The first male national e-racing champion has been stripped of his title following a breach of conduct.
Cameron Jeffers (CyclingHub) was awarded the title following the championships in March, but British Cycling announced on Friday that it had upheld a breach "related to manipulation of pre-race data to gain an unfair advantage."
Cycling Weekly understands that the breach relates to the use of the Concept Z1 (Tron) bike, which racers seek to unlock for its aerodynamic efficiency.
Jeffers had manipulated pre-race game data to help unlock the bike, with data indicating that on multiple occasions he had ridden for over 200 kilometres, at 2000 watts with a weight of 45kg.
Posting a statement on Twitter, Jeffers said: "Essentially an ANT+ simulator was used to climb the 50,000 metres in game to unlock the bike which means I didn't personally operate Zwift to unlock the bike.
"I accept this practice was unethical and unsporting and I have cooperated fully with BC on their investigation. I fully believe in e-sports and its part of cycling's future. I will continue to support it and use what I have learnt from the mistakes to help shape it as it grows."
A regular vlogger with 49.8k YouTube followers, Jeffers has posted a video (opens in new tab) regarding his disqualification, explaining that the ANT+ simulator was used when he was first getting into e-sport.
The first ever e-racing men's national jersey now sits on the shoulders of the second placed rider, James Phillips (Canyon ZCC).
Jeffers, an elite licence holder who races on the road for Cornwall's Saint Piran team, has been sanctioned with a six-month suspension from participation in events, a £250 fine and a disqualification from the event.
The matter was resolved on September 19, following the competition held on online training platform, Zwift.
In a statement released on Friday, the national governing body said: "The charge related to manipulation of pre-race data to gain an unfair advantage via in-game equipment by the winner of the event."
It added the Jeffers had accepted the sanctions and the title would be awarded to the second placed competitor, Phillips.
British Cycling integrity and compliance director Rod Findlay said: “Defending fair play in our competitions is at the core of our responsibilities as a governing body. The fact that we have been able to investigate the offence and uphold the charge reflects the strength of our new disciplinary regulations and our determination to pursue misconduct.”
In a prepared statement, CEO of Zwift Esports Craig Edmondson said: “Good governance and integrity are the cornerstone of Zwift Esports. We are committed to utilising all the resources we have available to police competition at the very highest level and ensure fair competition. We fully support the action taken by British Cycling in the case against Cameron Jeffers.”
Zwift, together with the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), announced in September that they had agreed terms for the first ever UCI Cycling E-Sports World Championships to be held 2020.
The partnership will see the implementation of a new UCI rulebook for Cycling E-Sports in the coming year.
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Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is a traditional journalist by trade, having begun her career working for a local newspaper, where highlights included interviewing a very irate Freddie Star (and an even more irate theatre owner), as well as 'the one about the stolen chickens'.
Previous to joining the Cycling Weekly team, Michelle was Editor at Total Women's Cycling. She joined CW as an 'SEO Analyst', but couldn't keep her nose out of journalism and in the spreadsheets, eventually taking on the role of Tech Editor before her latest appointment as Digital Editor.
Michelle is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 1904rt.
Michelle is on maternity leave from July 8 2022, until April 2023.
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