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Fuhrer gives Zwift Craft Masterclass to claim the Women’s Sprint Championships at the Zwift Games

The Zwift Games Women’s Sprint Championships showed the very best of cycling esports

The world’s best Zwifters lined up alongside one another for another night of rapid cycling esports racing. Following the same format as Saturday’s action, three short races tested the athletes to their limits. Tactics, drama and raw power shone through as the long startlist was whittled down to 30 for the second race, and 10 for the final. The winner claims $7,000 and a Gold Concept Z1 bike, as well as 100 crucial points towards the Wahoo Overall Championships.

Race One

The longest of the races, two laps of the new Loop de Loop course started steadily, with an initial attack coming from Emma Nyquist on the descent of Hilly QOM. With around 10 kilometres to go, after Nyquist had been brought back by Emma Belforth and Charlotte Colclough, the pair went clear at 7 watts per kilo and grew their lead to over 40 seconds. While Belforth was looking relatively comfortable, the effort was clear on Colclough’s rider cam. On the second ascent of the Hilly QOM Colclough cracked, and sat up to wait for the group. Belforth pushed on at a steady pace, maintaining a healthy distance between the chasing group all the way to the line. 

Race favourites Lou Bates, Vicki Whitelaw, Kathrin Fuhrer, Charlotte Colclough, Gabriela Guerra, Liz Van Houweling, Kristen Kulchinsky and Mika Söderström all made it through, however Olympic Esports Legend Lam Kong rolled in at 36 and didn’t progress. 

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Race Two

Following a short break and the offer of respite for the riders, the top 30 set off on another new course, the Jurassic Coast route. 

Only a couple of kilometres into the race, Belforth struck again. The group looked at one another, letting the gap grow to 10 seconds in a few hundred metres. After an initial response from Kristin Kulchinsky that looked set to bring Belforth back, impetus faded and with half the race done, it was clear the peloton as Nathan Guerra, Zwift Commentator, said ‘They’re racing for nine places now’.

Similar to last night, the ridiculously fast finish favoured the sprinters with Zwift craft, and who held their nerve, with those who went early fading at the last. 

Söderström won the bunch sprint for second ahead of Ellexi Snover in third.

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Race Three

The scene then was set for the final race, 15 kilometres in Glasgow Crit Circuit over five laps. 

Everyone was expecting Belforth to be well and truly beat from the first two races, but the Swedish MTB rider attacked early, once, twice, three times in the first lap. The result started to feel like an inevitability but the other riders dug deep and refused to let the elastic snap. After a quiet second lap the race became more animated on the third and fourth, with a rhythm setting in, Belforth attacking, Lou Bates and Kulchinsky responding. The 10 were all together on the final ascent of the Clyde Kicker, Belforth went one final time at just under 9 w/kg, pain etched on her face, but she couldn’t hold it. Bates came through as the riders turned onto the final straight with 200 metres to go with a number of riders on her shoulder. Söderström looked to be certain for the win until Fuhrer’s final surge, pipping her on the line along with van Houweling who claimed second.

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Final results can be viewed here:

Women's Sprint Championship

Next up is the Men’s Epic Championship. Watch Live March 9th from 6pm GMT here

About Zwift

Zwift is the fitness company born from gaming. We’re dedicated fitness enthusiasts, experienced video game developers, and disruptive thinkers. Play is in our DNA and we know fun fuels results.

Zwift utilizes massively multiplayer online gaming technology to create rich, 3D worlds ripe for exploration. Join thousands of cyclists and runners in immersive playgrounds like London, New York, and Paris as well as our very own Watopia.

Our app connects wirelessly to exercise equipment: bike trainers, treadmills, and more, so your real world effort powers your avatar in the game.

From friendly races to social rides and structured training programs, Zwift unites a diverse community in pursuit of a more fun, immersive and social fitness experience.

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