📁 Featured News, Slider, Sports 🕔26.March 2021

Tour of Americas Dairyland is a premiere crit series that takes place in the heartland of Wisconsin. It is the largest competive road cycling series in the country according to USA Cycling .The 11-day crit series travels to 11 southeastern communities in the Dairy State. Each community has a unique story to tell from how spectators cheer on racers or how prime payouts are pumped up by race fans. It is the crown jewel of crit racing in America and if you were unaware, they include handcycling in 4 of their venues.


ToAD was approached by RGT and Echelon racing this year and asked to take part in a virtual race platform developed by RGT in conjunction with USA Crits. ToAD was given 2 weekends and 4 races that mirror the actual shape, length and elevation changes of ToAD courses. The virtual races mirrored actual courses from ToAD. This is not just another Zwift race. After participating in two of the races I can say the two platforms are similar but not the same. RGT has unique features that Zwift does not. A few differences are over the head of each rider a power bar is shown that represents where they are compared to FTP. You cannot simply run over the rider in front of you, brakes will be applied unless you accelerate to go around, blocking is a real thing if the technique is mastered. Brakes are applied when cornering, developed skill when approaching corners to not waste watts is necessary. The added speed of a group was very noticeable when compared to single riders. Each race was taped and had commentary from legendary Bobby Julich along with Echelon racing announcers. Not to mention live footage from the racecourses that were being virtually raced. The color commentary gave the race experience a fun twist.


RGT racing app https://www.rgtcycling.com/

Echelon racing https://www.echelonracingleague.com/

Live coverage race link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsPZSHKmVBQ&t=5888s




In summary the RGT platform is a great racing experience when real racing is unavailable. Echelon racing protocol asks Pro riders to send a picture of them standing on a scale showing their race day weight along with proof of date to ensure no race day funny business because racing is driven by watts/Kg. To improve the handcycle race experience it would be greatly appreciated if a similar protocol be utilized by simply sending in a pic of the rider on a handcycle with proof of date. With this step, a handcycle avatar would be assigned. This would clean up the start list and bleach non handcycles from the start line. My sources tell me RGT is making these improvements including the handcycle avatar to be ready as soon as this summer. The possibilities of a handcycle virtual racing league could broaden the base of handcycling worldwide. With endless possibilities from assigning handicap watt/kg values to propagate pack racing could be the next step to increased fun factor and promote more race strategy. RGT seemed open to the handcycle experience.

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