Global Cycling Network (GCN) are bringing live cycling back to millions of sports fans through the Zwift’s Tour for All exhibition racing series, a professional racing tour to be held on the Zwift virtual platform over five stages raced May 4-8th, 2020.
Featuring teams from both the men’s and women’s World Tours, each stage will be screened live on all Eurosport platforms and streamed globally on the GCN app - with highlights across the GCN show and social media channels, as part of the first collaboration between the two brands that will serve the largest community of cycling fans and provide more ways than ever to watch premium cycling content.
Both men's and women's racing will be screened each day between 1400 and 1600 BST (1500 and 1700 CEST) with some of the best cycling teams in the world including Mitchelton-Scott, EF-Education, NTT, Alpecin-Fenix, Bahrain-McLaren, Canyon//SRAM Racing, CCC-Liv and Boels Dolmans competing for race honours. Teams and the top 25 riders will gain points across the week alongside a daily individual race winner. There will also be intermediate points on each stage and double points for the Top 10 on the Queen Stage (Stage 5).
Stages will range in distance from approximately 45km to 75km and approximately 400m and 1700m in elevation with race times estimated to be between 1hr 15min and 2hr, depending on the distance and elevation of each stage. Results will be points based and determined by the team’s performance and results for each stage.
Simon Wear, Founder and CEO of Play Sports Group, said in the current climate, cycling fans all over the world are seeking new ways to engage with their passion and keep up to date with the riders they are used to seeing in action.
"We feel it’s extremely important to support and celebrate the efforts of these teams and riders and share everything we can with the cycling community," he said.
"Tour for All is a great example of riders across continents teaming up to fuel their desire to be the best in the sport. With the interactive features on the new GCN app, it’s a fantastic way to capture the excitement of professional stage racing and share it with cycling fans all over the world across the Eurosport TV network, Eurosport Digital and the GCN App.”
Tour for All Exhibition Series Diary
4th May - Stage 1 We kick off the Tour with a flat-ish stage for the sprinters. Both courses feature one short steep hill so expect some action with multiple ascents. Course: Innsbruckring, Innsbruck. Elevation Gain: 72m (237ft). Total distance: 52.9km (33miles)
5th May - Stage 2 Our first hilly stage. Course: Cobbled Climbs, Richmond. Elevation Gain: 126m (413ft). Total distance: 46.2km (28.5miles)
6th May - Stage 3 Our first mountain stage. We begin by taking Ocean Boulevard around to the reverse Hilly KOM, which is the first half of the Figure 8 route. Then it’s over to the Volcano and up to the top before descending down and heading to the Italian Villas then the Mayan Jungle for a reverse loop of the circuit. After climbing out of the jungle, we descend back to sea level, hit The Esses and spin a quick around the Volcano Circuit. Then it’s through downtown Watopia and out Ocean Boulevard once more to the forward Epic KOM. Our route finishes at the Epic KOM banner. Course: Medio Fondo, Watopia. Elevation Gain: 981m (3220ft). Total distance: 72.9km (45.1miles)
7th May - Stage 4 We give everyone’s climbing legs a break with a mostly flat and fast stage. Enjoy it while it lasts because tomorrow is the Queen Stage! Course: Sand and Sequoias, Watopia. Elevation Gain: 147m (482ft). Total distance: 42.6km (26.5miles)
8th May - Stage 5 The Queen Stage with a finish up Alpe du Zwift. Course: Quatch Quest, Watopia. Elevation Gain: 1710m (5610ft). Total distance: 46.5km (28.9miles)
The Tour for All professional racing series will open a month-long charity fundraising initiative that will see Zwift donate a total of $125,000 to Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and its COVID-19 crisis fund. An additional $125,000 can be unlocked once 250,000 people complete a stage of the Tour for All. The professional racing series is designed to showcase the mass-participation stages and encourage Zwifters to take part by riding some of the same courses that the pros have raced.
As such, the main focus for the race series is to deliver fun - both for the teams and riders competing, and for cycling fans at home. Zwift racing is a discipline in its own right and will be a new experience for many of the riders competing. Races will experience the drafting benefits of following other riders, and will feel the same changes in gradient and terrain as they would out on the road. However, Zwift’s gamification, designed to make indoor riding more fun, a new understanding of race tactics thanks to Zwift’s PowerUps. PowerUps deliver a range of small advantages that, when used at the right time, can help shape the race.