Zwift opens qualification process for 2022 UCI Cycling Esports World Championships

Screenshot of a rider on Zwift attacking up a climb
You could be part of the 2022 UCI Cycling Esports World Championships (Image credit: Zwift)

Zwift has made an announcement that is sure to pique the interest of Esports riders. The indoor cycling platform has been confirmed to host the 2022 UCI Cycling Esports World Championships on February 26, 2022.

For the 2022 UCI Cycling Esports World Championships, Zwift has elected the platform’s New York map as the virtual venue of choice. Riders will be competing over two and a half laps of the Knickerbocker route. All riders will race the same route distance and profile, with a total distance of 54.9km and 944m of vertical ascent. A single Knickerbocker lap is 22.5km.

The route will test climbing ability with a KOM segment that features a 6.1-per cent average gradient over a distance of 1.4km, with ramps of up to 17 per cent.

The route profile of the Zwift Knickerbocker course

(Image credit: Zwift)
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All riders have a chance to qualify

Zwift is keen to democratise the qualifying criteria for its 2022 UCI Cycling Esports World Championships event. To do that, those riders who aren’t part of national Esport cycling squads can still attempt entry via qualification.

David Lappartient, UCI President, says it is “exciting to reveal a new opportunity for emerging cycling esports stars, enabling them to compete with household names from the UCI WorldTour peloton.”

While all Zwift Racing League Premier Division riders will receive an automatic invite for the qualifying events, community riders will have to race in a series of Continental Qualifying events, granted they're at least level 5+ and have been auto-categorised by WTRL as a Category A (or above). Oceania, Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas will all have their own Zwift qualifiers and the top five riders from each of these are added to their national federation team. 

Zwift has also taken the stance to continue gender parity with the event distance and prizes for the 2022 UCI Cycling Esports World Championships. Prize money has not yet been confirmed, but we know winners will get both a digital and physical rainbow jersey, confirming their status as Esport cycling world champions. 

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Lance Branquinho is a Namibian born media professional, with 15-years of experience in technology and engineering journalism covering anything with wheels. Being from Namibia, he knows a good gravel road when he sees one, and he has raced some of Africa’s best-known mountain bike stage races, such as Wines2Wales and Berg&Bush.