Despite the lack of outdoor road races that are usual for this time of year (due of course to the COVID-19 pandemic), the club’s racers have nevertheless been in action and have achieved great results for the club recently.
Over six weeks in April and May, British Cycling’s South East region organised a series of online races via Zwift. This has been a tremendous success, with dozens of clubs taking part (including several triathlon clubs as well as cycling clubs) from all across the south-east area of the country, with riders of all abilities and including both women and men.
As well as the club’s road racers and time triallers that have been taking part, several other members have used these events to dip their toes into the world of cycling competition, such is the ease of entry to Zwift racing. All you need is some sort of trainer (ideally a smart one, though there are ways of racing with a non-smart trainer too) and a computer or tablet/phone. There has been something for everyone, with circuits varying from very flat to very hilly, and everything in between.
Riders were split into various categories depending on their watts/kg figures on Zwift. These categories covered the whole ability/power range and were certainly not only for “racers”, with points being awarded in each category depending on placing. Typically there were two events per week. These were mainly road races, but also included some individual time trials and one team time trial. Points were added up for each club across all the events over those six weeks, with the final results shown below.
FCCC finished in a fine 17th place with 1135 pts, beating several other local clubs. Even more importantly, the racers generally found the competition a lot of fun and great training too. Well done to all who took part! Some might have done just one race, some might have done many, but all the results counted and those points all added up to the final total.
The next series of British Cycling SE races is kicking off tonight, and again will run over several weeks. It’s very easy to get into – if you already ride on Zwift then why not give it a go? It doesn’t matter how “good” you are, if you can finish the race you will still win points, and you never know, you might end up with a whole stack of points. You also might learn a fair bit about how far you can push yourself. Contact our road race secretary Luke Stratford to find out more, and you’ll get plenty of support and encouragement from him and his friendly team of racers.
As a postscript, in between that first series and tonight’s new one starting, last week there was a small stage race run by British Cycling South region on Zwift, over three stages. Darren Roberts took part and finished in an excellent ninth place overall in the GC (shown as tenth below due to a sorting error in the table). Congratulations Darren!
If you’d like to find out more about time trials on Zwift, then please get in touch with our TT captain Vernon Schutte for more information. Or for general membership information about the club, then contact the membership secretary Steve Hammatt.