World champs/Zwift flicks the community yet again

I see that Zwift and the UCI are really making the (paying) racing community happy every chance they get.

Mildly comical that the pros, whom only care about they paycheck they get from zwift Get the red carpet and the joes (many former pros included) put all of their heart and soul into being competitive on Zwift, only to get flicked. Nice…:unamused:

Good luck finding active WT pros on the men’s side that not only are willing to compete in Zwift at all (Sagan & co) but who are also willing to go up against Zwift’s finest and look the sponsor in the eye afterwards. I wouldn’t. Especially not when there are other publicity options. So it’s not just on Zwift. It’s also UCI and the WT as a collective and the directeur sportifs and the individual riders. This is a start, and a good one. But yes, it puts a divider between the publicity events and what actually goes on in Zwift on a daily basis, a divider that will have to be removed sooner or later to establish e-racing as in Zwift as a cycling discipline standing on its own legs.

So zwift have created some of this problem themselves. The UCI will insist that anything that has their name on it is as fair and legit as can be. Cheating is rife on zwift (not pointing fingers at the top riders) but it is so open to abuse, trainer calibration, weight doping, actual performance enhancing doping etc. Zwift have done very little…well in fact nothing since this was announce to stop cheating…oh ok the anti sandbagging measures that ask people to “please go in the right category”. As such, racing on zwift for legitimacy of results is terrible. The UCI will insist of standard protocols including anti doping testing. How many of the current zwift community elite are involved in that? I’m sure they happily would, so zwift should have reached out already to see how they get enrolled.

To be fair though…racing on zwift as a spectator sport…hmmm I don’t think it’s a big draw (again because zwift racing doesn’t involve any unpredictability) ends up in a bunch sprint almost every time, but that’s because it removes all the hazardous obstacles like wind crashing etc.

But think about it…zwift want to reach the masses…are cycling fans going to watch a bunch of people nobody knows apart from the racing community? No they need the pros, hence why zwift are reaching out to them…and for it to be UCI sanctioned, it has to follow the correct procedures and protocols which most of the zwift racing community won’t currently comply with.

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I think in large there is a real issue with cheating in the general Zwift racing community, however there are some community “pros” such as Canyon ZCC, Indoor Specialists, AERO and a few others that provide pretty much all data other than WADA dope (urine or blood) testing. These teams dual record and submit their data, they have been know to do live weigh-ins in the ZwifTransparency FB group, doing power tests IRL and sharing the data, etc. I think those are the riders that deserve the right to race these races, without trying to appeal to a govern body that doesn’t care about them.

For me the reason they’ve gone for this is because it’s about the only practical answer to rhe question “How do we run a fair competition under the banner of the World Champs?”
I was under the assumption that the original plan was to have an open Zwift World Champs with a final AT the real World Champs in Switzerland, where qualifying competitors could be dope tested and race on professionally calibrated machines - similar to the British champs last year - but obviously Covid-19 stopped that.
So when you can’t get people together physically, how do you police them credibly?
Pro IRL riders have regular dope tests through the year, in and out of racing, and their teams can be threatened with severe real-life penalties if they were to cheat on Zwift. So limiting the competition to them sounds like a sensible compromise to ensure it’s faire
My bet would be the Zwift World Champs take place in a physical location next year.

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Easy answers for this as the community probably already knows the riders that would be able to hang at this level. But also dual power recording, live recorded weigh-ins, ZADA pre-approved power data, broadcasting of the race effort, etc. There is already a pretty well documented route for those that have been pushing to clean up Zwift racing for well over a year now.

Edit: riders like this that have proven themselves time and time again are being punished.

I know there are many things you can monitor, but how do you police the use of banned substances - i.e. drugs - and do so in a way the non-Zwift world would see as credible, when competitors have to race against each other in many different locations around the world?

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Totally agree, but what if those people are doping? I’m not accusing anyone…but if they aren’t testing it…it’s open to abuse.