The world’s top professional cycling teams are preparing to do battle against each other next month in “The Digital Swiss 5” – a series of five individual races on parts of the same parcours planned for the Tour de Suisse 2020.
Velon is working with the organisers of the Tour de Suisse and the ROUVY Indoor Cycling Reality platform to bring racing to fans everywhere whilst respecting the global restrictions on everyday life as a result of the COVID19 pandemic.
Top WorldTour team riders will get on their “smart” trainers for five races over five consecutive days and go all-out over some of the most challenging parts of the Tour de Suisse parcours. The ROUVY platform uses real video footage of the roads and riders are represented by 3D avatars wearing their team kit and riding their own team’s bikes.
Invitations to participate have been sent to all teams who are scheduled to race in this year’s Tour de Suisse, which is due to be held in June.
Each team will have three riders and their live data – speed, power and cadence – will be on display, continuing the pioneering work done by Velon in partnership with the world’s biggest race organisers, broadcasters and digital platforms over the past four years. Some of the riders will have webcams on them so viewers can see their faces as they push out the watts.
The riders’ bikes will be connected to “smart” trainers, which have surged in popularity as the COVID19 virus has forced millions of people to stay at home. The trainers pair with the platform and the riders watch the course and their position on their monitor in real-time. As the profile of the course goes uphill and downhill, the trainer automatically applies more or less resistance.
The races, each lasting approximately one hour, are scheduled for Wednesday 22nd April – Sunday 26th April. Full details on how fans can watch will be announced soon. Viewers in Switzerland will be able to watch live on the national broadcaster, SRF.
Michael Matthews, Team Sunweb, said: “These are difficult times for everyone at the moment and this is a really cool way for us to interact with our fans and race when standard racing is not possible. It gives us something to be motivated to do and be excited for when everything else is so uncertain. I personally am really looking forward to watching and maybe even racing myself.”
Luke Roberts, Sport Director, Team Sunweb, said: “This is a great e-sports opportunity for us and fans to still engage with racing under circumstances that mean a traditional approach to racing is not possible. For most cycling enthusiasts, riding outside is not permitted and this interactive approach gives professionals and fans alike a way to enjoy a race in a safe way in the current situation.”
Velon offers unrivalled access to the best professional cycling teams in the world. Velon is owned by: BORA-hansgrohe; CCC Team; Deceuninck – Quick-Step Team; EF Pro Cycling; Lotto Soudal; Mitchelton-SCOTT; Team INEOS; Team Jumbo-Visma; Team Sunweb; Trek-Segafredo; UAE Team Emirates. Velon – from the teams to the fans.
The Czech company ROUVY is one of the most popular providers of indoor training software solutions in the cycling community. ROUVY distinguishes itself from other providers thanks to realistic representations of the track simulations. These are based on real video recordings of the routes. Besides a variety of existing routes like the Furka Pass, the Stelvio or other cycling classics, ROUVY also offers a wide range of virtual events for the benefit of its user community.
Key information about The Digital Swiss 5
- Wednesday April 22 – Sunday April 26 (start times tbc), one race per day, each race duration approximately 1hr
- Participating teams
- Full list of teams to be confirmed
- Each team will have three riders
- How to watch
- Details to follow