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Brother UK Cycling Podcast – Episode 5

Episode description

E-racing has become cycling’s most popular discipline since the introduction of Covid-mandated lockdowns. Cyclists using so-called ‘smart’ trainers compete online in digital worlds. Watts transmitted from real-world riders power avatars around virtual courses. Exhausting races force indoor cyclists to ‘go deep’ for success. E-cycling is, fundamentally, an athletic endeavour and therefore the most credible e-sport.

E-racing has filled the competitive void created by race cancellations. Professional cyclists have embraced platforms like Zwift and RGT Cycling. Further, race organisers have

reimagined real-world events as digital competitions. The Virtual Tour de France is the biggest to date. The Skoda V Women’s Tour represents a further, significant example.

This episode features expert witnesses from professional cycling’s new frontier. Riders, race organisers, technical partners and major sponsors offer insights. E-racing represents more than a digital fix to Covid-mandated cancellations. It has potential to address the sport’s endemic commercial weaknesses. We explore online racing’s full significance with commentary from five informed observers.

Phil Jones MBE is the Managing Director of Brother UK. He has made the company British road racing’s leading sponsor. His passion for the sport is balanced by commercial expertise. Return on investment is an essential requirement of Brother’s sponsorships. Phil’s observations on e-racing’s vast commercial potential offer real insight.

Peter Hodges is the Sweetspot Group’s PR and Communications Director. He was one of four people there who worked throughout lockdown. Their efforts delivered the Skoda V

Women’s Tour. Peter shares experiences from building a world-class e-race from scratch. His insights include observations on e-racing’s more youthful demographic.

Leah Dixon triumphed in the inaugural Skoda V Women’s Tour. Her Virtual Tour de France debut was highly successful, too. Leah and her Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank squad dominated the race. She reveals the critical role e-racing played in her development, and she describes the genuine emotions that accompany virtual victories.

Chris Snook is Senior PR Manager for market leader Zwift. The game-changing e-racing platform powered the Virtual Tour de France. Chris reveals the demands of rendering cycling’s

biggest event digitally. New ‘worlds’ created for the race included a virtual Champs-Élysées. Chris, a former racer, also reflects on e-racing’s commercial potential.

Anna Henderson is the British U23 road and time-trial champion. She is a professional cyclist who races for Team Sunweb. Anna’s performance in the Virtual Tour de France was impressive. She reflects on e-racing’s comparative value to a professional team focussed on road racing. And she shares insights on e-racing as a collaborative endeavour.

Timothy John is a journalist, presenter, producer and brand consultant. He co-hosts the Brother UK Cycling Podcast with Phil Jones. Tim has covered cycling as editor of RoadCyclingUK.com and Rouleur.cc. His editorial and commercial experience afford him an holistic view. He explores the e-racing phenomenon as an impartial observer.
 
 

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Episode 5: E-Racing

Episode contents

  • 00.03 – Introduction
  • 00.37 – Coming Up
  • 02.37 – Part One: Meet The Guests
  • 05.11 – Part Two: A Physical Matter
  • 10.45 – Part Three: More Than A Game
  • 16.17 – Part Four: New Races, New Opportunities
  • 22.15 – Part Five: The Digital World 
  • 28.26 – Part Six: Building A Virtual Race 
  • 37.46 – Part Seven: Integrity and Transparency
  • 44.34 – Part Eight: New Genres, New Revenues
  • 53.40 – Part Nine: The Final Word
  • 58.07 – Part Ten: Social Shoutout

Transcript

Timothy John 

"Hello and welcome to the new Brother UK Cycling Podcast with me, Timothy John, and my co-host Phil Jones, the Managing Director of Brother UK, better known to the cycling community as Road Phil. Phil, good to see you." 

Phil Jones 

"Thanks, Tim. I’m really excited that we’ve got this podcast together at long last where we’re really going to dive beneath the surface of what’s really going on in the road cycling scene, bring some of the best riders, the best managers and the best personalities behind the sport, get them in the studio and start telling the story of why this sport is so great in the UK." 

Coming Up

Timothy John

“Coming up in this e-racing special edition. 

“Anna Henderson of Team Sunweb lifts the lid on the short sharp shock of racing in the digital world.”

Anna Henderson

“Avatars just look like they’re cruising, right? Behind the screen, everybody has a heart rate of 190bpm, absolutely dying a thousand deaths. It’s kind of: ‘Ok - go, go, go! Survive, survive, survive!’ It’s a whole different game, to be honest.”

