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Tadej Pogačar, Vincenzo Nibali and possibly Jonas Vingegaard could be about to lock horns in their biggest encounter yet — a FIFA-based rider tournament organized during the off-season that is set to be streamed on Twitch.
Details are still being finalized but Pogačar took to social media Tuesday to announce the online competition with the date of December 15 slated. FIFA, also known as FIFA Football, is the world’s leading soccer computer game with the 2023 version recording 10.3 million players during the first week, post-launch.
The cycling tournament will see pro riders take each other on in online matches with a prize fund of 1000 Euros set aside for the winner. Riders must apply for the tournament via email and supply a 50 Euro deposit. It’s still unclear as to how the draw for the tournament will take place or if a mini round-robin league will be set up.
We do know that several riders have followed Pogačar’s lead with Marc Hirschi, Alessandro Covi, Felix Großschartner, Diego Ulissi, Samuele Battistella, Vincenzo Nibali, Domenico Pozzovivo, Biniam Girmay among those who have paid their deposits.
As for Vingegaard, VeloNews isn’t even aware if he plays FIFA, although one Jumbo-Visma insider did tell us they “don’t think so.” We do know that the rider’s agent has been approached to see if the Dane can be tempted into competing. Another rider who could take part is Mark Cavendish, who has expressed his passion for FIFA in the past.
Meanwhile, Covi has already started with the mind games, sharing photos of himself with VeloNews as he puts his fingers and thumbs through some intense workouts. Look at that game face.