Telefónica has launched a virtual cycling competition as part of its sponsorship of the Movistar cycling Team.
The Movistar Virtual Cycling competition will allow professional and amateur cyclists from around the world to compete against each other on famous routes simulated in 3D or video using indoor training kit.
To run the competition the telecommunications brand has partnered with indoor cycling platform Bkool which enables riders to connect their bike or home trainer to a device that measures their output and allows them to participate in the online competition.
The Bkool simulator, which claims it has 100,000 active users around the world, creates representations of the road and race conditions: distance, road gradients, power developed by every rider, slipstream, landscapes and even weather. To enter the Movistar Virtual Cycling competition, end users would need an intelligent roller, a smartphone, tablet, computer and internet connection.
Virtual cycling is an emerging discipline which helps to alleviate the boredom of indoor cycling. Combining gaming with fitness and social networking it offers cycling teams and event organisers the opportunity to engage the cycling community more effectively.
The Movistar competition was launched on Monday afternoon at the Movistar Team’s press conference with Nairo Quintana and Eusebio Unzué just before the start of the Tour Colombia in Medellín today.
The competition will start in April, combining online and on-site qualifying events held during the same weeks as the biggest races on the cycling calendar. Participants will compete on simulated routes matching sections of races on the World Tour calendar. The winners of the qualifiers will compete in the world finals in Madrid on 13-14 September.