15 Top WorldTour teams sign up for the Digital Tour de Suisse
Riders compete against each other each day on some of the most beautiful Tour de Suisse stages, April 22 - 26, 2020
Photo: Egan Bernal is the current Tour de Suisse champion, beating Rohan Dennis by just 19 seconds last year.
As more races are postponed and re-scheduled, many professional riders and amateurs alike can't even leave their houses due to the Covid-19 pandemic, virtual racing seems to be growing rapidly.
last weekend, Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet won the Ronde van Vlaanderen/Tour de Flanders 2020 lockdown edition and followed by cycling fans from all over the world.
With that, the Digital Swiss 5 race series has announced the participating teams.
Fifteen World Tour and two Pro Continental teams along with the Swiss national team will ride the series. "We are overwhelmed by how many teams have confirmed their participation in The Digital Swiss 5 in such a short time," said Joko Vogel, Co-CEO Cycling Unlimited AG
The Tour de Suisse, ROUVY and Velon have joined forces to launch a world premiere in digital pro racing. The goal is to bring the top teams in the world together to compete against each other on the ROUVY Indoor Cycling Reality platform. In the new racing format, The Digital Swiss 5, riders compete against each other each day on sections of some of the most beautiful Tour de Suisse stages.
Taking place Wednesday April 22 - Sunday April 26 (start times TBC), there will be one stage race per day, each race approximately 1hr in duration and each team will have three riders.
Using video footage from previous editions, the races will see three riders from each team, represented by avatars in full kit as they labour away on smart trainers, take on both flat and mountain stages. The teams’ line-ups can change from race to race. All the riders’ data will be available for online viewers.
You can follow the live action here on Gran Fondo Guide.
AG2R La Mondiale
Deceuninck - Quick-Step Team
EF Education First Pro Cycling
Israel Start-Up Nation
NTT Pro Cycling
Total Direct Energie
Swiss National Team
Stefan Küng, Groupama-FDJ, said, "I love cycling because it takes place outside and in all weathers but in these extraordinary times, when some of my team colleagues can only train in their own homes and all races are cancelled until further notice, such novel digital races are certainly an exciting addition. It is also attractive for our sponsors as it allows them to regain attention".
Michael Matthews, Team Sunweb, said, “These are difficult times for everyone at the moment and this is a really cool way for us to interact with our fans and race when standard racing is not possible. It gives us something to be motivated to do and be excited for when everything else is so uncertain at the moment. I personally am really looking forward to watching and maybe even racing myself.”