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For the first time, Zwift are hosting events and prize money is at stake! 

This new, month-long virtual race series starts in February 2024 and includes three different cycling disciplines – Sprint, Epic, and Climb – for elite and community racers alike.   

The elite male and female racers will compete for a $110,000 USD prize purse, with 8 champions, a male and female champion for each discipline and an overall winner for both male and female, calculated on the combined points obtained in each event.

How does this work  

First and foremost, those who wish to race for the prize money need to qualify for any of the elite championships.  To do that you need to register your Interest in the Zwift Games Elite Championships 2024 by Friday 26th January 2024 by clicking here.

All elite races (Qualifiers and Championships) will take place on weekends, the schedule is as follows:

Sprint Qualifiers24th February 202425th February 2024
Sprint Championship2nd March 20243rd March 2024
Epic Championship9th March 202410th March 2024
Climb Championship16th March 202417th March 2024

The different Championships explained

The Sprint Championship:  The Sprint Championship is the only event that will have a qualification round. Qualifier events will consist of a single scratch race. In order to earn a place on the start line of the Sprint Championship, athletes will need to place in the top 30 during one of the three Qualifier races on February 24th/25th, 2024.  Athletes can choose to enter one of the three qualification races based on the most convenient time.

In total, 90 riders will start the Sprint Championship event.  The Sprint Championship will consist of 3 back-to-back elimination races, with only the top few riders from each, progressing to the next.  The third and final race will see riders competing for the prize money which are as follows:

  • 1st place – $7,000
  • 2nd place – $5,000
  • 3rd place – $3,000  

In addition, the winner receives an iconic in-game item.

The Epic Championship: This is an endurance event, lasting 81.6km, and consists of 878 meters of climbing, so it’s not hard to imagine that there is not a long climb in there at some point.  This will be raced on a new course. Interestingly Zwift have noted that this will not include the Epic KOM forward or backwards, or Alpe du Zwift, so can we expect a new climb?  As with the Sprint Championship, the prize money is the same:

  • 1st place – $7,000
  • 2nd place – $5,000
  • 3rd place – $3,000 

The winner also receives an iconic in-game item.

The Climb Championship: This will mirror the ionic battles that have taken place on Alpe d’Huez, but this time in the virtual setting on Alpe du Zwift as riders tackle the 21 hairpins of this iconic climb.  The race will use the Road to Sky route which is 17.3km in length with an elevation gain of 1,047 meters.  The prize money is as follows:

  • 1st place – $7,000
  • 2nd place – $5,000
  • 3rd place – $3,000 

The winner receives an iconic in-game item.

The Overall Champion

As Zwift themselves note “the events in Zwift Games have been designed to find the best Zwifter in three distinct disciplines that each require different athletic efforts and suit different types of riders. The Zwift Games Overall Champion will be the athlete that performs the most strongly across all three events; the ultimate Zwifter.”  

The way this will be calculated is that the top 90 finishers in each Zwift Games Championship will be awarded points according to their final position.  These points will be added together and the one with the highest overall points score at the end will be awarded the title of “Overall Champion”, pocketing a tidy $10,000.

What happens if I am not an elite athlete?

Don’t worry, Zwift has got you covered.  There will be five stages for community competitors to take part in and given that new routes are being developed explicitly for this event, it’s a safe bet that these races will be hosted on these courses.  According to Zwift, “each stage will offer multiple race times throughout the day, with options for all pace levels, making it easy for cyclists in any time zone to participate.”

As with all Zwift events, there will some unlockable features for completing, in fact there will be three, that will be announced closer to the start of the event. 

Summing up

With money at stake, this is sure to result in more competitive racing and for those that are interested in competing, the key date to remember is that registration needs to be completed by Friday 26th January 2024.

Personally speaking, I am interested in see what new routes are being designed for this spectacle and am particularly intrigued with the Epic race, where there will be a significant amount of climbing that does not use the tried and tested Epic KOM.