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.”
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.