Can cycling become a long-term esport? London prepares virtual bicycle race

This week London will play host to a virtual bicycle race that organisers are billing as esports.

The Cycligent Esports World Cup takes place at Kachette, 347 Old Street, on Tuesday June 6th. It will be shown in front of a live audience and broadcast on Twitch.

It follows on from a Las Vegas event where the inaugural race in the series was held. The London race is part of a series of events around the world that will culminate at the World Cup Finals in April 2018.

20 riders will race side-by-side in the Kachette tunnels.

Organisers said in a statement: "The Cycligent esports race will showcase top virtual cycling talent brought in from around the world. They will compete against one another on
Zwift’s online course environment.

"Five cyclists representing the UK will race five cyclists from around the world, including the US, Ireland, Australia, the Netherlands, and Poland.

"Cycling fans and esport enthusiasts are invited to cheer on the riders."

 

"We are bringing cycling to esports and that will change the landscape of cycling forever."

 

The events are sanctioned by international ranking system Cycligent Virtual Rankings (CVR)

Frank Garcia, founder of Cycligent, said: "Given the sharp increase of recent viewership and participation of esports events, the opportunity to bring these events into a live setting feels really exciting and fun.

"We are bringing cycling to esports and that will change the landscape of cycling forever. It will be better for riders, better for spectators, and better for those who participate online in the virtual landscape."

Entry to the live event is free but organisers say donations to World Bicycle Relief are welcome. You can find out more via the CVR website.

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