Taken from Eric Min’s IG - UCI announces eCycling recognised as official discipline!! This is massive news😊
Glad to see them putting their efforts in to something more useful than designing jigs for measuring socks
Now they can focus on regulating our use of fans, bibs without jerseys, and having our significant others or kids fetching sticky bottles…
How is it a distinct discipline?!
Or do they mean just Zwift (or really, just Zwift’s money)?
Seriously though, isn’t this effectively old news?
From September 29, 2018
Maybe it’s new that they have “officially” set a championship?
Yes, some people won’t like it. But there’s a huge base of riders that do. And it’s only going to get bigger.
But is this a Zwift-only thing? What if Peleton/Strava/TR/SF etc enter the ring, what then?
Seems…contrived, to say the least, to have a single proprietary platform.
As of new (based on a quick skim of the news items I linked above), YES, it is Zwift only.
- It’s entirely possible that it could change to include other platforms in the future, but who knows?
It’s practical in the sense that Zwift is the only one with the mass and actual capability to pull off a large scale event like this. Nothing else has the structure or following even approaching what Zwift offers at the moment.
We really have no idea who else (if anyone) is talking with the UCI behind the scenes. Anything is possible, but as above. Peloton has a huge following, but they don’t seem to have as deep or engaging a following in the “performance/racing” aspect.
- I say this as a total outside to that world, and may well be unaware of their comparable aspects.
I really hate to see this…beyond the fact that there is so much more to racing a bike than power, the lack of standards / enforceability is a real issue that needs to be addressed.
“Race” all you want on Zwift, but it just isn’t really racing. I’m sure that will be an unpopular take, but i’m OK with that.
As for Peloton, it is a completely differetn beast with a different target audience. They aren’t after cyclists, they are after fitness enthusiasts that will use an exercise bike as their workout of choice.
And please, please, please…it is “Peloton”. /pet peeve
I don’t think anybody’s arguing that Zwift racing is equivalent to actual road racing. It’s “virtual” racing. E-racing. Or eCycling, as UCI has christened it. There’s a huge audience for competitive video games; I don’t know why Zwift should miss that boat.
I’m super interested in what they do here, because unlike traditional esports, your in-game performance depends on the metrics you feed the game instead of on skill/timing/tactical sense. Faking it is trivial in a home setting. The esports industry handles compliance right now by moving players onto a stage with equipment the organizers provide, but since the equipment in this case is personalized bikes and trainers and sensors, it’ll be more complicated than just running anti-cheat helpers at home and plunking people in front of a fancy gaming rig for the finals.
Or maybe it won’t, maybe they’ll just grab 100 or so of those new Wahoo indoor bike things for the stage and get everybody’s measurements and be done.
(in my defense, I’ve never been known for my typing skills on any board I frequent. )
As to the meat of your response, I am not arguing that Zwift needs to “miss the boat”. Hell, they OWN the boat right now. They are free to set up whatever racing leagues they wish…I am arguing against the UCI’s involvement more than anything else.
There are plenty of rumors that the Giro may well start soon with a “prologue” that will be raced on Zwift…while the time won’t count for the GC, it will award the first maglia rosa. I can’t get on board with what really amounts to a marketing exercise for Zwift.
I also think the UCI “endorsing” Zwift in such a manner significantly undercuts the potential for a competitor to challenge Zwift (already a monumental challenge).
In the UCI’s defense (hard words to type . . . ) either they jump on the bandwagon now and embrace virtual racing or some other entity will end up being the regulator/sanctioning body and they’ll be left out in the cold on what amounts to a new cycling discipline. Then you’d end up with stupid rules like UCI licensed riders not being allowed to do Zwift races or promotional race events. This way, the UCI gets to be in charge,and presumably get some money, from events and not let the camel’s nose under the tent in the form of some new body (or Zwift itself) to mess with the UCI’s monopoly on high end/pro cycling.
They gotta keep the hockey stick trending upwards, so I’m not surprised at relationships like these. Should be fun though – the British Cycling finals that were on TV here were interesting, and mostly enjoyable to watch.
Still better than poker as an Olympic “sport”.
The big issue is cheating. My first Trainer I had an FTP of 320, and on my NEO its 245. That first one I was winning Zwift races with 100 people in it, and if I jumped on it now my w/kg FTP would be around 5.8 or so.
…and that wasn’t me cheating, I bought a bad product that didn’t read properly. So even if they do it in a studio there’s no guarantee everyone is getting perfect power accuracy.
For random on line amateur races, its easy to cheat but that is not where the money is so no one cares. But for any big pro e-race with money on the line, you’re going to have everyone in one place for show production. This is entertainment after all. You’ll have a weigh in just like boxing (that will be part of the show . . . ) and then you’ll assign event provided trainers by random draw (more show - identical trainers provided en mass by the event’s trainer sponsor, cue commercial break . . . ). Then you’re just down to possible doping and motors, same as real bike race.
That is until someone figures out how to hack into the trainer to Zwift data stream . . . https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2019/08/no-zwift-racing-wasnt-hacked-yet-sorta-let-me-explain.html
So then it’s not at all about cycling, but money.
Hard pass for me on both participation and spectator fronts.
I’ll go to the circus if I want to watch monkeys perform.
I’ve said it before as far the whole zwift race broadcast experience, the main announcer who has become the de facto voice of racing is so incredibly grating (in my opinion, others seem to love the guy), so I will not be watching any zwift racing.
Zwift racing could have potential at the local level if local race organizers could have USAC sanctioning and offer prize money, with the caveat that racing needs to be done at a venue and not everyone with their randomness in their homes. I’ve found a very obvious way to cheat by accident (I wouldn’t because I care more about TR training to zwift racing) and I can imagine more inventive and purposeful people can find ways to cheat.
“As the governing body for the sport, we need to remain open to technical innovations and change…” — UCI Prez Lappartient
Is that why they’re measuring sock height?