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Should national champion's jerseys be awarded for eRacing? Tom Pidcock sparks Twitter debate

Where do you stand on the debate? Let us know in the comments

A tweet from rising star Tom Pidcock has ignited a fierce online debate about whether or not eRacing – also known as virtual cycling – is a proper sport, and whether a national champion’s jersey should be awarded for it.

Posting to Twitter on Friday – the day after the inaugural British Cycling Zwift eRacing Championships at the BT Sport studios in London – the 19-year-old wrote: “Do you know what’s funny? eRacing national champs.”

The Team Wiggins rider has a wardrobe full of champions’ jerseys – national, European and world – won at junior and under-23 level and in 2017 became British senior criterium champion, beating a field including riders more than twice his age.

‏The respective winners last Thursday – Rosamund Bradbury and Cameron Jeffers – were both presented with the iconic red, white and blue national jersey, and their respective avatars will have the right to wear it on Zwift over the coming 12 months.

It’s pretty common for posts on Twitter to polarise opinion, and certainly some people replying to Pidcock’s tweet were categorical that national champion’s jerseys need to be earned on the road, not indoors.

Others, however, said that getting more people cycling, and generating more interest in the sport, was more important, while ex-pro Matt Stephens – a former national champion on the road, and who was commentating for BT Sport last Thursday, also chipped in.

Here’s a selection of the responses. You can find the full thread here – and once you’ve read it, let us know in the comments where you stand on the issue.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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