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.
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.
Hai Yong, Tan, Director at Eco Lifestyle, the local Wattbike distributor explains:
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.