Is smart-trainer racing here to stay?

The problem with Ironman age-group world champion Ruth Astle returning to Hawaii as a neo pro is that by the standards of 2019, she’ll have to slum it. “We were supported better than 90% of the pros,” she told 220, describing the Zwift house that played host to the group of high-performing amateurs the online software firm sponsored last season.

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Roll on a few months and it’s not just a house on the Big Island the smart-trainer brand has infiltrated, but the home of just about every triathlete the world over. Those supplying online training software have seen a spike in interest as rampant as a Covid-19 tracking graph.

Over 60% of the Kona pro field were converts, and many more are hopping on to host group rides with thousands of amateurs. Zwift won’t release subscriber numbers but says 25% are triathletes.