Esports World Cup Betting: 2022 UCI Cycling Sports World Championships

Esports World Cup Betting 2022 UCI Cycling Sports World Championships

Everything you need to know about watching, enjoying, and possibly competing in the UCI Esports World Championships.

  • Saturday, February 26th
  • Time: 6.15 p.m. UTC (women) and 7.45 p.m. UTC (men) (men)
  • Type of race: Virtual scratch race
  • Zwift’s virtual Central Park in New York
  • Knickerbocker Pathway
  • Finish: New York City KOM Forward – Summit
  • 54.9 kilometers (34 miles)
  • Gain in elevation: 944 m / 3,097 feet

This weekend, the best Zwift racers in the world will compete for the virtual rainbow bands. The second edition of the Cycling Esports World Championships will feature 180 riders from 25 countries competing for world titles with equal rider allocations, race distances, TV time, and prize money for both men’s and women’s races.

Visit Abby Mickey’s preview to see who to watch, and continue reading for a deep dive into the more technical aspects of this weekend’s racing.

What exactly is at stake?

The winners of both races will be crowned world champions in esports, a title they will hold for the next 12 months. Both world champions will receive a virtual jersey with the famous UCI rainbow bands as well as an esports-specific design. The avatars of the winners will wear a digital rainbow jersey on Zwift for the next year. Winners will also receive a physical esports world champion’s jersey as well as the right to wear the rainbow bands in public at sanctioned esports events.

Of course, the prestige of the famous rainbow stripes jersey would be enough for any cyclist, but the podium in each race will offer €8,000 for the winner, €4,000 for second, and €2,000 for third.


In Zwift’s futuristic take on New York City’s Central Park, riders in both the women’s and men’s events will race on the same adapted version of the Knickerbocker route. The route will take riders on two laps of the Knickerbocker route’s rolling park roads and elevated transparent sci-fi roads among the high-rise buildings, totaling 54.9 km.

A course change is the icing on the cake for climbing fans, as it relocates the finish line from the flat(ish) lap arch to the top of the brutally steep NYC KOM Forward climb. With only a metre of flat road between three ascents of the steep NYC KOM climb, expect the bunch to whittle down on the demanding course as riders drop out the back of the peloton rather than all-out attacks from the front.
The NYC KOM Forward climb is the highlight of this year’s Esports Worlds course. On paper, the climb appears to be only moderately difficult, but in the virtual world, it is brutal, and with the 100% trainer difficulty now required, it is sure to decimate the field.

The official climb statistics appear to be modest, with an average gradient of 6.4% over 1.36 km and a total ascent of 88 m. These figures obscure the brutally steep pitches of nearly 18% in the middle of the climb, as well as the final pitches of 15%+ near the summit. Think somewhere between the Mur de Huy and the Mur de Bretagne for real-world climbs.

The two early ascents of the NYC KOM Forward climb are expected to drastically reduce the peloton to a small group of favorites. The rolling roads on the rest of the lap will make it difficult for breakaways to gain significant advantages, and many of the favorites will save their legs for the almost certain fireworks on the final ascent to the finish.

Who it’s for: Chris McGlinchey, one of the pre-race favorites, told CyclingTips: “If I were to put it in road racing terms, it would suit a classics/puncheur style rider.” The entire course is up and down, with three 2.5-minute climbs that feel like bergs in a Belgian classic. It will be a rider who can conserve energy and stay on top of nutrition and hydration for the final push up the hill.”

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