Virtual Tour de France on Zwift

First weekend info, times and where to watch:

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One word… no

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Will be doing Raymond +7 during the virtual tour user event tomorrow.

Going GVA for Saturday, would say Quintana for Sunday but not sure he’ll have been on zwift before.

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Nice, I have Wright Peak on deck for this. What time slot are you doing?

10am Uk.

I do enjoy doing intervals during these large events, plenty of carrots. The ven-top one will be fun.

Hope your rests tie up with downhill of the kom.

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This is so short! Obviously I understand that riding ~200km regularly on the trainer is no easy task but they should keep the stages slightly longer somewhere around the 100km mark.

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Sounds like the goal was stages about an hour, for easy viewing more than anything. Not meant to be a Tour replacement in any event, and I don’t think expecting WT riders to stretch much past and hour makes sense considering how little time they likely spend on a trainer anyway (according to most reports as of the C-19 state).

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I have seen a couple of professional athletes like Jordan Cheyne (Pro cyclist) and Tony Kanaan (indycar racer) who do ride a lot on the trainer.

The world tour riders were also forced to put a lot of miles on the trainer when the stay at home order was initially imposed and Zwift did create a lot of events to promote the name of those teams and their sponsors and I think it has been successful. Zwift also saw a lot of people signing up as a result of the lockdown but it was during the winter. I wonder how is that going to be this summer.

I also read a review on indeed which said that Zwift goes out of the way and promotes the needs of professional teams while ignoring what actually needs to be done based on community demand. They managed to create a whole new world called France but didn’t fix some existing problems such as the fence.

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Stage 1, women’s race live now.

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Women’s race is done, men are rolling now.

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That was a wholly unenjoyable experience. Literally lost an entire hour of riding due to lag issues on Stage 1!

I had skips in the opening of the women’s ride, but mostly fine after that. Not the best coverage and a miss on better times to show the live person efforts along with the sprints and KOMs.

Pretty fun watch so far. I do like while even though it’s virtual, there’s a women’s division for the vTdF. After watching a variety of race streams through the Zwift platform, I’m hoping they’re getting enough traction to consider making product improvements to better facilitate broadcasting (esp. stuff related to replays and camera angles). Looking forward to next weekend (mostly because I’m gonna need that content to get me through Galena +2).

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Turned on the TV this weekend, fired up NBC Gold app, skipped past the beginning, and the vTDF grabbed my attention for less than 5 minutes. My wife walked thru, asked what was on (“virtual Tour de France”), saw them underwater in the tunnel and basically said WTF and kept walking. She loves watching sprint finishes, and for Le Tour she might sit for 5 minutes to learn about a region in France. Or ask me to skip around the recording to interesting parts where team tactics come into play. But a virtual world and then split screen to some random pro on the trainer? Not interesting at all.

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Watched first race (women’s) in youtube replay, so I could skip the boring bits. Turns out there’s a lot of them (boring bits). This really really highlights the shortfalls of Zwift graphics, including the riders twitching between upright and fixed bank angles, lack of camera smoothness, delays in the standings list, and so on. They added the idea of focusing on one rider by ghosting the others - ok, neat. But team tactics were not really visible - no team lineups for the sprint.

But they really need some professional cycling broadcast specialists to help them develop better camera positions; and the graphics engine, well, not much to do with that except doing the next stages on GTAV…

Nicely written!

It is clear that Zwift is putting a lot of effort into their Broadcasting Interface. What a milestone! The Tour on Zwift! Who, if not us Zwifters, would of thought that 4 years ago :slight_smile: I remember a post I did where I said how cool it would have been to race the Stages of the Tour alongside of the Pro riders…we’ll get there!

I really like the live cameras and the new Ghosting feature, to highlight a specific rider, really neat. Having the PRO’ stats is also super cool.

I wish they could have replicated the environment a bit more though, it would have been nice to see the climbs packed with spectators, RVs/Caravans parked alongside the road and the devil at some point of the climbs, something not to hard to do in the actual state of Zwift. Something that would probably require more coding would be having spectators running along side the riders in certain segments and a cloud of smoke from flares like we usually see at the Dutch Corner and other Stages of the Tour.

Mike Woods posted a screenshot on Strava from Stage 2 and you can see the other riders jerseys alongside their names, this is also a cool feature that cold have been shown during the broadcast not to mention rolled out to us, mortals :slight_smile:

Anyway, of course we’ll always ask for more but the advance being done so far is impressive. Looking forward to the future.
Ride On!

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The best feature of this all is having a womens and mens race with the same coverage. I think it is a step in the right direction and I hope translates to IRL soon

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As an experiment, I painted a fresh area on the wall next to our TV and then started watching the Virtual Tour de France from the DVR. Sadly, but perhaps not unexpectedly, watching the paint drying was more entertaining. To be fair, I had tried to watch the fake F1 racing so was biased towards fake bike racing also having a high suck factor.

Power ups? Cloak of Invisibility?

In summary, NO. Just no. Also, Get off my damn lawn.

As noted up thread by Tri-Buddha, also appreciate that there were both men’s and women’s races. Kudos to the organizers for that.

-Mark

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Yeah, I’m a fan of zwift group rides and racing and I’ve been on the platform since the beta days, but the power ups are just an embarrassment for all involved. Particularly in any kind of race. Clearly they appeal to some, but I just don’t get it.

I watched portions of both stages on replay. I’ve also watched some races in the past with the pro and continental teams and also some of the recent pro triathlete events, so I get some entertainment out of it. I’ll rate it as “better than nothing”. I like to see see the guys/gals real-time power numbers and there are real tactics in many of these races, just different than real life tactics in many cases. It’s also kind of cool seeing the pros on trainers in the garage, back porch, living room, etc.

Sprint finishes are terrible to watch because you don’t get any of the teamwork and battle for position and it just doesn’t work in that format. And you don’t have a chance in the sprint without an aero powerup, just dumb. Hilly selective courses are much more aligned with real life racing and I find those events much more watchable.

When they get back to real racing, I wish they would find a way to stream live power numbers. I know some hate the science/math aspect of power-based racing, but I find it really interesting. When a guy is off the front and the pack is chasing, it would be much more interesting for me to know what his average power was over the last 10 minutes rather than comparing the current speed of the break vs the pack (it drives me insane when they do that).

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