It is nearly time to crown a new UCI Eracing World Champion with the second edition taking place on Saturday 26th February 2022. The first edition came about just over a year ago in 2020 and you can read all about how our riders got on here. It was a very different affair back then with the field mainly full of amateur eracers and only three of our riders managing to squeeze into the line-up. This time around however, we we are going to see a true racer crowned and the course that Zwift has selected should lead to some very interesting racing indeed. The riders will be taking on 2.5 laps of the Knickerbocker route ending on the KOM banner which will prove incredibly challenging so expect to see splits in the peloton from the very first ascent!
Ollie Jones (4th in 2020) and Lionel Vujasin (6th in 2020) will both be keen to improve on their placings and the parcours certainly suits their experience and riding attributes. This time however, they are going to be joined by a host of other riders from across our different squads! With a 250% increase in Canyon Esports riders heading to the Worlds, we are well placed to compete for the title. However, only two of our riders will actually be racing together in the same national squad - so will we see any collaboration from the others? This is always one of the more interesting dynamics that we see on the road in both the Worlds and Olympics, so who knows if that same level of cooperation is even possible in an erace!
With so many riders involved, we wanted ask some of them their thoughts ahead of possibly the biggest race of their lives:
It’s really exciting to see a UCI sanctioned Esports World Championship on Zwift and also a huge honor to pull on the kit to represent Team USA. My last time representing the US in the World Championships was in rowing in 2009! The Worlds course will be tough, selective and definitely make for interesting racing!
Antonie van Noppen
It's incredibly special to represent the Netherlands at the world Eracing Championships and a proud moment to put on the orange national team kit. On a course with a lot of possibilities, the rolling slopes of New York never dissapoints. My preparations are going very well so that I can hit peak come 26th February. Hopefully the riders will put on a show so that everyone can see what real Eracing is about.
Unlike in previous editions or any other Zwift races, the power-ups will not be dished out at random but will be fixed to certain banners. This means all riders will be given the same thing and removes the random element. This is something our team has been lobbying for in the Premier League and we are pleased to see that it will be implemented in time for Worlds. The power-ups in the race are as follows:
Now, the fate of a rider is not decided at random but by their tactics (as well as performance of course). We have been deep in discussion about where and when to use each - especially for that all important final ascent of the NYC Forward KOM/QOM!
Something else that we have lobbied for in Premier League racing is equipment standardisation and so we are delighted to once again have the opportunity to face off against riders on the same trainer. This year, the trainer in question is the Wahoo Kickr V5. Our riders are no strangers to riding the Kickr and with all units being set to 100% trainer resistance this is likely to come as a shock to the system for those used to a lighter setup.
Be sure to tune in and cheer on our riders! Also, in the lead-up to the event Team Manager, Rhys Howell rode a recon with Zwift presenters Matt Stephens and Hannah Walker which you can watch below: