Riders of Watopia will be getting a new challenge this August, with Zwift adding a 15-mile circuit inspired by the 2018 UCI Road World Championships to the platform.
Although not a like-for-like virtual replication (something that Zwift competitor Road Grand Tours looks to do), the course will mimic the Innsbruck-based 'Olympic Lap' section of the race's route. The loop features a five-mile-long climb at an average gradient of 5.9 per cent – an ascent that the men’s and women’s elite races will be tackling seven and three times respectively.
“This course is something we’ve not seen at the UCI Road World Championships for many years and will translate into something incredible for our Zwift community,” said Zwift co-founder and CEO Eric Min.
Amateur riders will be able to experience the mountainous route and get a feel for the area from the comfort of their own home, according to Zwift, with roadside scenery set to include a number of landmarks from the region.
Meanwhile, Zwift users from the professional peloton will be able to scope out the end-of-season course remotely ahead of the race.
"We need to understand when the critical moments of the race will come and ensure our leaders are in the best position possible. It will be super motivating to prepare alongside Zwifters from all over the world" - Bernhard Eisel
“This has the potential to be truly groundbreaking for the national teams,” said Bernhard Eisel (Dimension Data), who will be hoping to represent Austria in what is a home World Championship. “What is new is the ability to repeatedly train on a key segment of the course and understand when the best moments to attack will come.
“For riders such as myself, who will serve as supporting riders, we need to understand when the critical moments of the race will come and ensure our leaders are in the best position possible. And it will be super motivating to prepare alongside Zwifters from all over the world.”
Don't panic if you tend to stick to indoor training in the colder months of the year - the circuit will continue to live on the platform long after the September 30 race, giving ‘Zwifters’ the chance to roll around the region for the foreseeable future.