British Cycling today stripped Cameron Jeffers of his national e-racing title, additionally it banned him from racing IRL, after the discovery that he cheated at the inaugural e-racing nationals.
So, how does someone go about cheating at the e-racing nationals? A few ways immediately came to mind. Zwift, the platform used for the racing, determines a players in-game speed through a watts/kilogram calculation, the most obvious way to cheat than is to lie about your weight. Lower your in-game weight and you’re watts/kilo increase. But, race organizers were prepared for that possibility and held weigh ins. No, Jeffers cheated in a surprising way, through unearned in-game equipment upgrades.
Zwift allows riders to earn equipment upgrades by putting in miles on the bike or by completing certain challenges. One such upgrade is the Tron bike. It’s the fastest all around bike in the game according to ZwiftInsider which would make it an attractive piece of equipment to anyone competing on the platform. But the bike takes a bit of effort to earn:
How to Unlock the Tron Bike in Zwift
The Tron bike is the coolest ride in Zwift. So, how do you earn it?
- Select the deceivingly named “Climb Mt. Everest” challenge in Zwift
- When you’ve virtually climbed to the top of Mt Everest (8,850m), congratulate yourself briefly, then keep going!
- Because you get to climb another 41,150 additional meters to unlock the “Concept Z1” (aka Tron bike)
It takes time and plenty of effort. I earned my Tron bike a year ago and have been enjoying it since. Jeffers, however, used an automated system to unlock the bike.
“Essentially an ANT+ simulator was used to climb the 50,000m in game to unlock the bike which means I didn’t personally operate Zwift to unlock the bike,” Jeffers said in a statement.
“I accept this practice was unethical and unsporting and I have fully cooperated with BC on their investigation,” Jeffers said. “I fully believe in esports and its part in cycling’s future. I will continue to support it and use what I have learnt from my mistakes to help shape it as it grows.”
Jeffers’ penalty is a six-month suspension from all racing, not just e-racing, plus a £250 fine. James Phillips, initially the runner-up, has been declared the new national champ. A good reminder that if you want cool shit you gotta put in the work to earn it.