Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the sports world is at a standstill. That's why SRG is also focusing on virtual sporting events and concludes a contract with Cycling Unlimited, the organizers of the Tour de Suisse, to broadcast the new race format "The Digital Swiss 5.
The agreement will enable SRG's regional language broadcasters (RSI, RTR, RTS and SRF) to provide exclusive live coverage of this and other virtual stage races in Switzerland for three years until 2022. The first staging of the digital pro cycling races will take place from April 22 to 26, 2020.
Real professional cyclists race virtually
In "The Digital Swiss 5," the riders compete virtually against each other on selected stage sections of the Tour de Suisse on five consecutive days. The professional cyclists are connected to each other on their racing bikes at home by smart roller trainers.
While the riders see the original course sections of the Tour de Suisse and their respective position in the race in front of them on their monitors as a video image in real time, the smart roller trainers provide the respective resistance on the pedals - adapted to the real topography of the course. The virtual track simulation is supplemented with real live images and performance data of the cycling pros.
Cycling live despite Corona crisis
A large number of riders from the WorldTour teams will take part in the first digital pro cycling race, including some of the best Swiss cycling professionals. SRF will present cycling fans with their favorite teams and riders live on TV and via livestream on online platforms, despite the Corona crisis. RTS and RSI will also report on "The Digital Swiss 5".
Roland Mägerle, Head of Business Unit Sport SRG: "The virtual sports world offers almost unlimited possibilities. Under the motto 'special circumstances require special measures', we were able to move forward quickly with this exciting digital project with Cycling Unlimited. In these challenging times, I'm all the more pleased that SRG can offer the Swiss audience an exciting cycling broadcast with real and virtual elements."