Canadian cyclist rides almost 1,000km on Zwift in 24 hours

Ed Veal broke the Zwift distance record during his enormous indoor session

A Canadian cyclist has broken the 24-hour Zwift distance record, riding almost 1,000km on the static trainer in one session.

Ed Veal, from Ontario, spent a full day on the turbo trainer in front of crowds at the 2019 Splunk Conference as part of the charity drive.

The 43-year-old pro rider put up some absolutely staggering numbers during the ride, travelling 952.6 virtual kilometres and breaking the Zwift 24-hour distance record.

Veal, who rode in the team pursuit at the 2016 World Track Championships, took on the challenge with data analysis company Splunk, which also sponsors the Trek-Segafredo WorldTour team.

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After his amazing ride on October 22, Veal told Splunk (opens in new tab): “[Finishing was] hands down one of the best moments of my life. I mean, of course, your body is exhausted at that point, but the adrenaline from accomplishing this goal, along with all the cheers and support from the crowd, I felt great.

“The first eight hours were really fantastic. I felt great, we were at pace, and I was getting good breaks in. Somewhere around the eight to 12-hour mark my stomach turned and the idea of eating became really unappealing.

“24 hours was extremely challenging, but I honestly really enjoyed it.”

Veal needed to take in 800 calories an hour to maintain his target pace, as he held between 220 and 230 watts for the duration.

His pacing worked out perfectly, as he held 221w for the entire 23 hours, 17 minutes, and 35 seconds of moving time over the Watopia course.

Thanks to the efforts of Veal and 260 other participants at the event, Splunk will donate $30,000 (£23,000) to the cycling advocacy group People for Bikes.

Veal added: “I love this. Truthfully, when I got off the bike, the last thing I wanted to hear about was potentially doing it again. But yes, I’ve already thought about bigger, better, longer, faster.

“I would love to do this again, especially when it involves a good cause.”

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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 CyclingWeekly.com. 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.