Two Epic Zwift Records Set in Three Days

In the span of three days in early January 2023, Zwifters broke the single-day TTT record and set the bar for the first sub-three hour 150 km.

The fantastic feats of focus, fortitude, and force highlight the virtual cycling platform’s forte′s—community, convenience, and competition. Plus, why traditional cycling pessimists may pause to applaud.

Zwift Record for most TTTs in a singe day
Photo: WTRL Martin Carew

To say cyclists are a competitive lot may be the understatement of the metric century. In the age of ubiquitous Strava KOMs and Fastest Known Times (FKT), the only thing outpacing the cyclist’s press for PRs is how to judge them. 

When the pandemic pushed the friendly foes indoors, the confined competitions became concentrated on virtual courses. Zwift’s version of the town line sprint appeared at virtually every corner, and HoloReplay Ghost Riders, fueled by your PBs, taunted you at every turn.  

The stir-crazy stationary cyclists set a new Virtual Everesting record each time your browser refreshed. The community of like-minded adversaries had found a convenient place to practice their cycling one-upmanship. The traditionalist fled back to the roads when restrictions eased, but the building momentum to push the virtual envelope didn’t wane.

Zwift Records Fell in a Frenzied Flurry

In the span of three days in early January 2023, Zwifters set two epic records riding the slipstream of the platform’s community, convenience, and competition. 

On January 12, 2023, a core group of three Zwifters set out to break the record for consecutive virtual Team Time Trials (TTTs) performed in a single day, set initially at 11 on June 23, 2022, with their bar set on 22 high-powered performances.

Then two days later, a group of strongmen and women gathered in the virtual pen with sites set on a sub-three hour 150km record.

Read the whole story featured by Cycling Weekly!

Incredible, Perhaps too Outstanding?

Incredible, perhaps too astounding to understand for some traditional virtual cycling skeptics. The authors of this September 2022 paper published in the Journal of Electronic Gaming and Esports set out to answer a few questions that prevent traditional cyclists from adopting esports as an entirely new discipline within cycling.

Jonas and Marlene Bjarehed are Swedish exercise psychology and social scientists. They are also elite virtual cyclists competing in esports’ upper echelon, the Zwift Premier Division and the Zwift Grand Prix.

Marlen Bjarehed
Elite Team SZ and Movistar's Dr. Marlene Bjarehed

Is Virtual Performance Comparable to Traditional Cycling?

Their hypothesis was: Virtual racing primarily demands physiological performances comparable to traditional cycling. 

“Within the community, this is, of course, self-evident,” affirms Jonas, “but for the broader traditional cycling public, there is no clear recognition or understanding of the specific demands of this type of cycling and how they compare to real-life competition.”

Not Convinced?

Read the whole story featured by Cycling Weekly!

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