Zwift "Tour for All" (May 4th to May 8th 2020)

Page 2 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
You're still comparing it to road cycling. It's not road cycling. And it doesn't defeat the purpose of having them to a physical effort in order to, you know, keep fit. They're just... having fun while they're doing it, and since there's nothing else to watch, it's a good way to pass the time.
Erm, they're not doing it because it's fun, they're doing it because it pleases their sponsors. I am sure most pro-riders don't really like this stuff. It's a bit of a circus act.
Reactions: Cookster15
Ah, and you believe them... They're saying what they're expected to say by their sponsors. And yes, they actually are forced to ride. You think that there is no pressure on the riders to give their sponsors and teams some exposure in these dire times?
Not sure what the big deal is here, pro racers are competitors at heart if not they wouldn't be doing that job, so a competition will always be welcome, regardless of what their "sponsor" tells them to do !
Some riders may need more convincing than others, sure, but it's not like anyone can break into their homes and tie them to their hometrainer.
Of course most of them would probably prefer to race on the road, but... that's not an option right now. Some of it is to give sponsors exposure, but that's part of the contract. There is probably a reason why riders - especially big-name riders like Vos - has full sponsor walls behind them.

And for this particular race, the fact that it helps raise funds for the Doctors Without Borders is a quite nice touch too.
There's been a lot of motorsport sim racing going on during lockdown, and while I've not been watching it, it seems like they're definitely shying away from the 'arcade' style and trying to make things as simulation as possible. The arcade style might be more fun to pick up and play (opinions vary, as sims can be more rewarding because of the more 'authentic' experience) but the simulation offers a more 'real' viewing experience. While Zwift type events do offer at least some real senses in terms of that you're turning wheels and people can get an idea of your power, endurance and W/kg (notwithstanding that there are myriad examples of these being fudged), things like power-ups are just toys, and while they might be a bit of a laugh for the pros, it only serves to emphasise the message that this is not to be taken seriously and it also means that it's harder to ascribe a value to the comparison of one's performance to the pros than it is in, say, iRacing. There have been a few different platforms that have attracted a lot of different drivers from different formats of the sport, and specialist sim racers. As far as I am aware, none have been in MarioKart, Wipeout or similar style games.

These are difficult times to strike a balance in, I get that. If some of the events like the virtual RVV were considered too dry, they want to liven up the broadcast, but at the same time you have to ask the question: who are they aiming it at? As a televisual spectacle it's unlikely to take off any more than any other e-sport once real sport recommences, so, who is it for?

If it's for the existing cycling fanbase, then those people don't need powerups and wizardry to enliven proceedings (even those that like the Hammer Series); if they're interested enough in cycling to be watching bike racing then they already understand the technicalities of a race and the game-like elements take them out of the immersion, which as you can see from this thread is accepted as fun enough by some, but off-putting and a turn-off to others.

If it's for the casual, or potential, cycling fanbase, I feel it's probably a swing-and-a-miss as if you're introducing factors that don't exist in real cycling to attract fans, they'll be disappointed when they tune in to a real race (especially if it's an early TDF flat stage with 4 hours of nothing broadcast!!!) and see a completely different spectacle with various nuances they have to now learn. Obviously nobody expects invisibility and breakaway burritos to be part of a real race, but if you need that kind of thing to enjoy a bike race, then the sport clearly isn't for you.

If it's to amuse the riders to encourage them to take part (or to encourage their sponsors to think it's worth forcing them to take part, at least, although the sponsors are more likely to believe the 'shorten everything for young people with no attention span' spiel and not need the amusing side-show stuff), then cool, but then you're being constantly made aware that you're essentially watching other people play a game. Which has a pretty sizable niche audience with competitive speedrunners and the like, but has limited value above and beyond that.

I wonder if the idea is to make this into an amusing side attraction for riders in the hope of running some of these through off-seasons in future. I think given the popularity of CX, crossover with other sports and the likelihood that most riders will be doing warm weather training outdoors in places like Mallorca, Tenerife and so on will limit this potential unless they offer substantial enticement to compete, while the issue of late season showing your old sponsor if you're moving team and so on might be a factor. But might it also be another roll of the dice for elite sin contrato riders? Or will it be just seen as competitive computer gaming and a one-off thing to entertain some bored housebound pros in a unique situation, and disappear as soon as people can ride real bikes and watch real bike races again?
Yes, I really don't see the point of getting bent out of shape about these little things that provide a close to zero advantage. Compared to previous eRaces the main draw here is that there is actual drafting, which will be making way more of a difference, just like it does IRL (about 25% by my measure, yes, I race on Zwift).
I would think for teams and riders it is the only way right now to show their sponsors. So they take it.
For Zwift or Rouvy it's not about inventing a serious e-series, but about attracting hobby riders. And they are different in stuff like drafting, so attracting different people.
Besides, there seem to exist economic alliances between players/ teams/ businesses in cycling that I am getting a hunch of but don't fully understand. (Like cyclingnews supporting the Tour for All, but not Digital Swiss 5, Velon working with Rouvy...)
Another "surprise" but like Si said, "greener" riders are not at the same disadvantage as they are on the road in terms of knowing the "ropes" and being asked to work for a leader. Well done !
Would that we had an actual race to discuss! Unfortunately these e-races are the only choice, for better or for worse, and when you have something that is SO different to normal racing, is it any surprise that those differences are a point of discussion?

Some people might prefer something to be as close to the real thing as possible because they're missing it. Some people might think, if you can have means to achieve the kind of thing which is unachievable in a real race, then why not go the whole hog? Some people are still working, albeit mostly from home, during the time the races are on, so by the time they come to discuss them the race has been and gone and the conversation's back to the differences from normal racing.
Reactions: BlueRoads
It's not just discussing the differences, though. It's complaining about how "stupid" e-racing is.
Besides, nobody is discussing the differences between road cycling and cross, or road cycling and MTB, or road cycling and track. So why comparing road cycling and e-cycling?
Seems like the big mistake was having the thread in this sub-forum, because they're not actually on the road...
I'm just... not too bothered about those features.
They have them; cool.
If they'd decided not to have them; cool.
If they'd implemented some more "race realistic" features; cool.
These "features" detract from the appeal of virtual racing. Who are they trying to appeal to? Certainly not anyone who followed professional road racing prior to the COVID-19 epidemic. Grow a new market with limited appeal or protect the much larger entrenched market?

A little more effort should be made in perfecting the algorithms to simulate drafting and a lot less effort incorporating children's arcade game like gimmicks. Power up? Give me a break. Look at this thread, hardly on fire is it because most cycling fans, many of whom have raced, have no connection whatsoever with arcade or online video game gimmicks. I wish those at Zwift who otherwise have a great product for indoor training could figure this out. They must employ computer geeks who have never raced and don't understand the market.
It's not just discussing the differences, though. It's complaining about how "stupid" e-racing is.
No it's not. I made that very clear. I'm all for a "normal" e-race, even if it has its flaws and room for improvement. This however is like having F1 racers compete in Mario Kart, instead of a racing simulator. It makes no sense and it completely defeats its purpose. Like i said, i can see how this is "fun" for amateurs, to get some entertainment out of their training exercises in their garage. As a spectator, for me, it's completely without appeal.