RGT Cycling has teamed up with Echelon Racing League, Project Echelon Racing, and Paralyzed Veterans of America to create a handcycle avatar for adaptive cyclists in its virtual cycling platform.
The avatar, which features a racer using a handcycle, is the first-ever designed for a virtual platform, said RGT Cycling.
“We’re very proud to bring this collaboration to life and take this exciting first step in recognising the importance of accessibility and inclusivity for athletes with disabilities,” said RGT Cycling head of brand and marketing James Vickers. “It’s just the start of a journey that will see a whole range of bikes for different needs on the platform, while also creating opportunities for NGBs and the UCI to host truly representative eSports National and World Championships for athletes with disabilities.
“Although the importance of this move may not initially be realised by all, we hope that it acts as a catalyst for change towards inclusivity in cycling, improving the outlook for everyone.”
The avatar is now available to use during the Echelon Racing League’s new paracycling series, developed in collaboration with the Paralyzed Veterans of America and USA Paracycling. The paracycling series, which has a unique set of rules and regulations to make the events more inclusive and accessible, will now feature the new avatar representative of the para community and all adaptive cyclists.
“The paracycling series and new avatar representing the paracycling community is just the first step in what we hope will be a ‘garage’ of virtual bikes that will work for different needs,” said Eric Hill, Project Echelon Racing director.”We’re thrilled to be able to offer this new avatar showcasing an adaptive cyclist.
“We’re excited to be partnering with RGT Cycling, PVA and USA Paracycling to host the paracycling series and welcome paralysed veterans and all individuals with disabilities to these virtual races.”
Fabio Villarroel, director of sports and recreation for PVA, added: “We’re proud to be a part of launching this new avatar representing an adaptive cyclist. PVA has led the way for many years in creating accessible environments for veterans and all people with disabilities and this is just one more way we are continuing to do that.”
The Echelon Racing League, which began in November 2021, has competitors from across the globe coming together to race on the ‘most realistic virtual racing platform in the industry’, including racers from the PVA Racing Team. Races are contested on courses that replicate those contested during in-real-life events, such as Tour of America’s Dairyland, Tulsa Tough, Tour of the Gila and Joe Martin Stage Race.
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In addition to participating, cycling fans around the world will also be able to watch top eSports racing teams battle it out for the top step of the podium and the chance to stake their claim to the $10,000 prize purse and win blockchain non-fungible token prizes.