Timothy John

“Ever wondered how to reinvent a world-renowned road race as a world-class e-race in just three months? Peter Hodges of race organiser The SweetSpot Group will tell us how.”

Peter Hodges

“We were facing May and June with no Tour Series, no Women’s Tour. We quite quickly thought: ‘There’s something we can do here. There’s something quite exciting.’ And it all went quite rapidly from there.”

Timothy John

“Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank’s Leah Dixon, winner of the inaugural Skoda V Women’s Tour, reveals the physical demands of cycling’s newest discipline.”

Leah Dixon

“I can honestly say that in the last, probably, two years, most of my heart rate and power PBs have come from e-races.”

Timothy John

“We’ll hear from Chris Snook, the senior PR manager at Zwift, the technical partner of the Virtual Tour de France, on how timescales reduce when the world’s biggest bike race comes calling.”

Chris Snook

“It was a very fast turnaround. We had to build to new ‘worlds’ for Zwift. Courses on Zwift normally take months to develop. We’ve been working around the clock to turn this around. Something that would normally take months, we’ve managed to do in a matter of weeks.”

Timothy John

“And my co-host Phil Jones, the Managing Director of Brother UK, offers hard-hitting commercial insights that reveal e-racing’s potential to add new revenue streams and much-needed sustainability to real-world cycling.”

Phil Jones

“More subscribers, bigger audiences, bigger platforms, and then things begin to open up: content platforms, revenue sharing, a share of advertising contributions. These are all things that normally teams don’t get. There’s an enormous pie, a big pile of cash, waiting for someone to unlock it.”

Part One: Meet The Guests

Timothy John

“Hello and welcome to this e-racing special edition of the Brother UK Cycling Podcast. Now, unless you’ve been living on the planet Mars for the last four months, you’ll have noticed that the biggest thing on ‘Planet Cycling’ has been the rise and rise of e-racing. Platforms like Zwift and RGT Cycling, and race organisers like SweetSpot and the ASO, have filled the

void created by lockdown with events like the Skoda V Women’s Tour and a virtual Tour de France for men and women. 

“In this episode, we’ll hear from the people at the centre of those events: riders, race organisers, technical partners and commercial experts. 

“Brother UK is the official print and results partner to SweetSpot’s three real-word properties: The Tour of Britain, The Women’s Tour, and The Tour Series, and, I think it’s fair to say that Phil Jones, my co-host on this podcast and Brother UK’s Managing Director, having made the company the domestic sport’s major commercial partner for nearly 10 years, can offer

insights worth hearing on sponsorship and the sport's commercial development. 

“Phil is one of five expert witnesses that we’ll hear from in this episode, all of whom offer powerful insights based on direct experience of sponsorship, professional cycling and the new frontier of e-racing. 

“We’ll hear too from Peter Hodges, the PR and Communications Director of The SweetSpot Group: one of four people there who worked tirelessly throughout lockdown to deliver a virtual women’s race with an international field, just nine days after the postponed Women’s Tour was scheduled to have taken place. 

“Leah Dixon won the Skoda V Women’s Tour and was a key member of the victorious Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank squad that dominated the women’s Virtual Tour de France. 

“Chris Snook is the Senior PR Manager at Zwift, the technical partner to the Tour de France. Anna Henderson of Team Sunweb is the reigning British U23 road and time-trial champion, who marked her top-level e-racing debut in that race with second place on the opening stage. Now, for those unaware, both Leah and Anna raced last year Brother UK-Tifosi before ascending to the professional ranks.

“On a final note, it almost goes without saying, but given the conditions that we’re all living with at the Monet, each of these interviews was recorded separately.”

INTERLUDE

Timothy John

“Let’s start by examining the physical demands of e-racing. There is a perception, rightly or wrongly, that e-sport is not real sport; that the competitors are, in effect, playing computer games and nothing more. 

“This accusation is harder to level at e-cycling than any other sport. The physical demands of an e-race, while not directly comparable to a road race, are equal to other disciplines where the emphasis is placed upon a high power output for a period of up to an hour.

“Leah Dixon knows better than most how hard it can be to win an e-race. A first-year professional this year with Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank, she spent the earlier, more time-press part of her career, when she combined the responsibilities of a full-time job with racing for Brother UK-Tifosi, churning out efforts on a static trainer. 

“Now, having secured overall victory at the Skoda V Women’s Tour and a series of top-five finishes at the Virtual Tour de France, she’s more qualified than most to comment upon its

physical demands.”

