All About the 2020 UCI Cycling Esports World Championships on Zwift

All About the 2020 UCI Cycling Esports World Championships on Zwift

The first-ever UCI Cycling ESports Worlds are happening on Zwift December 9th. It’s a red-letter day for Zwift, the Zwift community, and the sport of cycling.

“Together with the UCI on December 9th, we will be making history. This will be the first event of its kind and I believe it will mark the future direction of sport, fitness and competition. There is no doubt that technology will play a bigger role and this competition perfectly blends technology with what we traditionally associate with physical ‘sport’. 

Eric Min, Zwift CEO and Co-Founder

Here’s everything you need to know about the race including schedules, course details, start lists, and the winners’ jersey.

Watch the Race

The races kick off on December 9, 2020 at 2pm GMT (6am PST, 9am EST, 1am AEDT Dec 10th). Visit Zwift’s YouTube channel to catch the live action (embedded above), or tune into any of the following broadcasts:

Course Details

Riders will be taking to Watopia for a 50km race on the Figure 8 Reverse route, finishing on top of the Hilly Q/KOM. This constitutes approximately 1-2/3 laps of the route, which features punchy climbs but nothing long enough for true climbers to get away from the all-arounders.

Men and women will race the same route, in separate events. Expect the races to come down to a reduced front pack of riders going all-out for the final ~90 seconds up the Hilly KOM to the finish line. Who will have the sustained w/kg to take the win?

Riders

Twenty National Cycling Federations have named their teams to start the first UCI Zwift Cycling Esports World Championships. In addition, a number of Wild Card riders have also been awarded places, bringing the total number of nations represented to 22. The women’s race will feature 55 riders, the men’s race 78.

The start lists include a mix of pro road cyclists and top Zwift Community racers. Zwift CEO Eric Min says, “Many will be familiar with the World Tour riders but I believe they will be pushed all the way by the specialist indoor racers. Don’t be surprised to see a member of the Zwift Cycling Esports emerge on top.”

The pro athlete list includes current and former UCI World Champions as well as Olympic and Paralympic Gold Medallists. Top pro names include Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (South Africa), Esteban Chaves (Columbia), Anna van der Breggen (Netherlands), Lawson Craddock (USA), Tom Pidcock (Great Britain), Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway),  Dame Sarah Storey (Great Britain), Annika Langvad (Denmark), Kristen Kulchinsky (Twenty20), and Lionel Sanders (Canada).

Top veteran racers from the Zwift community will also be in the mix, including current #1 ranked men’s racer Holden Comeau (USA) and #1 ranked women’s racer Laura Matsen Ko. Other top community riders include Lionel Vujasin (Belgium), Ollie Jones (New Zealand), Ryan Larson (USA), Louise Bates (GBR), Courtney Nelson (USA), and Cecilia Hansen (Sweden). Many hours of Zwift experience coupled with a high degree of athleticism make these community riders some of the favorites to take home the rainbow bands!

New Rainbow Kit

A new rainbow jersey design has been unveiled with the creation of UCI Cycling Esports World Championships. This jersey will be awarded to each winner – a virtual jersey for their avatar, and a real-life version that may be worn in UCI Cycling Esports events for the 2021 season.

The jersey design maintains the iconic rainbow bands but features a pixel design to represent this new digital discipline.

Prize Money

Prize money will be awarded as follows for both men’s and women’s races:

  • 1st Place: €8,000
  • 2nd Place: €4,000
  • 3rd Place: €2,000

Community Events

In addition to the big pro races, Zwifters will have the opportunity to take part in this landmark event by participating in Zwift PowerUp Podcast Recon Rides as well as “Nations Challenge” races organized by WTRL.

More Info

Looking for more info on the UCI Cycling Esports Worlds? Visit zwift.com/uk/2020-uci-cycling-esports-world-championships.

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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Dan
Dan
1 month ago

Stoked for this, should be really good fun to watch! Just wish they would allow you to watch the race through the app and jump through the riders’ individual perspective (like you would do watching a mate). I find the broadcast coverage really difficult to follow and to get a feel of the race dynamics.

JayDee
JayDee
1 month ago

Will it take place at a venue or are the riders racing from home? Are all riders racing the same type of a trainer? How will fair play be enforced?

Reverz
Reverz
1 month ago
Reply to  JayDee

All riders will recieve a loaner Tacx Neo 2 as far as I know from recent newsposts.

Unknown
Unknown
1 month ago

Will they release all the bikes that the pros are riding that aren’t in the drop shop? I saw a pro riding an orbea yesterday… Maybe add some bianchis?

Dan Connelly
1 month ago

Will bike differenced be de-activated for this race? They clearly should, especially with some riders coming from other platforms and less likely to have gotten the Z1, which is the obvious choice here. I’m really looking forward to the community races: this is an excellent course.

Dean
Dean (@itchytrout)
1 month ago

I really hope they sort the graphics out – I really struggle watching lower-then-SD graphics with overlays that cover most of the screen real estate and also struggle to get overall view of races/riders positions. I enjoyed Matt’s coverage (race in in past few hours for eg) but some presenters need working on if they expect this to be world class.

