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The world’s top professional cycling teams are preparing to do battle against each other next month in "The Digital Swiss 5" - a series of five individual races on parts of the same parcours planned for the Tour de Suisse 2020.
Velon is working with the organisers of the Tour de Suisse and the ROUVY Indoor Cycling Reality platform to bring racing to fans everywhere whilst respecting the global restrictions on everyday life as a result of the COVID19 pandemic.
Top WorldTour team riders will get on their “smart” trainers for five races over five consecutive days and go all-out over some of the most challenging parts of the Tour de Suisse parcours. The ROUVY platform uses real video footage of the roads and riders are represented by 3D avatars wearing their team kit and riding their own team’s bikes.
Invitations to participate have been sent to all teams who are scheduled to race in this year’s Tour de Suisse, which is due to be held in June.
Each team will have three riders and their live data - speed, power and cadence - will be on display, continuing the pioneering work done by Velon in partnership with the world’s biggest race organisers, broadcasters and digital platforms over the past four years. Some of the riders will have webcams on them so viewers can see their faces as they push out the watts.
The riders’ bikes will be connected to “smart” trainers, which have surged in popularity as the COVID19 virus has forced millions of people to stay at home. The trainers pair with the platform and the riders watch the course and their position on their monitor in real-time. As the profile of the course goes uphill and downhill, the trainer automatically applies more or less resistance.
The races, each lasting approximately one hour, are scheduled for Wednesday 22nd April - Sunday 26th April. Full details on how fans can watch will be announced soon. Viewers in Switzerland will be able to watch live on the national broadcaster, SRF.
Grischa Niermann: "During this difficult period where public health is more important than cycling races, we are open to try out new indoor cycling concepts. Online racing is growing rapidly and we are very curious how it will work out to battle with our competitors. Not on the road, but from our own houses this time."