Leah Dixon

“It kind of suits a rider with a high threshold: maybe a TT rider, or even, to some extent, a criterium rider, just on the basis of it being pretty full gas from the start and there’s very limited let up.

“I can honestly say that in the last, probably, two years, most of my heart rate and power PBs have come from e-races.

“The other benefit is that, obviously as you already know, Tim, this year is my first year a professional cyclist. I had a full-time job, which meant that from Monday to Friday, I trained on a turbo trainer, so I think I might be more used to getting out those hard efforts while stationary than other people, and that’s definitely an added benefit.”

Timothy John

“For those unconvinced by the testimony of riders like Leah, or even by the power readouts at the side of the screen in an e-race, presentations of races like the Virtual Tour de France and Skoda V Women’s Tour have included live footage of the riders suffering on their turbo trainers.

“Few professional riders are as respected or accomplished as CCC Team’s Greg Van Avermaet, a former Paris-Roubaix winner, after all, and the reigning Olympic road race champion. If e-racing hurts GVA, you can be certain that it’s not a pseudo sport. 

“Zwift’s Chris Snook remembers well how the Virtual Tour de France delivered a rare glimpse of Van Avermaet in pain!”

Chris Snook

“Not many people see Van Avermaet suffering, but he was definitely suffering on that first stage of the Virtual Tour de France. It makes it real for people, being able to see these stars suffer just as much as they do when they race or when they ride. It makes it a lot more relatable. And then being able to hop onto Zwift yourself and join those pros, it joins that viewing experience though to the grassroots participation side of the sport.”

Timothy John

“Chris makes an interesting point about relatability. Footage of riders suffering in the real world serves a greater purpose than mere entertainment. E-racing platforms like Zwift and competitors like RGT Cycling, which served as the technical partner to the Skoda V Women’s Tour, naturally have a vested interest in in increasing participation. The more viewers they can inspire to take part in e-racing, after all, the more subscriptions they’ll sell. 

“There is a wider commercial imperative too, however, and it’s one that we’ll discuss in-depth in this episode: the ability of e-racing and its multiplicity of new revenue streams to bring sustainability to road racing and its teams. For now, however, let’s hear Phil Jones place ‘the pain face’ in a commercial context by explaining its importance in growing the category.”

Phil Jones

“It builds a completely new element for the spectator, doesn’t it? Rather than seeing, as in e Formula One, for example, where all you get to see really is the drivers showing their skill on a digital set-up, fundamentally, whereas, of course, in the sport of e-cycling, there’s a very physical nature to it, where there’s still this enormous physical effort to be made by an individual athlete. I think there’s quite a unique part in all of that, and that’s going to be very, very key to the development of the category and how that’s monetised in the future and becomes a viable product on its own.”

Timothy John

“We can accept now then, perhaps, that e-racing is a legitimate athletic endeavour. A physical component is arguably the defining aspect of any competitive entity that hopes to be regarded as something more than a game. 

“With that said, there is a gaming aspect to e-racing and a working knowledge of the features of the two leading platforms - Zwift and RGT Cycling - is increasingly a part of the

professional cyclist’s skill set, as Anna Henderson explains.”

Anna Henderson

“It’s getting more and more, and I think all of the pros are still actually quite new to Zwift racing, and I think in the future you might see more and more tactics. Personally, for me and my team-mates, we’re kind of following and really trying to learn the game still, and in the future I think Zwift PowerUps and Zwift teamwork will be a whole other thing to learn, aside from the things on the road.”

INTERLUDE
 

Timothy John

“If Anna and her Team Sunweb colleagues seem still to be learning the art of e-racing, then Leah Dixon and her colleagues at Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank must surely be regarded as past masters. The squad won each of the major prizes at the recent Virtual Tour de France. Doubtless Leah’s experience and knowledge of the gaming aspect of e-racing was of real value. Let’s hear Leah’s observations on the principal features of the two leading platforms.”

Leah Dixon

“The physicality counts. If you’re not on top of your game, there’re nowhere to hide in e-racing. At the same time, you do have to learn the game and also respect the game. You have to accept that it’s not the same as road racing. It’s a different discipline in the same was as if I was to go and try a different cycling discipline again, there would be a lot to learn, and while I could transfer some of my skill set, I would need to adopt different skills in each discipline. 

