Zwift to launch virtual Yorkshire World Championships course

The Harrogate route will be added alongside the Richmond and Innsbruck Worlds replicas

Zwift will be launching a virtual version of the Yorkshire World Championships course to celebrate the event.

The online training platform already has routes from the Richmond and Innsbruck Worlds, and Harrogate will be the latest addition to the Zwift universe.

To mark the World Championships being held on British soil next month, Zwift will be releasing the virtual replica of the Harrogate finishing circuit in early September.

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UCI president David Lappartient said: “Zwift is an exciting new product in our space. It’s fantastic how they are able to bring people from all over the world closer to the championships in an entirely virtual way. Not only that, but their course will provide an opportunity for competing riders to familiarise themselves with what looks to be a very selective finishing circuit this year.”

The 2019 World Championships will be held across Yorkshire, with the men’s road race taking in 285km from Leeds to Harrogate, while the women’s race will cover 150km from Bradford to Harrogate.

Both races finish with laps of a lumpy finishing circuit in the town.

Zwift CEO Eric Min said: “I’m delighted to be continuing our long-standing history with the UCI Road World Championships.

“Ours is a history that dates back to Richmond in 2015 – a course that still produces some of the most exciting racing on Zwift.

“Like we have done with Richmond and Innsbruck-Tirol, we hope to bring more people closer to the action by being able to experience the Yorkshire course from the comfort of their own home.”

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Zwift recently announced an expansion to its Watopia map, featuring new routes ranging from 20km to 67km with a variety of climbing options. The new section also features three gradual climbs with a maximum gradient of five per cent, each lap featuring 158m of elevation gain.

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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.