As the northern hemisphere heads into “indoor season”, Zwift is taking a long, hard look at what elite-level Zwift racing can be. While some details are still being ironed out, what is taking shape bares little resemblance to the pro-level Zwift racing of past years.
Elite team racing is being completely decoupled from Zwift Racing League and rebranded as “Zwift Grand Prix”. This should allow the elite events to feature a fresh set of race formats that are “uniquely esports”, creating a more varied and exciting experience for racers and audience members alike.
It’s a major shift from the past two years, when the elite-level “Premier League” teams would race a day before the community teams, riding the same Zwift Racing League route as the community riders.
Let’s dig into the details of Zwift’s plans for elite team racing in the 2022/23 season.
Zwift has already selected the 24 elite teams which will participate in the Zwift Grand Prix:
|Men’s Teams||Women’s Teams|
|ABUS – LE COL||AEONIAN RACE TEAM|
|CANYON ESPORTS||BEASTMODE POWERED BY ROSE|
|KALAS ESRT P/B WAHOO BIRK||MOVISTAR TEAM|
|MOVISTAR TEAM||ROCACORBA COLLECTIVE|
|NEXT ESPORT PB ENSHORED||SARIS NO PINZ|
|SARIS | NOPINZ||SOCKS4WATTS|
|TEAM ITALY||TEAM SWEDISH ZWIFTERS|
|VELOCIO||VIRGINIA’S BLUE RIDGE TWENTY24|
|WAHOO LE COL||WAHOO LE COL|
(Invited included those who took part in Premier Division racing for 2021/22, plus any new teams who had expressed interest in elite-level Zwift racing for 2022/23. Interested teams had to complete an application process and meet numerous requirements in order to be considered for the series.)
All races during the regular season will be scheduled on Fridays at 6pm/7pm UTC. Men and women will alternate weeks.
|Mens Race(s)||Friday 23rd September @ 6pm UTC|
|Women’s Race(s)||Friday 30th September @ 6pm UTC|
|Mens Race(s)||Friday 7th October @ 6pm UTC|
|Women’s Race(s)||Friday 14th October @ 6pm UTC|
|Mens Race(s)||Friday 21st October @ 6pm UTC|
|Women’s Race(s)||Friday 28th October @ 6pm UTC|
|Mens Race(s)||Friday 18th November @ 7pm UTC|
|Women’s Race(s)||Friday 25th November @ 7pm UTC|
|Mens Race(s)||Friday 2nd December @ 7pm UTC|
|Women’s Race(s)||Friday 9th December @ 7pm UTC|
|Mens Race(s)||Friday 13th January @ 7pm UTC|
|Women’s Race(s)||Friday 20th January @ 7pm UTC|
|Mens Race(s) and Women’s Race(s)||On or around 23rd – 26th March (tbd)|
This schedule gives elite racers the opportunity to race in Zwift Racing League events on Tuesdays if they wish, meaning we might see some very high-level racing in the top divisions of ZRL.
Zwift’s Esports Team is working on a groundbreaking set of race formats aimed at providing great entertainment while making the racing more strategic and intriguing for riders.
Some weeks, for example, may feature multiple shorter back-to-back races, perhaps with riders being eliminated in each round.
The formats have not yet been finalized, and this is a noteworthy change from Zwift’s past approach to elite racing. Zwift says now that Grand Prix teams have been selected, “we will present the remaining event format options for further feedback and refinement with teams – this is a key facet in collaboratively building the sport.”
Kudos to Zwift for collaborating with top teams to help build something compelling and uniquely esports.
Prize Money/Start Money
Each participating team will receive $1,000 as start money for the season.
Both the men’s and women’s competitions will have prize pots of $16,500 for the season.
Where to Watch
Each Friday’s race will be broadcast live with commentary on Zwift’s Youtube channel.
Questions or Comments?