Zwift team rider beats pros in first women’s Kiss Super League virtual race

Some of the biggest women’s teams in the world battled it out on the slopes of Watopia

The first women's Zwift Kiss Super League race was launched this week (Picture: Zwift)

The first women’s virtual race for professionals ended in upset for the big names as a Zwift team rider took the win.

Danish Zwift National Champion Louise Houbak was first in the sprint, followed by Simone Boilard (Twenty20 p/b Sho-Air) and Canyon-SRAM’s Ella Harris.

The Canyon team raced live in front of crowds at the bike manufacturer’s German headquarters during the opening event of the series on Tuesday evening (February 20).

In the opening stages, Zwift Academy winner, now Canyon-SRAM rider Tanja Erath took the first intermediate sprint points while the rest of her team worked for Alice Barnes.

The second sprint marker caused a split at the front of the race as a small group pulled clear on the roads of the Watopia map.

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Houbak pulled hard on the front to prevent the chasing group making it back.

The lead group then splintered further heating into the final, as four riders went clear – Houbak, Harris, Boilard and Sharon Bird.

Houbak narrowly held on to win the sprint at the line ahead of Boilard and Harris.

The Zwift All Stars team lead the overall standing in the series, ahead of Twenty 20 and Canyon-SRAM.

Zwift’s KISS Super League is a race series for men and women held on the virtual training platform.

In the women’s event, nine teams will race over the eight-races – Canyon-SRAM, Doltcini-Van Eyck, Bigla, Valcar-Cylance, Twent20 p/b Sho-Air, Hagens Berman- Supermint, WNT-Rotor, Zwift Community All-Stars and Zwift Academy Dream Team.

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The races are broadcast each week on Zwift’s Facebook page, YouTube channel and Twitch.

Zwift’s league for male pro racers features Continental and Pro Continental teams, including Cofidis, Israel Cycling Academy, and Team Wiggins-Le Col.

The league launched in January with a live event held at the Pinarello store in central London.

Winners have included Ian Bibby, Jon Mould (Madison-Genesis) and Ed Hopper (Ribble Pro Cycling).

The racing continues with round five on Wednesday (February 20).

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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.