Last edited 1 month ago by Dean
Hemsk
Hemsk
1 month ago
Reply to  Dean

You really think they’ll change the graphics significantly in a week?

Colin Peerman
Colin Peerman
1 month ago
Reply to  Dean

I ‘play’/run Zwift in 4K and it’s excellent. However, the muppets outputting the streams for broadcast seem to be doing it at a poor 1080P. No wonder it looks s**t. Sometimes, people just can’t get out of their own way …🙄

Tristan
Tristan
1 month ago

Totally stoked for this! Alaphilippe should definitely sign up – it would be a nice safe race for him 😉

As for coverage, I wonder if UCI will live stream in the same way they live stream all the other UCI events. Would be great if they do.

BikePower
Super Member
BikePower (@bikepower)
1 month ago

I watched the virtual TdF, but frankly I’m so tired of Zwift focusing on pet projects and trying to attract new users while giving long standing users little or nothing that I just don’t care.

Ben palmer
Ben palmer
1 month ago
Reply to  BikePower

Agree 100% with BikePower. Who cares? Zwift plainly couldn’t care less about their existing user base. I feel for Eric S – so much hard work goes into this site and every month and his heart must sink when it becomes clear every time that Zwift simply don’t give a **** about anything other than trying to cope Peloton. Going to give Rouvy another try….

Alex
Alex
1 month ago
Reply to  BikePower

I agree with your sentiment, but we’re not talking about a “pet project” here. It’s actually the exact opposite: an integral part of their business model going forward.

That and hardware are the two components that are supposed to transform Zwift from a niche product to mainstream. That vision is the reason why the platform is valued at over $1bln now.

Darren
Darren
1 month ago
Reply to  BikePower

Yep. Every once in a while I log in here, wondering, “so is Zwift still stuck where they were when I left?” The answer is always yes they are. Same graphics, UI, routes… Meanwhile companies in this space with 1/100th of the resources roll out regular updates.

eeppansson
eeppansson
1 month ago

Maybe the next world championships will permit more than 20 countries to enter? Interested to see how this goes.

Simon Collins
Simon Collins
1 month ago

I am attempting a measured post to this as I write this following the 2nd week in a row that my event was ruined by poor connection/server issues. I am no IT expert and it may be my ISP but bear with me. For the last two weeks I have been taking part in the ZRL. For the last two weeks my data hasn’t loaded to Strava, I have had poor experience in Zwift where I was racing on my own. Prior to my abandoned effort tonight I researched the field. Other riders in ZP with blank data for ZRL… Read more »

Tom Smulders
Tom Smulders
1 month ago

Aren’t the broadcast times weird? It will be night in the US and early in the morning in Europe? Why broadcast at this time?

Alex
Alex
1 month ago

Eric, the times are not correct

Jon Wakefield
Jon Wakefield
1 month ago

Looking forward to these races… It is an interesting line up for both Mens and Womens. I really hope that a Zwift Community rider wins so that the rainbow bands can continue to be represented on the platform… It would be such a shame if a ‘pro’ wins and then is not active in the community for the following year.

Personally, I would like to see Zwift recognise and celebrate the community riders more … they are the true pros of the platform and the ones who the true racing user base know and support.

Mr Richard Neil
Mr Richard Neil (@richardneil)
1 month ago

Impossible to watch this live without subscribing to some third party service or another. very disappointing that this is not freely available online.

Ronald
Ronald
1 month ago

I think it’s a missed opportunity for woman cycling.
Even Zwift’s broadcast started halfway the woman’s race. With a new concept, this was the opportunity to treat men and woman cycling the same. I strongly believe Zwift should at least broadcasted the woman’s start. That TV-broadcasting is old fashioned, so be it.

Mark M
Mark M
1 month ago
Reply to  Ronald

That was my reaction at first, but to Zwift’s (dis)credit they ended up doing the same to the men.

Greg Hilton
Greg Hilton (@ghilton)
1 month ago

Can anyone see this currently on YouTube??

Colin Peerman
Colin Peerman
1 month ago
Reply to  Greg Hilton

it’s on eurosport

Greg Hilton
Greg Hilton (@ghilton)
1 month ago
Reply to  Colin Peerman

cheers Colin, so subscription needed I guess?

Colin Peerman
Colin Peerman
1 month ago
Reply to  Greg Hilton

yup

Remon Lam
Remon Lam (@remon-lam)
1 month ago
Reply to  Eric Schlange

Yup same here in the Netherlands, not on YouTube but on eurosport 🙁

Colin Peerman
Colin Peerman
1 month ago

Just watching on Eurosport. I must say, someone has done some work, as the graphics are as good as I’ve seen on a Zwift broadcast. 👌

Damian Walker
Damian Walker
1 month ago

Great races poorly televised and the YT video was 27 km in before we saw the riders. Matt was sidelined and the screen data displays were poor. The riders images on trainers were too small to see them and being Eurosports they definitely had the technology, experience and budget to do a better job. Zwift provided a lot of good stuff and to see rider do 12.4 W/kg to win was brilliant. Lessons to learn, hope they do. Tnx Eric.

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