Abuse follows Brit success at e-sport World Cup event
Paris event’s lavish pay cheques and virtual racing panned online
British Drag2zero rider Rachael Elliott has been subjected to a volley of online abuse after she and Jlt-condor rider Ian Bibby won the Cycligent Virtual Rankings World Cup (CVR) event in Paris last month.
CVR World Cup events are run on the Zwift platform, with each rider weighed prior to competing on calibrated indoor trainers. This ensures a fair calculated power-toweight number is calculated and consequential speeds are accurate over all formats.
Both winning riders took home over $3,000 for winning — which is more money than was awarded to the 11-placed finisher at the Tour de France. Third place finisher in the women’s event, Irena Ossola, collected $1,500, more than the winner of the Giro Rosa or women’s Tour of Flanders.
However, Elliott’s victory was overshadowed after she received abuse on social media after her win which included people saying it “degraded real racing” and was “full of cheaters”.
“There was an event about three months ago with no prize money at all, and there was no backlash,” Elliott explained. “I think it is that which has caused people to bite. Actually, the way it is run is very fair.”
Frank Garcia, CEO of Cycligent, said: “We have been watching social media and seen overwhelmingly more positive stuff. You do have those people, who are traditionalists saying, ‘You guys were in a velodrome, you should be riding on the boards,’ but this isn’t going to replace regular cycling.”
The prize pot was set by sponsorship and crowdfunding prior to the event but enriched through the live ‘cheering’ component that meant viewers could donate online while watching.
“You could cheer $1, $10, $25 or whatever amount you wanted.” Garcia said. “A lot of people did and the prize purse ended up being well over $45,000 in the end.”
Elliott: CVR star