The final round of the 2023/2024 Zwift Grand Prix was as fast and explosive as ever, with both the men and women taking on the Royal Pump Room 8 in Yorkshire. In 27.5 km, there were four intermediate sprints to contend with, each offering an increasing number of points.
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Only two riders scored at the first sprint, whereas five riders scored at the fourth and final intermediate sprint. Additionally, each rider that scored would be eliminated from the race, racking up the points for their team but also being unable to contest the finish. Here are the four prime points and how many points were on offer:
- Yorkshire Sprint Reverse (2.6km): 2/1 points
- Yorkshire KOM (13.2km): 3/2/1 points
- Yorkshire Sprint (15.5km): 4/3/2/1 points
- Yorkshire KOM Reverse (18.7km): 5/4/3/2/1 points
- Finish line (27.5km): 6/5/4/3/2/1 points
Crucially, there was only one power-up on offer for the entire race. As riders passed through the Yorkshire Lap Arch, they were given the Feather power-up. With only one chance to use their power-up, the Feather would become a critical tactical decision in the Zwift Grand Prix finale.
The final round of the 2023/2024 Zwift Grand Prix also offered double points in the overall standings, meaning that no one’s place was safe with so many points on offer.
Up first were the Elite Women, and it was Coalition Alpha atop the Grand Prix standings. They led Aeonian 155 to 133 points in the overall standings, with Wahoo Le Col in third and Hexagone in fourth.
Julia Kelin (Beastmode p/b Rose) attacked in the first kilometer in search of the first points on offer. But after she was caught, E. Dyrhoven (Hexagone) was first over the line, while T. Penner (ABUS – Synergy) followed in second to rack up the first points of the day.
Next up was the long drag following the Yorkshire Lap arch, and Eleisa Haag (Beastmode p/b Rose) went on the attack. L. Mottas (Hexagone) bridged to close the gap, and the peloton was 26 seconds behind the Frenchwoman by the base of the Yorkshire KOM/QOM. In the peloton, Lizzie Harris (Toyota Elite ECycling) went early, dragging clear a group of three that went all-in for the intermediate sprint.
Mottas was first over the line, with Mary Wilkinson (Coalition Alpha) in second and M. Keller (Aeonian) in third. Riders could hardly catch their breath before they were sprinting for the third intermediate of the day, and it was M. Koistinen who crossed the line first, earning a four-point haul for Toyota Elite ECycling.
A few kilometers later, Lou Bates (Coalition Alpha) earned five points atop the Yorkshire KOM Reverse, while A. Verhaaren (Aeonian) and Maria Holdcroft (NeXT eSports pb Enshored) followed in second and third, respectively.
With less than 10km to go, Coalition Alpha was leading with nine points, followed closely by Aeonian and Hexagone. But there was still a boatload of points on offer at the finish, and the Zwift Grand Prix season could all be coming down to this.
Selene Colombi (Team Castelli p/b Elite) attacked on the Pot Bank climb, splitting the field down to five riders with 6km to go. The Italian rider rode away to a solo win, and in the final kilometer, Kathrin Fuhrer (Virginia’s Blue Ridge Twenty24) launched early. But it was Mika Soderstrom who timed her sprint perfectly, winning the sprint for second place and a five-point haul for Movistar eTeam.
Having won four of the seven rounds, Coalition Alpha was crowned Zwift Grand Prix Champions ahead of Aeonian and Wahoo Le Col. After nearly three months of racing, Coalition Alpha took home the winner-take-all prize of $10,000.
The Elite Men were up next, taking on the same course as the Women for the final round of the 2023/2024 Zwift Grand Prix. ABUS – Synergy led NeXT eSports pb Enshored atop the Grand Prix standings, but there were only four points separating the pair. Wahoo Le Col wasn’t far behind in third, while Coalition Alpha and Toyota Elite ECycling rounded out the top five heading into Round 7.
Just like the women’s race, an attack came straight out of the pens, with Coalition Alpha and Hexagone going for the first intermediate sprint. Haavard Gjeldnes (Movistar eTeam) took the first points of the day, while Josh Harris (BL13 p/b Level Velo) followed in second.
On the long draggy climb following the Yorkshire Lap arch, Team Swedish Zwifters and Team Castelli p/b Elite began pushing the pace. A breakaway eventually formed with four riders, but they wouldn’t make it to the next intermediate sprint. BL13 p/b Level Velo led onto the Yorkshire KOM, but it was Kjell Power who came over the top to secure three points for Movistar eTeam.
At the next intermediate sprint, Lionel Vujasin went early to secure four points for Coalition Alpha, while Dan Turek and Martin Maertens scored points for NeXT eSports pb Enshored and Toyota Elite ECycling, respectively.
At the Yorkshire KOM Reverse, Michal Kaminski earned five crucial points for Coalition Alpha, while Jo Pirotte (ABUS – Synergy) and Johan Noren (Team Swedish Zwifters) added to their teams’ totals with only the finish line remaining.
At the base of the Pot Bank climb, Coalition Alpha was leading with nine points, followed by NeXT eSports pb Enshored and ABUS – Synergy. A flurry of attacks came on the 16% grades, and Neal Fryett (Restart p/b Alex Coh) went clear with the Zwift Grand Prix on the line.
There was a stalemate on the final climb of the day, and there were only 10 riders left in the lead group with 3km to go. In the final sprint, Mathieu Decock (ABUS – Synergy) launched early, but teammate Jasper Paridaens timed his effort to perfection, taking the Round 7 win ahead of Brian Duffy Jr (NeXT pb Enshored) and Fryett.
The 2023/2024 Zwift Grand Prix winner would come down to this. As the points were tallied up, it wasn’t yet clear who would be crowned the overall winner. ABUS – Synergy earned 13 points to win Round 7 ahead of NeXT eSports pb Enshored in second and Coalition Alpha in third.
When the final results popped up on-screen, ABUS – Synergy was crowned Zwift Grand Prix Champions ahead of NeXT eSports pb Enshored and Coalition Alpha. After a rough team time trial in Round 4, ABUS – Synergy pulled off wins in Rounds 5 and 7 to hold onto their overall lead and take home the winner-take-all prize of $10,000.