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The Echelon Racing League pro race series kicks off on November 13 for a three-day event.
Friday’s stage 1 will see racers will cover a circuit in Borrego Springs, California. Saturday’s stage 2 will take the riders around a punishing Belgian Paterberg circuit before the final mountaintop finish stage up the infamous Stelvio Pass in Italy on Sunday’s stage 3.
This race is the first stop on an 11-event series for pros and domestic elites and will offer equal prize money to the winners of the men’s and women’s events. An amateur series is also planned, with opportunities for competitors to mix it up in the professional ranks.
“It is no secret that cycling has been a sport that has struggled financially in recent years, which has only been exacerbated by the events of 2020. This is our moment to capitalize on the success of esports and elevate it with the passion, tradition, history, and fierce competition of cycling,” said Eric Hill, the president and founder of the Echelon Racing League.
While the Echelon Racing League events will not be hosted in the familiar Zwift environment, this is seen as a win for riders and fans alike.
Head of Brand and Marketing at RGT Cycling James Vickers, said, “Our physics go beyond what you usually find in e-racing and the result is a game-changing experience for both spectators and racers. Our core values of accessibility, empowerment, and realism are all complimented by this partnership and we’re hoping to encourage more users to enjoy the free RGT Cycling experience.”
Project Echelon recently spun off the Echelon Racing League to have a life of its own is as a service to competitive athletes. However, this is not the main focus of the organization, which also features an in-real-life domestic elite squad.
The mission of the Echelon Racing League is to use virtual racing and esports as a platform to grow the cycling community and sustainability of the sport for all stakeholders, including teams and their partners, race promoters, and national governing bodies.
Earlier in 2020, real-world leader’s jerseys were awarded to the winners of the Joe Martin Virtual Stage Race. This sought to engage riders who were denied to opportunity to race the real-world event due to the COVID-19 racing halt. Project Echelon also offered a virtual Tour of the Gila, and the Virtual Joe Martin Stage Race.
Live race broadcasts—streamed through the Echelon Racing League web site and delivered here on VeloNews—will not only be focused on the racers and their efforts, but will also include live interviews from riders, community members and organization, and event directors.