The advent of smart trainers and platforms like Zwift meant that e-racing was something of an inevitability. The Covid-19 pandemic turned it into something of a necessity.
Twickenham Cycling Club has many members that compete in races on both the Zwift and Wahoo RGT platforms. As a Club TCC began racing in the West London Virtual Race series in 2021, coming 1st and 3rd in the Ladies team competition as well as 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the Ladies individual GC. The Men placed 7th and 15th in the team competition with the best placed man placing 23rd in the individual GC.
TCC member and keen e-racer Gavin Grant gives us the lowdown:
Riding on static indoor trainers has been an integral part of Road Cycling for decades. Turbo Trainers or Rollers were traditionally used for winter training, pre race warm ups and post race cool downs.
Indoor training has become more popular and enjoyable since the advent of the many online, virtual cycling Platforms and the development of Smart indoor trainers. A natural development to this has been virtual online Racing.
Online bike racing or E Racing is road racing on a static indoor trainer. Races are hosted on online platforms the most popular being Zwift and Wahoo RGT not to mention an emerging platform CADESports. These platforms hold regular races, race leagues, and have huge communities of on line racers.
The popularity of E-Racing for obvious reasons took off exponentially during the COVID Years. It was an ideal way to meet up, compete and train with others whilst maintaining that all-important isolation. Whilst taking part you get to know the riders you are competing against and soon learn to understand their strengths and weaknesses.
The beauty of E-Racing is that it is completely safe, if you haven’t raced a bike before, would like to but lack the confidence to get in the peloton then E-Racing is the ideal way to try without risk, whilst having great fun and trying out those all important race tactics.
What do you need to E-Race? Basically, a Smart Trainer or a Dumb Trainer along with a Power Measuring device. Then choose the platform you want to race on and find the races/leagues that you want to race in. Racing online is becoming more and more realistic as the platforms continue to develop. Get on the wheel of riders in front and save watts through drafting, having to slow down for corners or be thrown out wide or indeed crash if you enter the corner too quick,. The recent addition of communication channels on some of the platforms means you can discuss tactics with your team whilst racing……..a virtual race radio.
If E-Racing is something that you want to try out there is a wealth of knowedge and encouragement in the club to help you get started.