In partnership with Echelon Racing Promotions and Zwift, USAC will crown 2024 National Champions with independent performance verification by indieVelo.
On October 23, 2023, USA Cycling announced plans for the third-annual event, with a six-race national qualifier series and Amateur, Elite, and Masters US National Championships.
USA Cycling will award National Championships across multiple categories, including Elite/Amateur Men’s/Women’s, Masters (35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, and 70+) Men’s/Women’s, and Collegiate Men’s/Women’s (details available at a later date) on January 6th and 7th, 2024.
Echelon Returns to Zwift
Echelon Racing Promotions will organize the event on the virtual cycling platform Zwift. This qualification series marks a significant milestone as the first national-level event to employ independent third-party indieVelo to verify all athletes’ performance, regardless of their competition level.
Echelon and USAC partnered for the 2022 and 2023 National Championship on the Wahoo-RGT platform. Echelon Racing Promotions President Eric Hill is pleased to return to Zwift, where everything began.
“We started with private group rides on Zwift, and they evolved into competitive events, and to get results, riders had to send us a screenshot of the finish and send it in a Google form,” says Hill.
Echelon Racing League Qualifiers and USAC Nationals
The Echelon Racing League (ERL) season consists of a 6-race series, with three races held before the USA Nationals and three after. The National Championship will include a three-race omnium format (additional details available soon). The National Championship elite race is a 2024 UCI Cycling Esports World Championship qualifier.
To be eligible for the Amateur or Elite USA National Championships, riders must participate in at least one ERL race prior to the event and hold a valid USA Cycling license. Non-national championship races are open to riders of all nationalities. Zwift A category-enforced riders are considered elite. (See ruleset–to be released at a later date–for more details)
Hill explains the return to Zwift, stating, “Zwift is the world’s largest and most widely used virtual cycling platform. They are a US-based company that is open for partnership and collaboration and has the reach that is gonna allow for the greatest accessibility and equitable competition.”
|December 2, 2023||Bell Lap Criterium||20||38 km||520'|
|December 16, 2023||Innsbruck KOM After Party||1||12.9 km||1,575'|
|December 30, 2023||Casse-Pattes Circuit||3||69 km||1,428'|
|January 13, 2024||Wandering Flats ITT||1||25.1 km||476'|
|January 20, 2024||Serpentine 8 Gravel||8||38 km||1,336'|
|January 27, 2024||Libby Hill After Party||1||33 km||387'|
January 6, 2024: USA Cycling Amateur National Championships
January 7, 2024: USA Cycling Elite National Championships
2024 UCI Cycling Esports World Championship Qualifier
Echelon Racing Promotions will oversee every aspect of the qualification and championship in partnership with the team at indieVelo. The group has set a standard for equipment requirements and is working with indieVelo for performance verification and governance.
Echelon and indieVelo have implemented three tiers of performance verification. All athletes participating in the Echelon Racing League qualifiers must meet the minimum tier of equipment checks to ensure riders don’t use inaccurate hardware. Additionally, there are two other tiers based on whether the athlete is an elite, amateur, or age-group competitor in the National Championship. Similar to real-life testing, the podium athletes and random selections will undergo more extensive testing.
Echelon’s Hill is proud to lead the initiative, stating, “We are the first major cycling esports race series collaborating with indieVelo on both the amateur and elite levels. No other amateur series currently undergoes such rigorous scrutiny.”
It costs $25 to register and participate in the Echelon Racing League Series. Registration is through BikeReg.
The proceeds from the event cover the costs of performance verification and facilitation—no maximum number of entries per race.
Echelon Racing Promotions is a not-for-profit organization dedicating its profits to supporting Project Echelon Racing and the Veterans Foundation. Specifically, Echelon Racing Promotions donates 22% of its proceeds to Project Echelon, a 501c3 charity, as a tribute to the 22 veterans who tragically lose their lives to suicide daily.
In 2022, the Project Echelon Racing team achieved recognition as the highest-ranked US Continental Team. The organization provided support to 503 military veterans during the year. Through collaborations with 13 veteran non-profit organizations, Project Echelon expanded its presence in 32 states, resulting in $70,000 in donations and scholarships for veterans in 2022.
Semi-retired as owner and director of his private Orthopedic Physical Therapy practice after over 20 years, Chris is blessed with the freedom to pursue his passion for virtual cycling and writing. On a continual quest to give back to his bike for all the rewarding experiences and relationships it has provided him, he created a non-profit. Chris is committed to helping others with his bike through its work and the pages of his site.
In the summer of 2022, he rode 3,900 miles from San Francisco to New York to support the charity he founded, TheDIRTDadFund. His “Gain Cave” resides on the North Fork of Long Island, where he lives with his beautiful wife and is proud of his two independent children.
You will read him promoting his passion on the pages of Cycling Weekly, Cycling News, road.cc, Zwift Insider, Endurance.biz, and Bicycling. Chris is co-host of The Virtual Velo Podcast, too!