The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and Zwift have announced a new format for next year’s Esports World Championship. The 2023 edition will take place on Feb. 18. Next year the focus will be on engagement with fans, which sees the World Championship Esports being spread out over three explosive and short events: the so-called ‘Punch’, ‘The Climb’ and ‘The Podium’ event.
The new format will be the same for both women and men. The two pelotons will each consist of 100 cyclists, who need to qualify.
“The new format for the UCI Cycling Esports World Championships is in line with our desire to continue innovating and increasing the appeal of our sport. Our first two UCI World Championships for cycling esports were a great success, and now we have increased the excitement with three separate events that will gradually eliminate members of the peloton”, UCI President David Lappartient says.
The Punch will take 100 cyclists over a course of 13.8 km of rolling hills. The first event is crucial, as only the first 30 finishers will make it to the second round. In the second race, athletes will be treated with a climb. This race will have numerous climbs and cover a distance of 8.5 km with 162 meters of elevation gain. The fastest ten cyclists qualify for the third and final event. In The Podium, athletes will battle over a short and tough course, fighting for their position, as after each archway one athlete will be eliminated.
The UCI Continental Qualifiers are set to take place this weekend on Zwift, with the women racing today and the men tomorrow.