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UCI plans first Esports World Championships

Published August 24, 2020

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Inaugural Men's and Women's Elite races to take place entirely on Zwift

Aigle, Switzerland, The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has today confirmed the first UCI Cycling Esports World Championships will be held 8th-9th December 2020.

Plans to host the first UCI Cycling Esports World Championships were originally unveiled in September 2019 by UCI President, David Lappartient at the UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire, Great Britain.

"It's with great pleasure that we are able to confirm the dates and plans for the first UCI Cycling Esports World Championships," says Lappartient. "The year has certainly been a challenging one for all, but we are now back to enjoying racing and have a new UCI World Championships to look forward to at the end of 2020. Virtual races were hugely popular during the period that competitions ceased, and I truly believe in the potential of esports to help grow participation in our sport. This is a historic moment."

The 2020 UCI Cycling Esports World Championships will take place entirely virtually within the world's biggest virtual cycling destination, Watopia. Both men's and women's races will take place on identical courses, over equal distances. Exact route details will be unveiled in the coming months.

Participants will be competing entirely remotely from their own residences or training bases.

Unlike recent Zwift events, like the Virtual Tour de France, all focus will be on the first over the line. For the winners, there will be a newly designed rainbow jersey that will, of course, be awarded virtually. The winners will also receive physical jerseys which they will be able to wear in esports competitions for the following year.

"We're delighted to finally be able to unveil the plans for the first UCI Cycling Esports World Championships," adds Eric Min, Zwift CEO and Co-Founder. "2020 has been a big year for esports as it has helped fill the gap left by traditional sport. We look forward to establishing this as a new discipline of the sport – not one to plug gaps, but one that's truly complementary to other disciplines, whether that be road, cyclo-cross or mountain bike. There's a huge opportunity to grow the sport with esports and I'm proud that together with the UCI, we are able to lead the way."

The UCI will be inviting National Cycling Federations to take part in the 2020 event. Similar to the UCI Road World Championships, National Federations will be allocated a number of places determined by certain criteria including the UCI Road Rankings (as of June 2020), the number of riders in the anti-doping Registered Testing Pool and a minimum experience level on the Zwift platform. More detailed criteria, which will be released in due course, will aim to have all five continents represented for both women and men and will ensure that the maximum possible number of entries for both genders will be the same.

Automatic invitations will go to 20 National Federations (Italy, Belgium, France, Netherlands, Australia, Spain, USA, Great Britain, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, Denmark, Poland, Austria, Colombia, New Zealand, South Africa, Norway, Ireland, Japan) for the men's event and to 13 National Federations (Netherlands, Italy, Australia, France, USA, Germany, Belgium, Great Britain, Poland, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, Japan) for the women's event.

Additional wildcard invitations may be awarded to individual riders by the UCI.

Further information on route details and National Federation spots will be unveiled in the coming months.

About the UCI

Founded in 1900 in Paris (France), the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) is the worldwide governing body for cycling. It develops and oversees cycling in all its forms, for all people: as a competitive sport, a healthy recreational activity, a means of transport, and also just for fun. The UCI manages and promotes the eight cycling disciplines: road, track, mountain bike, BMX Racing, BMX Freestyle, cyclo-cross, trials and indoor cycling. Five of these are featured on the Olympic Games program (road, track, mountain bike, BMX Supercross and BMX Freestyle Park), two in the Paralympic Games (road and track) and four in the Youth Olympic Games (road, mountain bike, BMX Supercross and BMX Freestyle Park).

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About Zwift

Zwift is the fitness company born from gaming. We're dedicated fitness enthusiasts that also happen to be experienced software and video game developers. Combining that passion and deep understanding of the fitness world, Zwift is the first company to use massive multiplayer gaming technology to bring the outdoor experience indoors. Athletes from around the globe can train and compete with each other in rich, 3D-generated worlds simply by connecting their existing devices & hardware (e.g. cycle trainers, power meters, treadmills heart rate monitors, etc) wirelessly via open industry standard ANT+ and BLE. From friendly competition, to racing & structured training programs, Zwift is building a

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