WATTBIKE TAKES RACING VIRTUAL AS INTERNATIONAL CYCLISTS JOIN THE ESPORTS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS RACING GOES DIGITAL
Last month, cyclists clicked their cleats into their Wattbikes and readied themselves on the start line for the Asian qualifier for the 2022 UCI Cycling Esports World Championships. But unlike normal races, athletes were plugged into the race virtually, from all across the continent.
The National Sports Stadium in Singapore played host to a number of riders thanks to their vast supply of Wattbikes on site. The Wattbike AtomX is the indoor bike of choice for the Sports Testing Lab, the main athletes’ gym and the public gym thanks to a long-standing relationship with local Wattbike distributor, Eco Lifestyle.
UCI STAMP OF APPROVAL
Cycling Esports, which sees riders competing in virtual races on indoor training platforms such as Zwift, was approved by the International Cycling Union. (UCI) as an official cycling discipline in 2018. And due to the global pandemic lockdown restrictions, it has boomed in popularity. With qualifying rounds starting from October 2021, the first UCI Cycling Esports World Championships took place last December, with 132 riders from 22 national taking part.
The 2022 UCI Cycling Esports World Championships promises to be one of the most accessible World Championships to date, with a new qualification pathway. Five Continental Qualifiers, covering Oceana, Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas took place on 27-28 November 2021. The top five from each race have been awarded a start in the Elite 2022 UCI Cycling Esports World Championships and will race for their respective National Federation. The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) confirmed in October that Zwift will host the 2022 UCI Cycling Esports World Championships on 26 February 2022.
THE HOPE OF FUTURE EXPANSION
Hai Yong, Tan, Director at Eco Lifestyle, the local Wattbike distributor explains:
“After working with the Singapore Cycling Federation to help conduct this eSports event as a qualifier for the World Championships, I have seen first-hand the great potential there is to expand these digital events into a series across Singapore.
The Wattbikes were the perfect bike for this thanks to the consistency of performance and in particular, the ability for each athlete to monitor key performance indicators via the display screen to allow for a more strategic race approach for each individual.”
Since installing 10 new Wattbike Atom X, the Singapore Cycling Federation have also chosen to use the Wattbike as the bike of choice for the Cycling eSports Academy and the Schools Programme which are both developing projects.
Mr Shayne Bannan, High Performance Director of Singapore Cycling Federation adds:
“Over the past couple of years, due to pandemic restrictions, there have been limited racing opportunities for our athletes. Cycling eSports has provided an exciting new competitive stimulus and has the potential to grow both nationally and internationally, as well to inspire young hopeful cyclists in schools across Singapore.
We aim to encourage, promote and develop cycling in Singapore and events like this, that are far reaching and accessible, with the support of companies such as Wattbike who have innovated the very best smart technology for indoor cycling, providing us with the perfect platform to motivate more people to get into cycling.”
Full details on the qualification pathway can be found here and to learn more about the National Sports Stadium visitwww.sportshub.com.sg
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