The coronavirus crisis has forced the cycling world to adapt and overcome over the last few months, which has resulted in some unexpected new events.
Cycling data company Velon, which works with a large number of WorldTour teams, has come up with an innovative new race to keep fans in touch with superstars online.
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The Digital Swiss Five, organised by Velon and the Tour de Suisse, kicks off on Wednesday (April 22) and runs over five days, with stars like Julian Alaphilippe, Remco Evenepoel, and world champion Mads Pedersen all virtually lining up.
A total of 19 teams will race in the online event, including 16 WorldTour teams, with Team Ineos, Deceuninck – Quick-Step and Mitchelton-Scott all taking part.
Here’s the full start list and how to watch the unique race :
Start list for race one
Ag2r La Mondiale (Fra)
Ivan Garcia Cortina
CCC Team (Pol)
Greg Van Avermaet
Gjis Van Hoecke
Deceuninck – Quick-Step (Bel)
EF Pro Cycling (USA)
Israel Start-Up Nation (Isr)
Brian Van Goethem
NTT Pro Cycling (RSA)
Hagen Rasmus Tiller
Rally Cycling (USA)
Team Ineos (Gbr)
Amund Grøndahl Jansen
Total Direct Energie (Fra)
Swiss National Team (SUI)
How to watch
The race will be broadcast on TV in a number of nations around the world, including Belgium, France and Germany, but it will not be shown on TV in the UK.
A VPN provider like ExpressVPN can protect your privacy as well as unblock geo-locked content so you can access your home broadcaster’s coverage even when away from home. Try risk-free with a 30-day money-back trial.
But UK fans don’t need to fear, Velon and all the teams racing in the event will be broadcasting live on Facebook and Twitter (but not in the USA, Canada and Japan).
Race one: Wednesday, April 22, 4.10pm – 5.20 UK time
Race two: Thursday, April 23, 4.10pm – 5.20pm UK time
Race three: Friday, April 24, 4.10 – 5.20 UK time
Race four: Saturday, April 25, 5.10pm – 6.20 UK time
Race five: Sunday, April 26, 1.10pm – 2.20pm UK time
Belgium, Poland, Portugal, Italy: ELEVEN Sports Network
Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia: SportKlub
France and DOM-TOM: L’Équipe
Israel: Sport 5
Sub-Saharan Africa: SuperSport
Myanmar, Taiwan: ELEVEN Sports Network
USA and Canada: FloBikes
Olympic Channel (excluding USA and Canada)
The Digital Swiss Five will use virtual training platform Rouvy and will feature climbs and courses from the real-life Tour de Suisse.