Spin for the win: Get ready for a virtual Tour de France

The virtual training company Zwift will power the virtual version of the storied race, starting this weekend.


June 30, 2020

The Tour de France is getting its SoulCycle on. 

The 2,220-mile cruise through the French countryside will be held online starting this weekend — on stationary bikes, powered by the virtual training company Zwift.

Bike as Zwift as the coursing river

Founded in 2014, Zwift promises the “fun of video games and the intensity of serious training.” 

Its competitions feature all sorts of bells and whistles, from digital backdrops and hyper-realistic graphics to Mario Kart-esque power-ups like speed boosts and invisibility. 

Each rider’s height, weight, and energy output will be measured to determine their speed and race position.  

While the traditional, outdoor Tour de France has been rescheduled for August, Zwift CEO Eric Min said the virtual version will soften the blow if the real-life race is canceled. 

This might be the Peloton redemption arc

Each cyclist will race on home-bike setups – which usually range from $2k to $5k. 

Before the pandemic, these pricey pedals weren’t exactly flying off shelves. But thanks to the gympocalypse, smart-bike producers like Echelon and Peloton saw much-needed boosts in sales

High-end equipment like that won’t move you an inch, Fast Company’s Mark Wilson says — but it’s the “finest hamster wheel that money can buy.”

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