Have you ever imagined what it would be like to win your country’s national championship jersey? How it would feel? Where you would hang it in your home? Well, just like the world of Zwift, this national championship jersey will be virtual. Starting next weekend, riders from 15 countries around the globe will be able to compete in the inaugural Zwift National Championships.
Zwift says that of all the countries around the world, the 15 with the most registered Zwifters were chosen for obvious reasons. Among them, Zwifters from USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Belgium, Sweden, South Korea, Denmark, Switzerland, France, and Poland will be able to compete in their own national championship race. It should be noted that as the only country in the Southern Hemisphere, Australia’s race will take place at a later date.
With races for both men and women, the winner of each race will receive only one price – the National Champion Virtual Kit. You’ll then get to wear the kit for 12 months until the next Zwift National Championships. Now, with this being a virtual race you might wonder how Zwift will prevent riders from cheating. That’s a legitimate concern, and to prevent that there are some requirements to race.
In order to be eligible, you must wear a heart rate monitor and cannot be riding with Zpower. Also, if you average over 5w/kg, you’ll automatically be disqualified. If by some chance you can actually average over 5w/kg for a two or three lap race you can be reinstated by showing real-life matching numbers that are verified by ZADA – The Zwift Anti Doping Agency. There are a few other requirements as well, so make sure you read the rules before you enter.
You’ll be only allowed to enter the country’s race that matches your Zwift Account/Country flag (not necessarily where you’re riding), so keep that in mind as well. The race will loop around the Watopia Volcano climb three times for the men and twice for the women. Power ups are still allowed but TT bikes are not. For those of us here in the U.S., the race will be Saturday, February 24 at 11AM EST, but other races start on the Friday before due to time differences.