British Cycling and Zwift look beyond Tokyo 2020 with official partnership

Zwift has been unveiled as the Official Training Community of British Cycling, as part of a two-year deal.

The partnership will also include the national governing body’s own national-level virtual reality event using Zwift, the inaugural British Cycling e-Racing Championships.

Due to take place early in 2019, the Championship format will be comprised of a series of qualifying rounds culminating in a live final event between the top ranked riders from all ages and genders. 

These finals will see riders compete for the Kalas Sportswear-designed national jersey in a multi-event format comprising of a series of short races, including a time trial and elimination race.

Anyone can compete in the races but to qualify for the finals and the national title they must be a British Cycling member.

Eric Min, Zwift CEO and co-founder, said: “Wearing your country’s national stripes is a huge honour, but relatively few ever get the chance to compete.

“But that is not the case with the British Cycling e-Racing Championships, powered by Zwift, as everyone in the country is eligible to throw their hat into the ring. 

“We are looking at dates in February and March 2019, so now is a good time as ever to start training and keep in shape this winter.”

The two organisations will combine to deliver structured training plans to the national governing body’s 146,000-strong membership, with virtual rides with the Great Britain Cycling Team, progression tracking and exclusive in-game items available through the platform.

Jonathan Rigby, British Cycling’s commercial director, added: “The e-Sports market is particularly exciting for cycling as it enables so many more people to participate and be active.

“We are thrilled to be exploring this new territory with Zwift to innovate in cycle sport. 

“Their technology and our cycling expertise will together allow communities of cyclists to get more out of riding bikes for competition and for fun.

“We are also excited about what this could mean for identifying talent. We are proud to have a wealth of gifted riders competing on the world stage and we are confident that Zwift technology will enable us to unearth more future stars.”

Double Paralympic champion Steve Bate will be the first Great Britain Cycling Team rider to lead a group ride on 12th December at 7pm, with the final ride of 2018 for the training community confirmed for 19th December with Jody Cundy.

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