Cycling

How Army Cycling's Season Has Gone Virtual During Lockdown

The team has taken to the Zwift platform to complete races on virtual tracks, including an Inter Services event.

The Army cycling season has managed to continue despite the coronavirus outbreak, due to a virtual platform called Zwift.

Cycling was postponed at the start of the pandemic, but the team have managed to hold virtual races from their living rooms including an Inter Services event.

The process has given hope for the future that virtual races could be added to the sporting calendar.

Sergeant James Bevan has been leading charge for the virtual sport and even rose to 5th in the world rankings.

"There a lot of professional riders in the world who are in the exact same position as all their races have been cancelled too," he said.

"Sometimes, you get on the start line and find yourself lined up against a World Tour pro and think 'This is going to be a tough race'.

"Some of those World Tour pros are finding it tough themselves because these e-racing professionals are really good.

"I’ve taken a couple of wins at elite level now and the level that these races are at is so hard.

"To even get to the finish line, let alone take a win, has been amazing and such a good feeling."

The team have been camped out in their living rooms while getting in their exercise.

Despite enjoying the virtual races, Sgt Bevan has admitted that it is an unusual feeling compared to normal events.

"It was really strange at first," he said.

"You go from being at start line surrounded by 120 riders and all of a sudden, you are in your living room.

"It’s a very different experience and the racing on Zwift is so hard.

"It’s so competitive and it’s actually to an extent, harder than some of the races you might have expected to do on the road.

"You still get that race feeling and that adrenaline rush on the start line as the counter counts down from ten to one.

"You’re still pumped and ready to go.

"Your heart rate is through the roof and you are sweating so yeah, you still get that buzz."