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Win the right to wear your country's jersey on the virtual cycling platform for the next 12 months...

Zwift users in more than a dozen countries across the world, including the United Kingdom, will this month have the chance to wear their national colours on the virtual cycling platform for the next 12 months as the company launches its inaugural national championships.

The countries where riders will be vying to become national champion on Saturday 24 February – or later this year for Australia to coincide with the Southern Hemisphere winter – are the 15 biggest on Zwift in terms of user numbers.

Billed as the biggest one-day event yet hosted on Zwift, the men’s race will comprise three laps of the 14.2-mile Watopia Volcano Climb Course for a total distance of 42.6 miles and 2,007 feet of climbing. The women’s course, meanwhile, will cover 28.4 miles over two laps, with 1,338 feet of ascending.

Besides the UK, cyclists from the USA, Canada, Australia, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands Norway, Belgium, Sweden, South Korea, Denmark, Switzerland, France and Poland will participate.

As with real-life national championships, riders are required to participate in the one matching their registered nationality rather than country of residence.

So, if you’re an Italian, Spaniard or New Zealander living in the UK, for example, you can’t take part unfortunately – although Zwift says that more countries will be added for 2019.

Here is a summary of the rules stipulated by Zwift:

Riders are required to wear a heart rate monitor to be eligible for the win.

Riders will have to use a power meter or smart trainer to be considered for the win; ZPower on traditional trainers or rollers will not be eligible

Riders producing over 5w/kg average will be automatically disqualified. These riders can be reinstated after providing similar real-life matching performances verified by ZADA.

Strava data for the Zwift National Championship races must be open (not private or hidden).

Riders must register at www.zwiftpower.com before the race.  By entering this event, riders agree to the terms and conditions at www.zwiftpower.com.

Eligibility is based on a rider’s Zwift account country/flag, not the rider’s place of residence.

You can find more information on the Zwift National Championships here.

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.