Doha, Qatar, April 8, 2020: With all sports events put on hold and with athletes increasingly confined indoors, the Qatar Cycling and Triathlon Federation (QCTF) - supported by the Qatar Olympic Committee and Rasen Adventure Shop - is turning to technology to keep the country’s cyclists active but safely indoors.
Starting this month, a series of challenges and races will be run on the ‘Zwift’ virtual cycling platform. The races are intended to inform, encourage and support riders to discover Zwift and come together as a community to do online what can no longer be done on roads.
The cyclist’s own bike is mounted on a trainer which wirelessly transmits their efforts to software, translating them into speed, propelling an avatar around the virtual world of Zwift.
All the avatars are powered by real humans, not game-generated, and, with the current pandemic increasingly affecting cyclists worldwide, Zwift has already hit a peak of more than 28,000 users.
It is easy to imagine yourself in the deserts, jungles, cities, cycling through volcanoes, past dinosaurs or along elevated sky-roads of a futuristic New York.
Ultimately there will be races, too, to replace those lost to COVID-19. The success of the project will be measured by virtual cycling continuing in Qatar throughout the hot summer months, even after the restrictions have been lifted.
Source: The Peninsula Qatar