NeXT Cup Announced: Punch, Climb, Sprint! Zwift Insider
NeXT pb Enshored splashed onto the eRacing scene in 2021 with their first season win of the Zwift Racing League Premier Division. They’ve raced in countless elite and community races since then and now, NeXT is launching its first race series!
The 6-week race series, the NeXT Cup, starts this Sunday (Jan 8). The race format is modeled after the upcoming World Championships format (similar to the Continental Qualifiers, but without eliminations). No rainbow jersey will be on the line, but racers will compete for prizes from Kogel Bearings, Cutaway Apparel, and Watrbodl.
Here’s how NeXT explains the series format:
Each week will consist of three races that are 30 minutes apart on varying types of terrain, each lasting 20-25 minutes. As will be the case at the World Championships, the first race will be on rolling terrain (scratch); the second finish on a climb (scratch); the third will be crit style points race.
All Categories Welcome
This is a format that, so far, has been experienced only at the top level of Zwift racing, and the series is sure to draw many of the top Zwift racers in the world. But the NeXT Cup will have separate A, B, C, and D fields – and shorter races for the C and D fields.
NeXT Cup Basics
Three races every Sunday: Punch, Climb, Sprint!
January 8 to February 12
Shorter races for C/D categories (targeting 20 minutes each)
Series winners for men and women
Separate scoring for men and women (must finish each race to be scored)
Prizes from Kogel Bearings, Cutaway Apparel, and Watrbodl
Dual recording required for top 5 in each race in Category A
100% trainer difficulty required in Category A (should happen automatically)
Heart rate monitors required for all racers in A/B and for top 5 in each race in C/D
It’s no coincidence the NeXT Cup series ends a week before Worlds (7 of the 35 members of NeXT secured a Worlds spot). With the World Championship moving from a single scratch road race to a three-race format, NeXT is hoping its series will be popular with racers looking to prep for the big stage, and for everyone else looking to get into this fresh racing format.
The 6-stage series is held on Sundays at 08:00 ET/13:00 UTC. Each week, Race 1 of 3 will start at that time; Race 2 of 3 will start 30 minutes later, and Race 3 of 3 will start 30 minutes after the Race 2 start.
The series begins on January 8 in New York. Courses are still being planned for the races on January 15, 22, and 29 and February 5 and 12.
Week 1 Route Details
Race 1: Park Perimeter Loop
A/B 13.5km (custom finish on Harlem Hill 13.5k)
Sign up >
Race 2: Rising Empire
A/B 17.0km (custom finish on Rev. KOM)
C/D 10km (custom finish on KOM)
Sign up >
Race 3: LaGuardia Loop
A/B 12.8 km
Sign up >
For future weeks, you can see all upcoming NeXT events by visiting zwift.com/events/tag/next.
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