Chris Froome joins Mel C, Olly Murs, Ryan Giggs and others in Zwift celebrity challenge
Chris Froome may be most comfortable leading the Tour de France, but the British cycling star will have to step outside of his comfort zone for a new TV celebrity Zwift race.
The four-time Tour winner will be racing against celebrities likes Mel C, Olly Murs, and Ryan Giggs in a unique charity event this weekend, with the contest set to be broadcast on Sky Sports and YouTube.
Froome, who is hosting the event with former cricketer Kevin Pietersen and Zwift, will be setting off last in the pursuit-style race, as the star rider has to chase down the celebrities to win the event.
Team Ineos leader Froome and Pietersen are hosting the challenge, titled The Race: Wheels for Heroes, to raise money for charity as the pair aim to donate 1,000 bikes to NHS key workers.
Froome said: “Kevin actually made the suggestion to do a charity event on Zwift back in April, so I’m really glad we have managed to get this off the ground,” says Chris Froome. “Our NHS workers have been truly inspiring, but with travel restrictions, it’s still difficult for them to travel to and from their place of work. These new bikes will truly make a difference and provide a safe means for our NHS workers to travel safely during COVID-19.”
Celebrities featuring in the challenge include Andrew Flintoff, Lee Westwood, Maro Itoje, Steph Houghton, Darren Gough, and Kirsty Gallacher, while coverage will be hosted by Laura Woods, Romesh Ranganathan and Matt Stephens.
The race will be aired on Sky Sports Main Event, Arena and Mix as well as Zwift’s YouTube channel on Sunday (June 7) at 7.30pm.
Pietersen said: “I’m really happy that we’re in a position to be able to help our key workers during this tough period.
“As well as providing funds to donate 1,000 bikes via Wheels for Heroes, we’re also looking to provide some fun. We’ve got a great bunch of celebrities looking to beat Chris on Sunday. I’m looking forward to providing an upset.”
All the celebrity guests will connect to online platform Zwift and will race around the Volcano circuit.
Each rider will be gridded and will set off at intervals based on their fitness ability, having all completed an FTP test in advance of the race.
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Zwift CEO Eric Min said: “I’m looking forward to watching the race and seeing how all these athletes compete on the bike.
“It’s been fantastic to see how many people have come together to use the platform to raise money for great causes and Wheels for Heroes is another example of a great cause our community is supporting.”