Dutchwoman Loes Adegeest and Denmark’s Bjørn Andreasson will don virtual rainbow jerseys on Zwift for the next year after taking the wins at the 2023 UCI Cycling Esports World Championships.
Adegeest, who rides on the road for FDJ-Suez, successfully defended the title she won last year, coming out on top in a three-up sprint at the end of the 12.3km final race run on Zwift’s hilly Glasgow Crit Circuit.
The 26-year-old, who in January won her first Women’s WorldTour event at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, outpaced Zoe Langham (Great Britain) for the win, while Jacqueline Godbe (USA) took bronze.
In the men’s race, Andreasson used an entirely different tactic, jumping away from the 10-man final group right at the very start and then tapping out a consistent rhythm and avoiding the stop-start nature of the elimination race sprints.
Behind him, Germany grabbed silver and bronze courtesy of former world champion Jason Osbourne and Marc Mäding.
“The attack from the start is like my signature move,” Andreasson said after the final race. “I do it a lot. I can get the gap early and nobody really wants to follow at the start. I’m riding mountain bike at the moment so it’s not very different from a mountain bike start.
“I knew if I got caught in the group I would do at least the same amount of power in the sprints and that would maybe be harder. The more sprints I could skip from the front, the better. I just kept it going as long as I could. After the last sprint, I could see that the gap was so big that I could hold it to the finish line. It was just crazy.”
86 riders started the first of three women’s races, which was whittled down to 30 for the second and then the top 10 in the final race. The USA (four) and the UK (two) had the numerical advantage in the final, collectively making up over half the field.
Their numbers were quickly whittled down, however, with the UK’s Lou Bates out first with a technical problem, followed at the start of the race by US pair Kristen Kulchinsky and Liz Van Houweling.
Unlike Andreasson’s move in the men’s race, there would be no long-range efforts, with the full group contesting each sprint lap after lap, with Swiss rider Kathrin Fuhrer and Swede Mika Söderström just edged out in the next two sprints.
The USA lost their third rider next as Arielle Verhaaren couldn’t keep the pace, while at the next sprint…
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