy Ovett (Australia) – Freddy shot to Zwift prominence during the Virtual Tour de France in 2020 and has consistently placed high in all the Zwift races he’s participated in since. One of the best sprinters in esports racing, but is also able to get over some of the harder climbs.
- Chris McGlinchey (Ireland) – Chris is incredibly experienced as an esports competitor and one of the strongest climbers in the field. The NYC KOM Climb will suit him well.
- James Barnes (South Africa) – James is the man in form in 2022. He has been instrumental in helping his team, NeXT Esport, make it to the top of the Zwift Racing League Premier Division.
- Takato Ikeda (Japan) – A pure climber and always aggressive. Takato will be riding with a strong Japanese team and will be looking to take advantage of the NYC KOM climb.
- Matthias Deroose (Belgium) – Matthias is another strong climber, one of the top-ranked riders on ZwiftPower. He has been a consistent points scorer for his team, BZR, in the Zwift Racing League Premier Division and has a lot of cycling esports experience.
Shimano Recon Rides
Join brand ambassadors and racers who are lining up for this year’s World Championship for a pre-ride of the 2022 Cycling Esports World Championships route!
See events and sign up at zwift.com/events/tag/ucipartnerrides
PowerUp Podcast Recon Rides
These are podcast rides featuring episodes with race predictions and insights from three-time Olympic Gold Medalist Kristin Armstrong, Grand Tour stage winner Nico Roche, and pro cyclist turned coach Matt Rowe. There’s also a special episode with UCI’s head of Innovation, Mick Rogers.
See events and sign up at zwift.com/events/tag/ucipodcastrides
Watch Party Rides
Ride with a group on February 26 while you tune in to watch the race on Zwift’s YouTube Channel (here’s the link).
See events and sign up at zwift.com/events/tag/uciwatchparty
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