While Rohan Dennis later won the Team Ineos eRace on the Zwift indoor-riding platform on Sunday, fans joined the team's riders and staff earlier in the day for a mass-participation eRide, setting a new record for the amount of riders taking part in a single event on the platform, with 15,530 riders logged as riding together.
While neither Team Ineos nor Zwift have announced what the previous record was for a single event, Zwiftinsider.com reported at the end of last month that a reader had sent in a screenshot of 28,305 riders concurrently using the platform – all riding different events, or training on their own or with others – with huge numbers flocking to Zwift due to the current lockdowns and limitations around the world as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Team Ineos riders including four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome took part in the eRide, with riders clad in the British team's bright-orange training jerseys. Later, for the 'Alpe du Zwift' eRace, which all 30 of the squad's riders took part in, the Team Ineos riders switched to a special digital version of their more-common burgundy team kit, marking main sponsor Ineos's initiative to supply a million bottles of hand sanitiser to hospitals around Europe to help in the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak.
"Ineos are using their raw materials to make hand sanitiser and give it free to hospitals around Europe," said team principal Dave Brailsford in a press release. "We're running the distribution into the hospitals, and our logistics team are doing a brilliant job of getting it to where it's needed most.
"In these moments, everybody has got to muck in, and we've all got to play our part. We're used to being performers – people normally come to watch us – but the performers at the moment are the health workers. We're getting behind them and doing everything that we can in sport to support them," he said.
"I was absolutely gripped, and it was really enjoyable to watch," Brailsford added on watching his riders race each other on Zwift.
"Fair play to Rohan – you can see why he's the world time trial champion. You can see Eddie [Dunbar, second place] is in pretty good shape, but I think the rider that caught my eye was Chris Froome," he said of the British rider who finished sixth in Sunday's eRace, and is on his way back to full fitness after crashing out during a reconnaissance ride of the stage 4 time trial at the 2019 Critérium du Dauphiné and being left with various fractures, including to his femur, neck and sternum.
"That's a hell of a ride from a guy who is coming back, and that's a great indicator that he's on track and going to be in the mix when we get back out there on the road," said Brailsford.
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