Rally Cycling is excited to announce it will be competing in The Digital Swiss 5 – five days of intense virtual racing with rotating three-rider rosters on the pristine roads of Switzerland.
Hosted by Rouvy, the Tour de Suisse, and Velon Group, the team is part of the original 18 squads selected for June’s Tour de Suisse that have accepted the call to compete against the largest collection of WorldTour professionals ever on a digital platform.
Running from April 22-26, organizers created the series, “in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to keep fans engaged in the sport and give riders an opportunity to compete against each other.”
WORLD PREMIERE: THE DIGITAL SWISS 5 – Tour de Suisse, @gorouvy and @VelonCC start the first digital race with the best pro teams in the world. All informations about the 5 races in April: https://t.co/cLsoNwA1WS
— Tour de Suisse (@tds) March 27, 2020
The team’s preliminary rotating roster includes Stephen Bassett, Rob Britton, Nate Brown, Robin Carpenter, Adam de Vos, Colin Joyce, Kyle Murphy, and Emerson Oronte. Other riders are expected to be added once the official course details have been released.
Each stage is expected to last approximately one hour and includes two sprinter friendly courses and three hilly stages over the five-day event.
“We’re excited to participate in The Digital Swiss 5,” said team director Pat McCarty. “We’re a racing team, so it’s at the roots of how we’re wired. I’m looking forward to how this will fit into the training routine of the peloton moving forward. There are zero breaks when you’re racing online so from a fitness perspective, it’s quite beneficial for the athletes.”
Team leader Nate Brown has already started competing online although he “didn’t crack the top 50,” and has some work to do.
“I’ve done a few virtual races and I won’t lie, I really enjoy them,” said Brown. “I’m not a big fan of riding the trainer, but if I have to, doing these virtual races makes it fun. Indoor racing was already on the rise, but I think it’s just going to take off.”
With the world governing body of cycling, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), announcing recently that no professional races will be held prior to the month of June at the earliest, the peloton is left in limbo and seeking motivation.
“It’s super nice to finally have something to look forward to,” said Brown. “I ended up shutting it down for about 10 days once the season got delayed so having this race to look forward to gives all of us a nice target.”
Virtual racing platforms have grown in popularity over the last few years but only recently have the world’s top teams, events, and governing bodies embraced it as a way to provide value and entertainment to partners and fans.
Live streaming details have yet to be released but the team will be sure to update you as more information becomes available.