Wednesday 9th of December at 13:45 plays host to the inaugural Zwift eSports World Championships.
Cyclists from all over the world will meet in Wattopia and take on the 50km race. Team GB will have riders such as Dame Sarah Storey, Elinor Barker and Anna Henderson in the Women’s race while the Men’s race, which will cover exactly the same route and have exactly the same prize money as the women’s, will include Tom Pidcock, Ed Clancy and Max Stedman.
The first ever cycling eSports World Championship will have riders, many of which are world champions in their respective event, racing against each other from their homes in competition for a virtual rainbow jersey. Riders will have the privilege of wearing the rainbow jersey on the Zwift Platform for 12 months while also receiving a World Champions jersey to wear on the road.
Team GB Rider Max Stedman said “It will be an experience, I’m looking forward to it. I’ll be on my bike in my garage racing with my house mates for support while going head to head with some of the biggest names in world cycling. It’s an opportunity for me to get my name up there.”
“I’ve always ‘done’ Zwift, I’m not a super keen racer but I know of the race tactics and how and when to use power-ups. For sure I’m looking forward to it and hoping for a result, for me that would be top 20 or 15. If it’s a hard race that’s fast from the off, I think I could achieve that but if it’s slow with a fast finish, that’s a little more tricky for me.” Continued Max, who will be riding his road season for Canyon DhB SunGod in 2021.
There will be some tough competition in the men’s race for Max, with riders from the pro peloton such as Thomas de Gent, Esteban Chaves and Rigoberto Uran racing while from the USA sprint sensation Cory Williams will be looking to get his hands on a rainbow jersey.
Training for an indoor ride over 50km has it’s own challenges with getting used to the turbo trainer, working in the correct temperature zones and racing against riders you can’t see how comfortable they are or are not. Max has had to adjust things himself “I’ve been doing some top end stuff on the road one day a week, or so, nothing like what I would be doing for the road season.” Stedman said, continuing “I had two weeks off towards the end of October but then one of the hardest November’s ever in preparation for this one. I know where I’m at and I’m hopeful of a strong result.”
After this race Max will be back keeping himself fit for the 2021 season for Canyon DhB SunGod with a training camp in February.
The eSports World Championships will be available to watch on Eurosport at 13:45 on Wednesday 9th of December.