The weather in Northern Europe sucks during winter. More and more cyclists are riding inside to keep their fitness levels up, and more and more women are cycling these days. Excellent! Time for the virtual cycling platform Zwift to launch a new series of women-only events designed by serious female cyclists: the VoxTour. This five-stage event runs from the 4th to the 15th of February, 2019. So get psyched up, clicked in and ready to ride with (or against) some serious female cyclists.

Zwift VoxTour

Zwift has teamed up with the Voxwomen Ambassadors to design this five-stage Zwift series. These are a group of professional and ex-professional cyclists from the highest level of the sport who together contribute to the Voxwomen cycling platform. Each stage of the VoxTour bears the name of the rider who designed the ride. Stage one (4th and 5th of February) is the Dani Rowe’s Innsbruck UCI World’s Course. It’s nearly 24km and has 487m of climbing. Stage two is Laura Winter’s London Loop, followed by Hannah Walker’s Volcano After Party, Ashleigh Moolman Pasio’s Climbing Challenge and finally Leah Thorvilson’s Figure 8. The different stages reflect each rider’s style and experience on the bike.

Zwift

It is a race?

This is the classic question for Zwift riders. The answer (unless the event is billed as a race) is always “No, but…” The ‘but’ is the fact that a lot of riders will go hard from start to finish. Though if you can’t keep up with the lead group, that’s usually not a problem. You will probably find yourself in a group of riders of a similar ability to you. Then it’s up to you if you just try and hang on and ride with them, or try to race them… And if you succeed in completing all five stages of the VoxTour, you will win a cool Zwift outfit designed by IRIS. Fun fact: IRIS means I Ride In Style and is a company founded by ex-professional Dutch cyclist Iris Slappendel.

Zwift

Iris Slappendel riding a time trial at the Thuringen–Rundfahrt in 2016. Photo: Cor Vos.

What is Voxwomen?

Voxwomen is a platform for and about women who are into cycling. They have videos, podcasts, race news and more, and it’s a great source of the latest news and views on this fast-growing part of cycling. As the organisers themselves write: “Voxwomen puts you at the heart of women’s cycling. Our team take you behind the scenes of one of the most beautiful sports in the world to bring you insightful content direct from the teams, riders and events.”

Zwift

Dutch Design for the Zwifters who complete the VoxTour.

What is Zwift?

Zwift is the virtual cycling platform that has revolutionised indoor cycling through gamification. To successfully Zwift you need a minimum of a smart home trainer, an internet connection and a subscription to Zwift, which currently costs around €15 a month. If you do not have a smart home trainer (yet) you can use a speed and cadence sensor to link to Zwift. This must have either a Bluetooth or an Ant+ connection. It is the most basic Zwift set-up, so power numbers may not be accurate.

Interested in finding out more about Zwift? Try: Zwift finally unlocks feature which fans have been craving for and Four tell-tale signs of a Zwift newbie