Adventure

Zwift Planning Virtual-Cycling Tournament

UCI teams will sign winners to contracts

Zwift is a virtual cycling platform that allows riders from all over the world to compete with each other from home. (Photo: Courtesy of Zwift)
zwift

Virtual-cycling platform Zwift is garnering attention for its “fitness entertainment” approach to indoor training, but the program’s co-founder and chief executive Eric Min has hinted that there may be more at stake for participants than bragging rights. The company is planning a tournament-style competition rumored to help top-tiered professional racing teams find promising riding talent, according to The Telegraph.

Min told The Telegraph that even though the platform is still undergoing beta testing, six top world teams” have promised to grant contracts to the tournament winners. The company is modeling the competition on The X Factor, a sing-off elimination show similar to American Idol.

“We’ve been in talks with several UCI World Tour teams, and what excites them are the number of ways that they can use Zwift to engage with their fan base in ways that were never before possible,” Min told Bicycling. He wouldn’t specify which teams are interested.

The tournament would start with several online rounds to trim the ranks then move to live, side-by-side elimination rounds. According to The Telegraph, Zwift hopes to hold the tournament in 2015 and is engaged in talks with potential production companies to get it televised.

“That format exists; it’s proven,” Min told The Telegraph. “People care about these Cinderella stories. There are lots of cyclists out there who think, ‘I’m pretty good.’ Well, guess what? Now’s their chance.”

Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.
Contribute to Outside
Filed To: News
Lead Photo: Courtesy of Zwift
More Adventure