From today on, cycling enthusiasts can discover the virtual world of the Proximus Cycling eSeries. Flanders Classics, title partner Proximus, META as an eSports specialist and virtual cycling platform RGT offer challenges all year round in a free and realistic cycling environment. First challenge on the programme: the Paterberg challenge.
Due to the unforeseen circumstances of 2020, all stakeholders had to look at safer alternatives and virtual developments gained momentum. This was also the case for Flanders Classics when in April, within few weeks Flanders' Finest was replaced by the Tour of Flanders - Lockdown edition, the very first virtual cycling race for professionals, produced and host broadcasted by Sporza and followed live worldwide by millions of fans.
"We still look back with pride on that successful project", says Flanders Classics CEO Tomas Van Den Spiegel. "Not only did we all see an exciting race on smart trainers, but we also noticed that we had suddenly convinced a younger audience amongst the fans. This is probably one of the biggest drivers behind the creation of the Proximus Cycling eSeries. In this way, we at Flanders Classics try to be the most innovative on the market".
"The cycling environment that we launch today reflects reality," adds Tomas Van Den Spiegel. "To us it was clear from the start that virtual cycling platform RGT could offer the most realistic experience. During this first challenge it will really feel like you are riding the Paterberg. We are very happy with this structural partnership. With this, fans won't have to miss out on our classic road races during the winter months and fans worldwide will have the opportunity to get acquainted with the roads where the pros provide us with a great show every year".
How does it work?
In order to participate in the Proximus Cycling eSeries, participants must first register on a platform, developed by eSports specialist META. Once their trainer or smart trainer has been linked to the RGT platform, the fun can begin. Participation is free of charge and also within the RGT environment it is not necessary to purchase a subscription.
Participants will regularly find challenges they can sign up for on the Proximus Cycling eSeries platform. In these challenges they may, for example, have to set their best time on a certain segment. Different courses will be developed. We start with the Paterberg, widely known as the last climb of the Tour of Flanders. Between 19 and 27 December, participants can set their time and once a challenge is finished, a lot of participants will be rewarded with great prizes.
Title partner Proximus also didn't hesitate to commit to this new project.
Jim Casteele, Chief Consumer Market Officer at Proximus: "Proximus has always been a forerunner in the field of esports in Belgium, and, with this initiative, we are emphasizing that role even more. Thanks to this digital expansion of our partnership with Flanders Classics, the Belgian cycling fan can climb the famous slopes we all know from our cycling classics at home, in a fantastic virtual setting, together with friends. Together with the Proximus Cycling Challenge, this Proximus Cycling eSeries project allows our cycling fans to get together all year round, even in winter or in bad weather".