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Dowsett: Zwift race 'harder than the Hour Record'

Alex Dowsett, like most other professional cyclists, has been forced to refocus his goals after all UCI races were postponed or cancelled through June and the Olympic Games rescheduled for 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Stuck on the turbo trainer, Dowsett decided to try competing in a virtual race on the Zwift e-racing platform and found it to be harder than he anticipated.

In a YouTube vlog shot by the Israel Start-Up Nation rider's partner Chanel, Dowsett is asked which was harder, the Zwift race or 2015 Hour Record [where he covered 52.937 kilometres] - "They've got their own difficulties" Dowsett says before acknowledging that Zwift was harder.

"I see the attraction of it," Dowsett said. "It's not really a race, it's more like a ramp test. You go hard and then you just try to hang on. If I was in my little group I either went to the front or the all the way to back and was doing that a lot. I guess the people who do this a lot get good at sitting in the group.

"It's more entertaining than just sitting here or doing a workout as such, but it's hard."

The 31-year-old warmed up with a 4km pursuit effort before the start of the race and still found himself on the back foot, chasing.

He eventually made the main group pushing 350 watts or more but ended up getting tailed out and caught by a chasing group. Over the 19-minute effort, Dowsett averaged 329 watts at 150bpm average, with a max effort of 523 watts and 174bpm.