UCI confirms first UCI Cycling eSports World Championships
25 August 2020
The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has confirmed that the first ever UCI Cycling eSports World Championships will be held on Zwift, the global online training and racing platform for athletes, on December 8 and 9 2020. This announcement follows last year’s announcement of a partnership between the UCI and Zwift to develop and govern the new cycling discipline of cycling eSports.
“It’s with great pleasure that we are able to confirm the dates and plans for the first UCI Cycling eSports World Championships. The year has certainly been a challenging one for all, but we are now bac to enjoying racing and have a new UCI World Championships to look forward to at the end of 2020. Virtual races were hugely popular during the period that competitions ceased and I truly believe in the potential of eSports to help grow participation in our sport. This is a historic moment”, said UCI President David Lappartient. “We are delighted to finally be able to unveil the plans for the first UCI Cycling eSports World Championships. 2020 has been a big year for eSports as it has helped fill the gap left by traditional sport. Moving forward we look forward to establishing this as a new discipline of the sport – not one to plug gaps, but one that’s truly complementary to other disciplines, whether that that be the road, cyclo-cross or mountain bike. There’s a huge opportunity to grow the sport with eSports and I am proud that together with the UCI, we are able to lead the way”, added Zwift CEO and co-founder Eric Min.
This year’s competition will see athletes race 100 percent virtually, from their home or training centers, with Men Elite and Women Elite competing over the same route and distance.
The UCI will allocate National Federations with participation quotas that will be announced at a later stage, based on three criteria: the UCI Road Rankings as of June 2020, the number of riders registered in a Registered Testing Pool, and the number of eligible riders on the Zwift platform. Automatic invitations will be sent by the UCI to the National Federations represented by the highest population of riders on the Zwift platform within each gender and meet the above criteria. Wildcard invitations may also be awarded to individual riders by the UCI in order to ensure that all continents are represented in both races and that it is possible to achieve the same number of total entries for women as men.