Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Cycligent Virtual Racing World Cup Recap

The Cycligent Virtual Racing (CVR) event in Paris was absolutely mind blowing.  First off, CVR rented the entire velodrome for the event,  and then it was an incredible production.  Camera crews,  lights, sound, TV broadcasters, MASSIVE internet upload capability and then all of the riders.  40 riders(20 male, 20 female) from around the world were selected to come to Paris to race head to head in the virtual world in the real world.  Huh?   Well, the riders were there in the real world, all on smart trainers, with computer monitors, fans, keyboards, lined up in a row, but they were all racing each other inside the Zwift virtual cycling world.  

Each rider had an avatar, raced in the kit of their choice and raced as hard or harder than they would have in the real world.   It was amazing.  There was a qualifying event on Friday which seeded the top riders into the “Elite” category and then the rest in the “Performance” category.

The Top riders were top.  We are talking over 6.1w/kg for the winning male rider and over 5.2w/kg for the female, so it was not a simple effort that anyone could have done.  The qualifying event set up for a 3 stage, stage race on Saturday where the riders had to compete in a Hill climb, a Road Race and a criterium,  with only 5minutes separating each event for a total of an hour and half of racing.   Again, this was an incredible production with commentators (including yours truly) throughout the event and culminating in some incredibly exciting racing at the finishes.  

IRL(in real life),  there were about 200 spectators at the event.  In the virtual world, there were nearly 10,000 people that watched the event and “cheered” for their athletes.   You could “cheer” for your athlete by contributing to the prize pool by adding a dollar or 20 bucks, whatever you wanted.   The prize pool total was OVER $45,000!  Yes, you read that correctly.  Real money. In the real world for racing in the virtual world.   The winners took home over $3500 and the prizes were equal between men and women.  The men’s elite winner, Ian Bibby, a pro for the JLT Condor pro team noted,  “This is great. I just won $3500 and I don’t even have to split the winnings with my teammates!”

I came away from the event, both excited and encouraged by this new medium in which we can all compete.  I believe that you will see a lot more coming from CVR in the future and I know that Peaks Coaching Group will be involved.   Stay tuned in this space!

Have a look at the CVR facebook page to see the pictures and to watch the coverage of the race, and see yours truly do some fun interviews down on the racing floor.

Hunter Allen is a USA Cycling Level 1 coach and former Professional Cyclist. He is the co-author of “Training and Racing with a Power Meter, co-developer of TrainingPeaks WKO Software, and is the CEO and Founder of the Peaks Coaching Group. He has coached over 500 athletes ranging from professionals to fitness enthusiasts, and has helped many athletes achieve dreams and goals that they didn’t think were possible.  He specializes in coaching cyclists with wattage meters and is on the forefront coaching with cycling’s newest tools.   He has online training programs including Cyclo-Cross plans available at    and you can contact Hunter directly