How to win a bike race without leaving your house

Online racing is opening up a whole new world of crash-free competition. CW’s Alex Ballinger scopes out how to become the hero of his own living room

I’ve never won a bunch race. Sadly, raising your arms and basking in glory as a peloton of kitted-out rivals languishes on your wheel is an experience very few of us will enjoy in our riding careers. The adrenaline, the tactics, the effort: these are the features that keep racers coming back for more, though it’s a euphoric blend that remains, for most novice riders, the racing equivalent of a white whale — ever elusive. But thanks to the wonders of modern technology, chasing glory is now within the grasp of all of us, as long as we’re willing to search for it in our own home.

With 300 watts of enthusiasm and a bidon-full of optimism, here is a comprehensive introduction to the world of Zwift racing — with one eye firmly fixed on the top step.

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.