Posted by Editoress on 10/19/20
This year, for the first time, the UCI will hold an Esports world championships on December 8-9, in conjunction with Zwift. Canada has announced a team of seven athletes - 4 men and 3 women) who will participate.
Selection criteria were published in September ( Here ) and, given the short time frame, basically boiled down to:
"the selection process for the 2020 worlds will be largely subjective and will primarily focus on current national team athletes who meet the eligibility requirements established by the UCI"
The UCI allocated country quotas based on the UCI Road rankings (as of June 2020), number of riders registered in a Registered Testing Pool (anti-doping) and the number of eligible riders on the Zwift platform.
The 2020 UCI Cycling Esports World Championships will see athletes race entirely virtually, from their home or training centre. The two categories - Men Elite and Women Elite - will compete over the same route and distance, with the two 2020 UCI World Champions to be awarded the rainbow jersey that they will wear for sanctioned cycling esports events in 2021. Both races will be taking place on the Watopia course on Zwift, with each rider completing five laps of the Watopia Hilly Reverse for a total distance of 52.4 kilometres.
"I'm super happy to be selected to represent Canada for the esports World Championships," says Simmerling. "I've been racing a lot during the last 6 months on Zwift with my pro cycling team, Twenty20. To say the first month or so was humbling and frustrating is an understatement. There is a big learning curve with Zwift racing, it's not the same as real life bike racing and as soon as you differentiate the two and learn the nuances of Zwift, it becomes fun. This year has been incredibly challenging for all of us ... having weekly races on Zwift in my schedule has given me a sense of structure and kept me motivated when all other racing was cancelled. I can't wait for the challenge and to race with my new eSports Canadian teammates and represent our country!"
"We have a very strong and experienced team and I'm excited to see how they do in the inaugural UCI Esports Worlds," said Kris Westwood, High Performance Director at Cycling Canada. "Esports represents a great opportunity because of the way it connects our community regardless of geography and climate - especially during the global pandemic we're living through. Cycling Canada will be embracing this with a full calendar of national Esports events this fall and winter."
Olivia Baril - top-10 in Zwift Academy competition
Georgia Simmerling - Olympic bronze medalist on the track
Angela Naeth - professional triathlete
Lex Albrecht - road professional
Marie-Claude Molnar - national Para-cycling team
Jordan Cheyne - road professional
Charles Etienne Chrétien - road professional
Pier-André Coté - road professional
Canada also given a wildcard slot for triathlete Lionel Sanders, who qualified separately on the Zwift platform
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