Have you ever fancied participating in a UCI WorldTour team’s training camp? Well, this month you can, thanks to a partnership between virtual riding platform Zwift and South African outfit Team Dimension Data.
The aim is to create the world’s biggest training camp – and Zwift users around the world are invited to join the likes of Mark Cavendish and Steve Cummings between 13 and 19 November during Dimension Data’s end of season training camp in Cape Town.
The initiative, listed on Zwift’s Event Pages, is based around its recently launched Group Workouts feature, which enables cyclists of different abilities to ride together as a group, irrespective of their individual power output, and there’s also the chance to join group rides.
There’s a good cause involved, as well. While participation is free, those taking part are encouraged to donate to the team’s charity partner, Qhubeka, which donates bicycles to people in need in South Africa, with the initiative aiming to raise enough funds for 500 bikes.
Donations of any amount are welcome, but Zwift users pledging at least $25 will also permanently unlock a virtual Team Dimension Data fan kit, while a donation of $150 will unlock a Qhubeka Bike.
Dimension Data team principal Doug Ryder said: "Zwift is an amazing platform that connects people around the globe.
“Their virtual world allows us to engage with our fans in a truly unique way, and brings people closer to our charitable cause, Qhubeka.
“We are delighted that through Zwift, we can offer fans the opportunity to join the world's largest training camp, which in turn will put more children in Africa on bicycles."
Steve Beckett, vice president of marketing at Zwift, said: “We are proud to once again be in a position to support Qhubeka and the work they do to get more people moving forward with bicycles.
“This is a truly unique experience to ride with the world’s best professional riders. Something that wouldn’t be possible on such a scale outside the virtual environment of Zwift.
“The series is intended to be an enjoyable, social experience for our community that will get them to #RidewithReason this November.”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.