Inaugural UCI eSports Championships draws closer – Zwift has unveiled title sponsors

Garmin-Tacx, Shimano, Science in Sport, and Toyota South Africa Motors have all jumped on board.

With data accuracy being fundamental to the sport of eRacing, Garmin-Tacx will be supplying standardised turbo trainers to all participants, ensuring a level playing field at the first UCI sanctioned Zwift World Championships on Wednesday 9th December 2020.

The competitors will be using the range topping Tacx NEO 2T Smart trainers, which have an accuracy of ±1 per cent. The trainers can also faithfully simulate the cobbles and climbs the riders will be tackling, delivering those changes in resistance directly to the drivetrain.

Susan Lyman, Garmin Vice President of global consumer marketing, said: “We are thrilled to be the Official Trainer Partner for this inaugural event, as a company that encourages athletes to push their limits year-round and be part of their success.”

Shimano will be joining as the Official Drivetrain Partner, with the claim that, not only are their Dura Ace groupsets “engineered to be the ultimate racing drivetrain” on the road, but they work just as well indoors too.

Science in Sport (SiS) is jumping on board as Official Nutrition Partner with their recently released indoor nutrition range, Turbo+, which claims to be the world’s first sports nutrition range designed to meet the demands of indoor training. While Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) is joining as the Official Automotive Partner.

Eric Min, Zwift CEO and Co-Founder, said: “This will be the first esports World Championship to be officially recognised by a sporting governing body, and it’s one that embodies all the values of traditional sport. I’m delighted to welcome the official partners of the inaugural UCI Zwift Cycling Esports World Championships, and eagerly await to discover who will emerge victorious and take home those iconic rainbow bands.”

Given the fanfare of the Virtual Tour de France this summer, as well as the two iterations of the British Zwift National Championships we’ve had in 2018 and 2019, it might come as something of a surprise that we are yet to experience the first UCI Zwift World Championships.

But the wait will soon be over, with the race set to take place on Wednesday 9th December in Zwift’s flagship Watopia world. There will be parity between the men and women, with both covering the same 50km distance and 483m of climbing on the Figure 8 Reverse course. The finish will be atop the KOM Forward climb—a short and punchy offering with an average gradient of 5.5 per cent over 0.9km, ramping up to a maximum of 8.2 per cent.

Naturally, there will be World Champs’ rainbow jerseys for the victors, although the design of the new jersey—along with the rider start sheets—will only be announced in the coming weeks.

By virtue of being virtual, if you fancy getting a first-hand experience of what the riders will be facing, those roads are available to ride everyday on Zwift (other worlds are available only on particular days).

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