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Does only give awards to brands that advertise? Recommends Awards debrief + elite Zwift racing on the Podcast

We're dissecting our awards season and chatting to our own in-house elite virtual cyclist Aaron Borrill in this episode...

In this episode of the Podcast, we’re debriefing after awards season and talking hardcore virtual racing on Zwift.


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First up, George is joined by Jack, tech editor Mat Brett and senior reviewer Stu Kerton to break down how does the Recommends awards, and bike industry trends of the past year are discussed.

It's been an interesting year for us as reviewers, and in part this was simply because there was more product coming in as the short supply of bikes and components began to ease in 2022. We also note how diverse our overall Bike of the Year selections were, which was far from just the more 'traditional' carbon road bike affair as it may have been in previous years. 

2022 Mason SLR SRAM Force - riding 3.jpg
The Mason SLR won our overall Bike of the Year award

The other big topic of conversation is how we select the products for inclusion in our end-of-year awards, which we've noticed is sometimes speculated on in the comments sections under our Recommends awards articles... and, sorry to disappoint everyone, but unfortunately it is simply put together with lots of spreadsheets and hard work rather than being carefully controlled by our sales department!

While this is less interesting than some of the wilder theories about how our awards are put together, hopefully our discussion around it is more colourful than the actual process and gives you an insight into how the tech department works. We genuinely take product reviews seriously, continually striving to make the number 1 source of unbiased cycling reviews on the web, and the Recommends awards is our way of recognising the standout products that have come through Towers in the past 12 months. 

Aaron Borrill South Africa kit

Aaron in team South Africa kit

In part 2, George and Jack are joined by editor Aaron Borrill and esports expert Chris Schwenker. We’re very proud that our colleague Aaron is representing South Africa at the UCI Cycling Esports World Championships on 18th February, and in this chat he tells us all about how he got into it, virtual race tactics and how to balance a demanding work schedule, family life and elite racing.

Chris, who runs The virtual cycling blog, tells us how the sport has evolved from enthusiasts racing underground on Zwift to a fully pro set-up, and what’s in store for the future.

> Is Zwift racing 'cleaner' than pro road racing?

The Esports World Championships takes place on 18th February, with Aaron one of 100 riders starting in the first men's race, which is then whittled down to 30 riders for round 2, and just 10 for the final round. All the action for the men's and women's races will be broadcast live on Zwift's YouTube channel

The Podcast is available on Apple PodcastsSpotify and Amazon Music, and if you have an Alexa you can just tell it to play the Podcast. It's also embedded further up the page, so you can just press play.

This content has been added by a member of the staff

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