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Professional bike racing returns this Sunday to a virtual world near you.
The Zwift Classics professional/amateur race series is back, starting April 5 with the women’s Yorkshire Grand Prix pro/am event on the Yorkshire world championship course. A smattering of top professional women are slated to compete, including Katarzyna Niewiadoma and Omer Shapira (Canyon-SRAM), Shayna Powless and Simone Biolard (Twenty20), among others.
VeloNews will be streaming the event live.
The race kicks off at 2:10 p.m. EST, and the pro women will complete 27.2km (16.9) miles on the course.
The race is the first of six unique races that each take place in a different Zwift world. The Pro/Am Invitational Zwift Classic races not only will pit the best teams against each other, but also set fresh challenges in each race. Points races, team-based racing, and hill-top finishes await racers.
The Pro-Am women’s event will kick off the racing with the Yorkshire Grand Prix, with the Pro-Am men and women alternating different races. Each Pro-Am race will feature different race challenges ranging from scratch race format, team points race and individual points. The women’s teams lined up to race include SEG Racing, Ribble-Weldtite, Hagens Berman Axeon, NTT, Canyon-dhb, Canyon/SRAM and TWENTY20.
Zwift also plans the first-ever Pro/Am Invitational race on the newest Zwift world, Crit City.
These events will be broadcast on VeloNews.com as well as on YouTube:
Yorkshire Grand Prix Pro/Am Invitational race (WOMEN), 2 pm EST April 5
London International Pro/Am Invitational race (MEN), 2 pm EST April 9
Trofeo Bologna Pro/Am Invitational race (WOMEN), 2 pm EST April 13
Richmond Challenge Pro/Am Invitational race (MEN), 2 pm EST April 17
Watopia Cup Pro/Am Invitational race (WOMEN), 2 pm EST April 21
Crit City Slam Pro/Am Invitational race (MEN), 2 pm EST April 25
For four days after the Pro/Am Invitational, each race will then be open for all to ride, with regularly scheduled events through April 30th.
For those who enjoy doing more than watching, Zwift’s new Haute Route: Watopia could be an effective — if not sweaty — way to pass the time on the trainer.
Offered across multiple time slots on April 3rd to 5th, Zwifters can take on some of the most leg-busting routes strung together in Watopia.
Day 1: The Three Sisters includes the Hilly KOM, Epic KOM, and Volcano KOM (30 miles, nearly 3,000 feet of climbing)
Day 2: The Tour of Fire and Ice featuring Alpe du Zwift (15.6 miles with over 3,800 feet of climbing)
Day 3: The Pretzel (45 miles, 4,300+ feet climbing)
Unlike Zwift’s world tours, no make-up dates are provided, so set your alarms.