If it’s unfathomable to you that esports, multiplayer video games contested in front of spectators, will grow to be a billion-dollar industry this year, consider this: this fall, you could become a professional cyclist without ever touching tire to tar. You’d train and race in the virtual worlds created by Zwift, a fitness company that blends video game tech with indoor cycling equipment. The company recently announced the 2019 Zwift Academy, an eight-week training program that takes place on digital roads but will yield to the top performers a year-long professional cycling contract with Team Dimension Data or Canyon/SRAM Racing.
To enroll in Zwift Academy, all you need to do is sign up. The program, which starts on August 5, consists of eight hour-long workouts and any combination of four group rides or races. You’ll need an indoor bike trainer to ride indoors and to qualify for the pro contract. You’ll also need to use a smart trainer or power meter, a heart rate monitor, and cadence sensor in all qualifying events. Of course, nothing’s stopping you from riding outside between those events to get an edge on your fellow competitors back in the virtual world.
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