Zwift's 2018 Innsbruck UCI Road World Championship course, based on the real-world circuit, launches today. That means that you'll be able to ride and train on part of the same track that the pros will be racing over the eight day competition from 22–30 September this year.
The Zwift course lets riders train on the 24km ‘Olympic Lap’, which is ridden seven times in the men's race and three times in the women’s race, after a 85km ride into the city of Innsbruck.
The virtual course features an 8km section of climbing and passes through the old town of Innsbruck. Zwift did something similar back in 2015 with the Richmond, Virginia WC route, but this route has a distinctly more hilly and Alpine flavour.
For a full look at the course, Zwift has put together a preview here.
Zwift sees this new course as the perfect opportunity for pros to recon the course in detail, so come the World Champs they should know precisely where to attack and perform best on the day.
of course, the course needs to be detailed and accurate enough for riders to have a realistic virtual experience, but it’s a practice already established in other sports. Formula 1 drivers, for example, often test-drive tracks in simulators, so it's quite interesting to see the idea popping up in cycling too.
Zwift hopes that the course will allow amateurs to ride alongside the pros. While the WC contenders will be training and getting to know the course, amateurs can ride the same track and experience what the competitors will have to face on race day.
Zwift will also be running a pop-up during the 2018 UCI Road World Championships in Innsbruck. If you have yet to be convinced by the virtual training platform then you'll be able to try it out or even join one of the daily organised ride outs.
The course will be available long after the World Championships are over, so if you simply want to get a taste of what the pros ride in the future, or sample the riding in and around Innsbruck, it will be there for you to ride.