Skoda Virtual Southern Tour
Skoda Virtual Southern Tour
During Level 3 lockdown from the 2nd to the 5th of September, Eddie Adams competed in the SKODA Virtual Southern Tour, run by Cycling NZ Schools.

The tour was run as a nation wide event with 300 people from the ages of 12 to 18 competing for North Island and South Island titles. The tour was a four day online road bike event run on Zwift that was used to replace the southern and northern tour that were cancelled because of our lockdown. Zwift uses a smart trainer which you place your bike on, the trainer uses bluetooth to then connect to the app on your phone or computer and can simulate hills; the harder you push on the pedals the faster it will make your person go. 

Each day of the tour consisted of a different race. The first day was the individual time trial covering 7.6kms and only 50 meters of vertical climbing. This was a hard race for me as I am a lot smaller than other riders meaning I can't push as many watts as them (watts are the measurement of power being pushed through the pedals), so I can't go as fast on the flat or downhill, but I went out with a plan of doing my best and it paid off, as I finished a surprising 6th in the South Island.

Day 2 was the criterium. This is an event usually raced on a short lap with lots of corners. In the virtual race it was a short course of 4 km laps but the corners didn't matter because you don't turn your character, turning is automatic. This race was set for 30 minutes for my age group and the winner was the one who rode the furthest in that time. It went out very fast at the start but finished in another surprising 4th in the South Island. 

Day 3 was a hill climb time trial which is pretty self explanatory, on a short 2.3km course. This was definitely my event as I am lighter, so I can climb better because I don't have to do as many watts as heavier people. The race was a sprint and was brutal trying to suck in the oxygen and push as hard as I could but it got me there with an awesome 2nd place. 

The last day is a road race with everyone starting together and first to finish wins. The course suited me as it was very hilly so I ended up in a good group with 2 others who loved the climbs also and finished up 2nd again in the South Island. This boosted me in points and shot me up to second overall in the Southern Tour. An awesome event for giving people like me something to do in lockdown. Big thanks to Cycling NZ Schools for running it and to all the sponsors who donated prizes.

Eddie Adams

This article was originally posted on: September, 15th 2021