The COVID-19 pandemic crisis might hopefully be over, but some of its effects are still to be seen in the present and the near future. And evolutions have to be also expected in the World of sports.
At Vitesse, we have been working in cycling for roughly 30 years as Press Office, PR, Media Relations, event organizers, and digital strategists. Our substantial background enabled us to give a wide-angle look at the two-wheels World and spot ten remarkable trends that might establish themselves in the coming months or years.
Our predictions will come in different blogs. Some of those might sound bold, but we believe they all have chances to become a reality, sooner rather than later.
We are now at the ninth
Virtual cycling World Championships under the aegis of the UCI
After two and a half months of lockdown, virtual trainers have become a mass reality, and they are going to stay. Perspectives and opportunities of a new phenomenon, with the primary question: when will we see the first-ever Virtual Cycling World Championships? Perhaps it won't take that long.
eSports are no longer a novelty, but it took two and a half months of lockdown to make virtual trainers an actual appealing trend in cycling. Zwift, Bkool, Rouvy, and similars have been lifesavers for those who can't stay without pedaling, as well as a showcase for teams and events looking for alternative opportunities to generate value in unique circumstances.
We believe that virtual cycling is not a transitory phenomenon, on the contrary. With the alleviation of the lockdown's measures and the warmer temperatures, cyclists returned to ride outside. Still, many who have purchased a smart trainer at this stage are aware of the potential and fun which virtual platforms can offer. Above all, if social distancing will keep riders away from amateur competitions for some more time, they will get back to virtual to get back the taste of competition. Not to mention winter times, when the temptation to do an intense (but fun) training on the rollers will make its way against the likelihood of going out with long clothing, perhaps in the rain.
If the trend of eSports in other worlds is respected, it will not take long for companies (and not only them) to focus on the opportunities of these new platforms. This topic inside the politics of international bodies foresees the search for new critical bases and niches to reawaken sponsors' interest, such as the opening towards a UCI world gravel. Do you believe that a world of virtual cycling, perhaps in partnership with Zwift (the most popular and the most "game-like" of the various competitors), is such a remote perspective? And no, it won't be a road cycling professional to win it.