Cycling as a computer game? Real sweat to power virtual avatars? Where is the real fascination, grandiose landscapes, enthusiastic spectators, the imponderables of the weather, everything that means atmosphere. But what can you do. These are special times and so there is at least the possibility to live out a partial aspect of cycling, that pure strength can be measured by whoever manages to pedal most firmly in his bike cellar in front of a screen.
Some time ago, those responsible at the German Cycling Federation could not have imagined something like this themselves. For weeks, the official competition announcements have been given the note "Canceled", whether there will still be a Bundesliga outdoors this year, it is in the stars and German Cycling Federation sports director Patrick Moster and vice president Günter Schabel have an official announcement for an online cycling race drawn.
It is no longer uncommon. The World Tour teams are leading the way, the Giro d'Italia is currently being driven in an online version, where the stars meet over 4,000 hobby riders. Somehow twisted worlds. The Corona Virus forces distance and virtual cycling brings hobby riders and professionals closer together than ever. In Austria, too, the Bundesliga is practically extended with the national top teams, the Tour de Swiss starts online with 16 World Tour teams including live broadcast on Swiss television.
There will also be virtual cycling on TV in Germany. The "Hessischer Rundfunk" is planning a full 4 hours of airtime to keep Eschborn Frankfurt alive in Corona times on May 1st. With star cast around Tour de France commentator Florian Nass as well as expert Fabian Wegmann on the microphone and Pascal Ackermann as well as John Degenkolb on the hometrainer, all hobby riders are invited to ride home to network virtually and interactively.
With a lot of fanfare, the start of the online Bundesliga has been announced in the last few days, there has been discussion in various social media and the tension has increased. You should be able to follow the race via live stream, Bastian Marks from the Besenwagen Podcast wanted to comment on the race with the help of Rick Zabel. But at the planned start time, the screens remain black, something did not technically want as planned. The live broadcast only started after half of the race and there it remained more improvised. Marks and Zabel didn't seem to be very well prepared, neither knew about the peculiarities of virtual cycling, nor did they have an overview of the race. However, that made it all the more sympathetic, it saved the whole thing from being too serious.
Virtual cycling offers an absolutely brilliant aspect. It combines the virtual with the real, the unstoppable boom of computer gaming with sweat-inducing sport like hardly any other sport. For many, it opens up the possibility of integrating sport better into everyday work and family life, regardless of the time of day and the weather. But maybe this is how people come from abstract computer games to have fun with their real body feeling and eventually find out that experiencing nature and having direct social contacts in real reality have a different quality. Let's hope for this effect after the Corona period.
Until then, some athletes from our team will certainly use the various online offers to pass the time and live out their play instinct. The extent to which these competitions are held fairly is an issue in itself. What is decisive is which body weight the person indicates, since the performance per kilogram of body weight is decisive. In the result lists of the online races, there are not a few performances that cause frowns. Many world class professionals would be happy about such values. For this reason alone, one should not take the whole thing too seriously.
It's not for everyone anyway. Team rider Daniel Bichlmann sent a picture of him enjoying an ice cream in the sun of the Bavarian Alps while Lucas Carstensen self-ironically celebrated his victory on a crate of Oettinger beer and was celebrated for it by the empty streets of Hamburg on his terrace. The contrasts could not be greater.