Nearly a year ago the UCI and Zwift announce that a virtual racing world championships would be held in 2020. Today, the two organizations revealed more details, including that the competition will take place on December 8-9, 2020.
“It’s with great pleasure that we are able to confirm the dates and plans for the first UCI Cycling Esports World Championships.”
“The year has certainly been a challenging one for all, but we are now back to enjoying racing and have a new UCI World Championships to look forward to at the end of 2020.”
“Virtual races were hugely popular during the period that competitions ceased, and I truly believe in the potential of esports to help grow participation in our sport. This is a historic moment.”UCI president David Lappartient.
There’s no word on race routes yet, but the press release did state that the competition will take place entirely within Zwift’s Watopia world. Additionally, women’s and men’s races will take place on identical courses over equal distances. That certainly dashes hopes for a new world for the championships.
Winners get some virtual swag too. Race winners will receive a virtual rainbow jersey to wear while Zwifting.
“2020 has been a big year for esports as it has helped fill the gap left by traditional sport.”
“We look forward to establishing this as a new discipline of the sport – not one to plug gaps, but one that’s truly complementary to other disciplines, whether that be road, cyclocross or mountain bike. There’s a huge opportunity to grow the sport with esports and I’m proud that together with the UCI, we are able to lead the way.”Zwift CEO and co-founder Eric Min.
Just like the IRL UCI Road World Championships, national federations will be allocated slots for the Esports World Championships, “determined by certain criteria including the UCI Road Rankings (as of June 2020), the number of riders in the anti-doping Registered Testing Pool, and a minimum experience level on the Zwift platform.”
Watch for more details on the 2020 UCI Cycling Esports World Championships in the coming months.