From August, you’ll be able to ride part of the UCI World Championship course on the Zwift training platform

The 2018 UCI Road World Championships course in Innsbruck is said to be the hilliest in a generation, including an 8km climb, with Italian riders dubbing it “the toughest course of all time” after their recon. So the opportunity to experience the course on Zwift is not to be taken lightly.

The course features a 24km loop, which will be tackled three times in the women’s race and seven times in the men’s race, held on 29 and 30 September respectively. It’s not clear if the Zwift version will include the 28 per cent climb to Gramart that will provide the finale to the men’s race.

According to Eric Min, Zwift co-founder and CEO: “This course is something we’ve not seen at the UCI Road World Championships for many years and will translate into something incredible for our Zwift community.”

Not so easy – the Innsbruck-Tirol course is the hilliest in a generation Credit: EXPA/ Jakob Gruber

Zwift says it’s a great opportunity for pro riders to recon the course before the event too. Min points out that this is the first time that pro cyclists will have had the chance for remote course familiarisation on Zwift, mimicking a technique often employed by Formula One drivers in advance of Grand Prix races.

 

“This has the potential to be truly groundbreaking for the national teams,” says Bernhard Eisel of Team Dimension Data, himself an Austrian. “The lead contenders will certainly be performing course reconnaissance in the coming months, as is the norm. However, what is new is the ability to repeatedly train on a key segment of the course and understand when the best moments to attack will come.”

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Zwift says that it will include some Innsbruck landmarks on its simulated course

But Zwift does not intend to wrap up the course once the world championships are over, with the city of Innsbruck keen to see riders continue to use the course on Zwift as part of the event’s legacy and when training before visiting the Tirol to ride the course for real.

And Zwift plans to be present at the event itself to showcase its technology to visiting fans.