Zwift training game to offer ‘X Factor-like’ competition with professional contract as a prize

Computer game-cum-training tool Zwift claim six top world teams have promised contracts to the most promising riders

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The co-founder of the computer game-cum-training tool Zwift claims six professional teams have promised contracts to the players who show the most potential when the game goes live.

In October CW reported that the sign-up for the beta version had exceeded its 1,000-place limit, with 15,000 people now on the waiting list ready to sign up on its launch.

But Eric Min, the company’s chief executive, told the Telegraph that an ‘X-Factor-like’ competition would find promising riders and propel them into ‘six top world teams’.

According to the Telegraph, the competition would begin as a virtual tournament before live events would select the winners, with reports that talks to televise the events are underway.

“That format exists, it’s proven. People care about these Cindarella stories,” Min said. “There are lots of cyclists out there who think ‘I’m pretty good’, well guess what? Now’s their chance.

“People think of Zwift as the new tool that you use for training in the winter when the weather is not cooperating. And that’s OK, let them think that, but what we’re really are is an entertainment company.

“People think indoor training is a very lonely experience, but it doesn’t have to be. We all have busy lives, we’re all passionate about cycling, but there never seems to be time. The real motivation for this is that I live in London and riding outdoors isn’t always convenient. And I couldn’t believe that after all these years cycling indoors still sucks.”

ZwiftWorkout_thumbThe beta version of Zwift allows people to ride in one ‘world’, but the hope is to increase this infinitely, with iconic climbs and rides from around the world.

One major sticking point that will need to be fixed before any talent competitions can get underway is the current inability to steer the bike in the Zwift world on a turbo trainer.

Riders simply travel on a set path, but Min insists the company are working on a number of options to incorporate steering in a way that is not ‘gimmicky’.

Source: Telegraph