Women's Zwift KISS Super League esports racing kicks off in Koblenz

With the men's pro competition having been up and running since January 23, the women's KISS Super League – esports racing on virtual racing and training app Zwift – now begins on Tuesday, and promises to be just as exciting with seven women's pro teams and two Zwift teams doing battle in a virtual world.

Four riders each from Canyon-SRAM, Doltcini-Van Eyck, Bigla, Valcar-Cylance, TWENTY20 p/b Sho-Air, Hagens Berman Supermint and WNT-Rotor, plus a Zwift Academy Dream Team and a Zwift All Stars squad, will participate in the event held on Tuesday, February 19, at 11am PST (7pm GMT). Canyon-SRAM will be the only team to line up at Canyon bikes' headquarters in Koblenz, Germany, for the first in a weekly series of eight races. The other teams will be racing remotely.

Four rounds of the men's competition have so far taken place, with British Continental team Madison Genesis having been the most successful squad so far, with three wins out of four through Ian Bibby and Jon Mould, with Mould having won the last two rounds.

The races are streamed live online, and with pro riders now racing each other, it shows that indoor, virtual racing likely has a bright future, with cycling's governing body, the UCI, also suggesting that they will one day stage an esports world championship, and British Cycling announcing a national championship, which is set to happen this year.

Competing for Canyon-SRAM at Tuesday's first women's KISS Super League round will be Alice Barnes, Tanja Erath, Rotem Gafinovitz and Ella Harris. Erath and Harrishaving in fact earned their pro contract through the Zwift Academy virtual-racing competition in 2017 and 2018, in which they beat more than 2,000 other women to win a place on the team.

"The races are an easy way of putting race efforts into your legs and comparing your performance to others without travelling around the globe to race," Erath said on the Canyon-SRAM website.

"I'm not a really experienced Zwift racer, since I only did a few races during the Zwift Academy, but I'm looking forward to improving my race tactics. I have a lot of friends who are crazy about Zwift races and follow every livestream. I think they're going to love it.

"I'm really looking forward to seeing where it leads and how big it can grow," Erath continued. "So far, every live Zwift event that I've experienced has had an awesome atmosphere, and you push yourself really hard. It's going to be painful, but fun."

Head to Zwift's Facebook page for more information, which is also where you can also watch the racing live.

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