Former British hill climb champion Ed Laverack is taking to the Zwift stage this weekend for Team GB at the UCI Esports World Championships. We caught up with him before the big day to find out how he's preparing and how he thinks the race will play out.
How are you feeling about the race and the chance to represent GB on the esports world stage?
I'm over the moon to be included in the squad and to get the chance to represent British Cycling in the upcoming world championships. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and it's going to be an amazing experience to be able to share the experience with a great group of riders. Hopefully we can produce a result and make everyone proud.
How’s the prep going and is there anything different about preparing for this race compared to something like the ZRL?
I haven’t changed anything specifically, more Zwift racing is the main thing because I’m someone that does really well with a lot of volume and a sprinkling of intensity in there. The week before I’ve achieved a 21hr 1100tss training week. The vast majority of that being indoors and sometimes back to back races. I went through a bit of a bad patch recently but it looks like I’ve come out the other side now just in time.
What do you think of the Knickerbocker course? Any points on the course you think will be crucial to the outcome of the race?
The whole course could be labelled ’troublesome.’ Lots of things going on, not just the main climb on the course. Personally I love it, up and down, plenty of power ups, not a straightforward race I don’t think…and a massive hard effort to finish, what's not to love.
How will the VeloSkin products be useful when it comes to prep, racing and recovery?
I’ve been going through the Soothing Gel a lot over the last week or so with the added stress, I feel it helps aid my recovery and that's always a good thing. Extra saddle time means more Chamois Cream time too, the last thing I’d need is an infection and that extra niggle when sat on the edge of the saddle on that final climb.
And finally, have you got any tips you can give anyone who’s thinking about trying Zwift racing?
Zwift racing is mainly about drafting and punching. Learn to have faith in the motion of the peloton, saving matches and surfing the wheels, keeping an eye on the gradient changes on the screen can help you have micro recoveries. Punching high power numbers can really help you descend faster (coupled with aero tucking), and also help you move through the group quicker, attack quickly and position well on climbs. We can do real well in your racing categories if you have good 10s, 1min, 5min power numbers. Train those and chances are you’ll have many bases covered…unless you are racing on The Uber Pretzel…but that's another matter!
You can shop Ed's VeloSkin essentials below: