Zwift, the global online training platform for cyclists, and the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) have today confirmed the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships will be a three race multi-event format, a move that will further differentiate Cycling Esports as a new discipline. The race will feature three short and explosive events - The Punch, The Climb and The Podium - and promises to improve fan engagement further.
UCI President David Lappartient said: “The new format for the UCI Cycling Esports World Championships is in line with our desire to continue innovating and increasing the appeal of our sport. Our first two UCI World Championships for cycling esports were a great success, and now we have increased the excitement with three separate events that will gradually eliminate members of the peloton.
This new format will be the same for men and women, with both pelotons featuring a maximum of 100 riders who will have earned their spot at the start via the qualification process.
The Podium race will be held on a circuit containing short and punchy climbs and will see riders fighting for position as one rider will be eliminated through each archway until three riders remain. These final three will then battle it out to the finish to see who will take the famous rainbow stripes.
“Together with the UCI, we’re thrilled to continue our innovation in cycling esports with this new multi-discipline format,” says Eric Min, Zwift CEO and Co-Founder. “Both riders and spectators will have an opportunity to experience this new format this weekend with the UCI Continental Qualification races. The racing is going to be fast-paced and tactical. I hope that we may once again unearth some hidden talent here.”
The start list for the 2023 UCI Cycling Esports World Championships is expected to be announced in early 2023. However, this weekend sees the UCI Continental Qualifiers take place on Zwift, providing an open pathway to the UCI World Championships. The qualifiers will see both men’s and women’s pelotons each competing for 25 qualification spots in both the men’s and women’s races to represent their country at the UCI Cycling Esports World Championships.
Last year, Loes Adegeest secured a place on the Dutch national team by coming through the continental qualifiers. Loes stunned the field to win the 2022 UCI Cycling Esports World Championships, dropping defending UCI World Champion, Ashleigh Moolman Pasio on the steep finishing climb in Zwift’s New York map. The UCI Continental Qualifiers could once again prove to be the springboard to success.
You can watch the qualification races this weekend live on Zwift’s YouTube channel. The women’s racing takes place Saturday, November 12, 2022 (Asia & Oceania - 8 am UTC, Europe & Africa - 2 pm UTC, Americas - 8 pm UTC). The men race on Sunday, November 13, 2022 | Asia & Oceana - 8 am UTC, Europe & Africa - 2 pm UTC, Americas - 8 pm UTC.