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Today’s sixth and final stage of the Tour de France virtual brought the riders to the Champs-Élysées in Paris. Simon Clarke, Moreno Hofland, Jonas Rutsch, and Jimmy Whelan made up the impressive roster for EF Pro Cycling today. The guys raced six laps around the iconic Paris landmark to finish out the tour on a strong note. This course was considerably flat compared to yesterday’s hills and there were plenty of opportunities for sprints, including an exciting one by Simon Clarke who finished in 7th place today. Shout out to our our guys who ended up 4th place in the overall general classification and thanks for joining our team during the stages of the Tour de France virtual!
Mike Woods takes stage 5 of the Tour de France virtual! The Canadian was injured this past March at Paris-Nice with a broken femur, and today he pulled through with an incredible win. Woods also thanked his running background to his win on Zwift today. “It’s a lot more of a sustained effort. It’s quite similiar to running since it’s a harder, higher sustained effort for a long period of time. I was able to keep the watts down and the power up and run my way on the bike,” said Woods. The recovery process seemed to be going smoothly for Mike despite it’s challenges, and this race more than proved that. “It’s great to see him back to full power,” said Jonathan Vaughters.
The stage started out with several ascents straight out of the gate with the all-star roster of Hugh, Rigo, Tanel, and Woods. La Reine was packed with hills, but Woods was more than up for the challenge. Throughout the Queen stage, our riders showcased their climbing skills on Mount Ventoux, a mountain in the Provence region of Southern France (and also happens to be the steepest climb throughout all of the stages). Our guys eventually made all their way to the iconic Chalet Reynard towards the end, with an impressive lead on the rest of the pack by Mike Woods. See you tomorrow in Paris at Champs-Élysées for the final stage and big congrats to the team!
“Casse Patte”, which means “leg breaker” in French, was the course for stage 4 of the Tour de France Virtual and the stage certainly lived up to its name. Lawson Craddock, Tanel Kangert, Jimmy Whelan, and Sean Bennett lined up to undertake the 45 kilometer course on Zwift’s France map and held on to the end, despite the blistering pace set by the bunch. At the end, only Lawson Craddock was able to contend for the sprint, finishing in sixth.
The final weekend of racing kicks off next Saturday (July 18) with a mountain stage that is sure to be a big day for our climbers.
Stage 3 of the Tour de France Virtual marked the launch of the brand new France map on virtual riding platform Zwift. Sep Vanmarcke, Jonas Rutsch, Moreno Hofland, and Sebastian Langeveld lined up at the start for EF Pro Cycling. The four riders were able to stay in the mix for the duration of the 48 km race and were fighting for sprint and king of the mountain points throughout the stage. Jonas Rutsch was our highest placed finisher, finishing in ninth after a hotly contested sprint.
Check back tomorrow (July 12) for stage 4.
Stage 2 of the Tour de France Virtual took on Watopia’s Mountain Route and the steep ascent up the Radio Tower Climb. Rigoberto Urán, Jimmy Whelan, Mike Woods and Simon Clarke lined up at the start and were all in the mix for the majority of the climb. Mike Woods, who was making his return to racing after sustaining an injury at Paris-Nice earlier this season, was the third rider over the summit and was able to hang on with the lead group along with teammate Rigoberto Urán to the finish. Woods would ultimately finish fourth in a hotly contested sprint that was taken by Julian Bernard (TFS).
Check back next week (July 11) for stage 3 of the Virtual Tour de France.
Stage 1 of the Tour de France Virtual, saw the riders take on a 36.4km course on Watopia’s Hilly Route – a short but hard circuit with lots of ups and downs. Magnus Cort, Jens Keukeleire, Julius van den Berg and Stefan Bissegger were the four riders that lined up at the start for EF Pro Cycling. This was Bissegger’s first race in pink for the squad after having used the spring season to focus on his track ambitions. The young Swiss rider and his teammates were unable to hang on to the blistering pace set at the front which would see NTT’s Ryan Gibbons take the win on stage 1. Check back tomorrow for stage 2 of the Virtual Tour de France.
What is the Tour de France Virtual?
This week should have marked the start of the 2020 Tour de France. While we might not be able to race through the French countryside for another couple of months, Tour de France race organizer, ASO, announced this week that they would be hosting the first ever Virtual Tour de France on online racing platform, Zwift. While we can’t wait to be racing in France again soon, we’re excited to race on the virtual roads of France.
What is it?
The Virtual Tour de France will consist of 6 stages, spread out over the course of 3 weekends in July. A mixture of terrains will be on display with hilly, flat, and mountain stages. Zwift is also launching their brand new “France” world which was created for this event. The course will include famous climbs and sceneries from the Tour de France, as well as the iconic Paris-Champs-Elysées circuit.
ASO is also launching their “Tour de France United” initiative which will benefit five organizations throughout the course of the Virtual Tour de France and the remainder of the 2020 season. You can find out how to support their initiative here.
How it works
The yellow jersey will be given to the leader of the general classification (based on points rather than on time), the polka dot jersey will be given to the best climber, the green jersey to the best sprinter, and the white jersey to the best young rider (again, based on points rather than on time). The Virtual Tour de France is a team-based event, which will allow teams to rotate riders between stages with a single team being crowned champion at the end of the sixth stage.
Can I join?
Yes! Along with the pro race, Zwift and ASO will host weekly mass participation events for all. The Virtual l’Étape du Tour de France will allow cyclists worldwide to ride on the same French roads as the pros and enjoy Zwift’s virtual world, Watopia.
Find out how you can join a ride here.
How to watch it
Racing will be broadcast in over 130 countries worldwide over the 3 weekends. Each race will be broadcast live on a whole host of channels and on the Zwift’s website. You can find a link to the live feed here.
Virtual Tour de France schedule
Saturday 4th July, stage 1: Nice, 36.4 km (4 x 9.1 km, hilly stage)
Sunday 5th July, stage 2: Nice, 29.5 km (682 m of ascent, mountain stage)
Saturday 11th July, stage 3: North-East France, 48 km (flat stage)
Sunday 12th July, stage 4: South-West France, 45.8 km (2 x 22.9 km laps, hilly stage)
Saturday 18th July, stage 5: Mont Ventoux, 22.9 km (finish at Chalet-Reynard, mountain stage)
Sunday 19th July, stage 6: Paris Champs-Elysées, 42.8 km (6 laps of the circuit)
Virtual l’Étape du Tour de France schedule
- 4th and 5th July, Stage 1: Nice, 29.5 km (682 m of ascent, mountain stage)
- 11th and 12th July, Stage 2: South-West France, 45.8 km (2 x 22.9 km laps, hilly stage)
- 18th and 19th July, Stage 3: Mountain stage, 22.9 km (finish at Chalet-Reynard)