How Ashleigh plans to become a double Esports World Champ

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Ashleigh is the master of virtual racing. Note the strategically placed floor fans. (Photo: Rocacorba Collective)
Ashleigh is the master of virtual racing. Note the strategically placed floor fans. (Photo: Rocacorba Collective)
  • One of South Africa’s greatest riders is nearing the end of her career.
  • Despite her late start to competitive road cycling, Ashleigh Moolman Pasio has been a terrific competitor.
  • And when it comes to digital racing, she is the best. As attested in this new Zwift video.

Zwift has transformed the way cyclists train.

The digital riding platform has triggered tremendous growth in virtual riding apps. And forced the industry to enhance indoor training hardware - significantly.

Better sensors, smart trainers and even indoor-specific riding gear have resulted – all thanks to Zwift.

indoor riding
Ashleigh has won virtually, in SA colours. Hopefully, she can do it again. (Photo: Zwift)

Virtual riding and racing - isn't easier

Although you ride in the 'assumed comfort' of your living room, anyone familiar with a Zwift race will know how brutal it can be.

There’s no motion airflow, like you have when rolling along outside. Riders must create their ideal climate, which often means rigging some fans for added ventilation.

With surging growth among its user base, the UCI selected Zwift to be its platform of choice for official virtual World Championship events. And South Africa’s Ashleigh Moolman Pasio, is a women’s Esports World Champion.

Can one of South Africa's best - make its a double?

In 2020, Ashleigh bested all her rivals to claim the inaugural women's Esports World Championship.

Racing on Zwift is different to conventional road events. Riders must be acclimated to pedalling on an indoor trainer – which might seem similar but is somewhat different to a road bike.

Competing in Zwift’s virtual world reduces the risk of crashing and injury, but the peak power efforts are no less punishing.

Ashleigh will be aiming to become a double Esports World Champion this weekend, as Zwift opens a New York course for the best virtual riders.

Winning would be a very fitting way for Ashleigh, to start her last season as a pro rider. "Of course winning always feels good, but the real victory is seeing the growth in the women around me and feeling a sense of belonging and purpose in building something way bigger than any race victory."

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.