With nearly every pro cycling team now racing online with each other instead of at the sports’ biggest events, Zwift has become the de-facto platform to turn to for anything related to Pro/Am racing, World Tour team riders and group training events. What’s more, the whole world is not just off the sidelines cheering them on via live streaming events, they’re also invited to ride along. It’s a pretty unique time in the sport’s history.
As such, I want to provide a bit of an update on what’s taking place in Zwift and showcase a few of the high-profile events and races worth sharing with your audience. I go into great detail here about what’s taking place over the next week and have also attached a document detailing the Classics Events scheduled for April 5 – 30, so if this isn’t something you’re looking to cover, you can stop here. If it’s of interest, read on!
GETTING UP TO SPEED
This week, many of the World Tour teams held their first rides on Zwift, following on from some early pacesetters. Standout highlights have included:
- Dan Martin // Israel Startup Nation // Sunday 29th March Dan Martin of Israel Startup Nation led a 90-minute group ride that raised awareness for COVID-19. The team committed to donating one N95 mask for every participant who joined the ride, which drew 1500 participants.
- Alpecin-Fenix Ronde van Zwift Recon Ride // Wednesday 1st April In advance of the Alpecin-Fenix Ronde van Zwift Event this coming Sunday, Team Alpecin-Fenix led a recon social ride to inspect the route they will be racing this Sunday. The ride was broken down into three categories, led by Mathieu van der Poel, Dries de Bondt, and Tim Merlier, which drew 1600 participants.
- Mark Cavendish // Team Bahrain McLaren // Ride As One Series // Thursday 2nd April With over 4,500 sign ups in 48 hours, over 3,600 took to the start line for the first in the weekly Thursday Ride As One group ride series. Mark was on top form, keeping the group together and communicating a mass sprint every 15 minutes. Mark was simultaneously holding a q&a on Instagram Live, which included special guest appearances from Ivan Cortina and Sir Mo Farah.
- Jelle Wallays // Lotto Soudal Group Ride // Wednesday 1st April Wednesday would have been the Dwars doors Vlaanderen Classics race. Instead, team Lotto Soudal launched their group ride series with former DDV winner Jelle Wallays and his entire classics squad to ride with Zwifters.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Sunday 5th April would have been the day of the Tour of Flanders, one of the most prestigious races in cycling. Many teams are putting up their biggest stars to entertain and delight fans throughout the day.
- Trek Segafredo x Saris Ride With Mads Pederson // Sunday 5th April // 16:00 BST Join UCI Road Race World Champion Mads Pedersen for a social group ride around the Watopia Waistbelt. Look out for more rides to come with the champ. Event Link: https://zwift.com/events/view/448410
- Philippe Gilbert // Tour of Flanders // Lotto Soudal Group Ride // Sunday 5th April // 17:00 BST Join former Tour of Flanders champion Philippe Gilbert and his Lotto Soudal teammates, including John Degenkolb, for a ride on the day of the Ronde van Vlaanderen, the second in a series of rides with all Lotto Soudal champions. Event link: https://zwift.com/events/view/474462
- Ronde van Zwift // Broadcast with Mathieu van der Poel and Alpecin-Fenix // Sunday 5th April // 18:00 BST Watch the race unfold as team Alpencin-Fenix battle against each other to see who has the strength to win the Ronde title. The race offers a total of 6 brutal climbs that will make the riders suffer each lap. Will Mathieu van der Poel attack early or save his legs for the final lap? Whatever plan the team has, expect an exciting finish! Link to come.
- Annemiek van Vlueten // Mitchelton-SCOTT Flanders Special // Sunday 5th April // 18:00 BST Former Tour of Flanders women’s champion Annemiek van Vlueten will lead a social group ride where she will answer questions and chat about her experience in the iconic Tour of Flanders race. Event link: https://zwift.com/events/view/470345
- SRAM Women’s Tour // Monday 6th April onwards SRAM Women’s Tour kicks off on Monday, April 6. Almost every event of the tour (72 out of 78 events) has a spec guest from either CANYON//SRAM, Twenty20 or Roxsalt Attaquer. Chlöe Dygart, Kasia Niewadoma, all 3 ZA Champs, Peta Mullens, Ayesha McGowan and more. Series link: https://zwift.com/events/series/sram-women-tour/
- Here is a link to see all of the upcoming World Tour team rides in one place: https://zwift.com/events/tag/nttprocycling;rideasone;lottosoudal;rcc;treksegafredo;ridewithpro
THE SPRING CLASSICS
Looking to watch some real live racing? Look no further than the Pro/Am Invitational races that pit the best teams against one another over the month of April. Watch the Pros and then take on the course yourself.
- Spring Classics Race Series Returns for 2020. Event link: https://news.zwift.com/en-WW/187540-zwift-classics-returns-for-2020 (See attached detailed race schedule for the Classics)
- Watch Races Live with Commentary on YouTube: Playlist here.
- Community Rides taking place around the Spring Classics. Event Link: https://zwift.com/events/series/zwift-classics/