KNWU and ZWIFT to organise the first open Zwift national championships

Nieuwegein, 15 January 2017 — At 12:00 (UTC +1) p.m. on Sunday, 26 February 2017, the first-ever Dutch open Zwift national championships will take place. All Zwift riders are invited to participate, although only Dutch racers will be included in the results.

This will be the first online championships ever organised by a national federation. As such, Dutch riders have the chance to be at the forefront of the sport’s leap into the digital world.

Former pro rider Léon van Bon will compete in the race. The race with commentary will be broadcast on the KNWU’s Facebook Live channel. Further information is available at

KNWU joins the vanguard

The KNWU has already established itself on the sport’s cutting edge. In November 2016, it became the first national federation to organise a training race on Zwift. Every Wednesday evening, the federation holds a competition for the Dutch national youth selections. Dozens of riders register to race against them on the platform for virtual bragging rights.



Zwift is an online training application that allows cyclists to ride with and against one another in a virtual world. Many riders treat it as an online video game. Since the launch of the platform in 2014, the number of users has risen enormously. It’s not unusual to see more than 2,000 riders from all over the world in the online realms of Watopia (an imaginary cycling island), Richmond (which is based on the 2015 world championships course), or London (which is based on the course of the Prudential Ride). And they aren’t just riding with each other; the competition is often fierce. At the end of 2016, the first Zwift world championships were held.


Many Dutch cyclists are active Zwift users, and not only amateurs; many pros are active on the platform as well. You may find yourself on the wheel of well-known professionals such as Laurens ten Dam, Robert Gesink, Andre Greipel, or Edvald Boasson Hagen. Zwift offers you the unique opportunity to ride with the pros from the comfort of your own home.


Winner of Paris-Roubaix

Matthew Hayman’s Zwift story is well known. After a severe wrist injury, he was forced onto the indoor trainer to prepare for the season. During the winter of 2015 and 2016, many riders rode with him on Zwift, as he recovered. That spring, he went on to win Paris-Roubaix thanks to the many hours of work he’d put in on the virtual training application.

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De Koninklijke Nederlandsche Wielren Unie (KNWU) is opgericht op 26 januari 1928. De KNWU is de overkoepelende sportbond van en voor de wielersport in Nederland. Wij zijn er voor iedereen met een wielerdroom. De KNWU is er niet alleen voor de top- en wedstrijdsport. Wij zijn er voor alle fietsers die beter willen (leren) fietsen. Onder auspiciën van de KNWU worden er jaarlijks honderden wielerwedstrijden en diverse evenementen voor prestatieve fietsers georganiseerd.