With cycle racing suspended due to the current Coronavirus crisis, the Wightlink-Wight Mountain Cycle Racing Team is organising virtual cycling events to help keep the team fit and motivated while health restrictions are in place.
The team intends to replace its popular Wightlink-Wight Mountain Time Trial Series, normally held on the Isle of Wight during the summer, with a virtual version using an online training platform such as Zwift, to enable cyclists from across the Island to stay involved in competitive cycling.
Although riders are still able to cycle outside solo or with members of their household for daily exercise, many have been using indoor training equipment to cycle with others via the internet.
Russell Page, Team Manager, says:
“Our team members are used to cycling many miles each day as part of their race training, so they need to supplement their permitted daily exercise rides with stints in the saddle at home to clock up the miles.
“Fortunately, there are some great online racing platforms available which we are making use of to safely stay connected and competitive during these unprecedented times.”
British Cycling has also announced a series of virtual races, so it is hoped members of the team will also be entering these.
As cycling is still permitted as part of daily exercise and a form of commuting to work for key workers (which includes members of the race team), local cycle shop Wight Mountain is exempt from the current enforced closures so is still able to carry out urgent repairs.
Russ Newnham from Wight Mountain, which remains open so it can retain a service to customers including key workers who rely on cycling to get to work, says:
“Once again the Wightlink-Wight Mountain Team are leading the way when it comes to showing a passion for – and dedication – to cycling. We wish the team all the best in their virtual races and look forward to seeing them get back to conventional racing in the future.”
Stuart James, Wightlink’s marketing and innovation director, says:
“As we all have to make significant changes to the way we live our lives at the moment, it is great to see technology providing so many solutions to help keep the teams and organisations we sponsor connected. We look forward to following the team’s progress in the virtual racing series and wish them the best of luck.”