“From an RGT perspective, I think it’s really cool how you can see the real-life courses and get a feel for the gradients. You can download a .GPX file, put it into RGT and then basically ride any course that you want to ride. I found the drafting element, and how important it was, really interesting as well. Until you’re in a breakaway, you probably wouldn’t…

“On stage two, Lauren and I were in a breakaway and were able to chat to each other over our race radio: ‘Ok, you pull through now…’ And then the rider behind was having a really

easy day while the person in front pulled and we then swapped. I found that aspect really interesting. 

“From a Zwift perspective, there’s the fast start and knowing you’ve got to have your turbo warmed up before your timer counts down to zero or you’re going to get left on the line, which I’ve seen quite a few people do. And again, there’s the drafting element and knowing that you need to be towards the front but not at the front because you’re again working harder than anyone else. There’s knowing which PowerUp to use and when, because that can be the difference between winning and losing.”

Timothy John

“Leah’s very clear description of the two leading platforms’ chief idiosyncrasies contained the telling phrase, ‘a different discipline’. It’s a phrase used by each of the expert witnesses featured in this episode, albeit to argue for different aspects of the e-racing proposition. Chris Snook, the senior PR manager at Zwift, is especially clear that his platform and e-racing’s purpose more generally is not to attempt to replace the road calendar, but to complement it.”

Chris Snook

“A lot of people have been sceptical about e-racing, because there’s this feeling that it’s looking to take over road cycling. We want to establish this as a new discipline of the sport that complements road cycling, track cycling and other disciplines of the cycling. When you see cross-discipline cyclists like Matthieu van der Poel competing in road, cyclo-cross, and mountain bike, Zwift will be another one of those disciplines where you’re able to compete on road, track and Zwift.”

Timothy John

“For Phil Jones, Brother UK’s Managing Director, the new discipline should be recognised as a new opportunity to achieve sustainability for a beleaguered sport that frequently lurches from crisis to crisis.

“The combined audience for e-sports is already staggering. The opportunity to engage hundreds of millions of new fans and then to leverage the financial opportunities that result could change the game for a sport whose commercial model is routinely referred to as ‘broken’. 

“In Phil’s view, road racing will retain its primacy through the sheer scale of its endeavour: not much, after all, compares to a three-week Grand Tour. But e-racing, he argues, is an

opportunity too good to miss.”

Phil Jones

“The trick in all of this is not to fight it, but to see it as an opportunity, rather than a threat. It’s definitely not going to change road racing. Road racing is still the absolute pinnacle of racing for me. If you look at Grand Tours, the physical requirements of that are significantly different, of course, to sitting and doing a few days on a turbo trainer, fundamentally, But each has its own merits, it’s own audiences, its own revenue streams, its own opportunities, so therefore it’s got to be about the power of the ‘and’. So it’s 'this' and 'that', not just ‘this’. 

“I really hope that the sport sees this as one its big opportunity for where the next big evolution of the sport will be. I’m not sure if we’re on the tipping point of it being a revolution within the sport, but it definitely an evolution that the sport must pay attention to, begin to invest in, put some energy and effort and resources behind it to build something new and start to tap into this huge platform, this huge audience, and this huge, new amount of people that might then begin to engage in the sport and bring new money in, which might then make the

whole sport more sustainable, whether virtual or whether real.”

INTERLUDE

Timothy John

“If e-racing is a new discipline, demanding a new skill set but offering new opportunities, it must also require new events. Someone who knows more about this than most is Peter Hodges, the PR and Communications Director for the SweetSpot Group, which in normal circumstances runs the Tour of Britain, the Women’s Tour, and the Tour Series. 

“Peter was one of just four staff at SweetSpot who worked throughout lockdown while many of their colleagues were furloughed. Faced with postponement of their conventional races, Peter and his colleagues wasted little time in turning a digital dream into reality.”

Peter Hodges

“We were facing May and June with no Tour Series, no Women’s Tour. At the time, we were looking ahead to September and still thinking that the Tour of Britain would be on. Obviously, in the background, we were still having plenty of conversations with local authorities and partners and British Cycling about what the Tour of Britain might look like and then, ultimately, had to make the decision to postpone. 

“Very quickly we decided to speak to RGT Cycling and explore what could be done. Almost, we went from the postponement to, dare I say it, within the next week, going: 'Right, what can we do in the virtual world?' At the same time in that period, we had the virtual Tour of Flanders, and that gave us extra motivation, particularly with The Women’s Tour to say, ‘Well,

look, someone’s done a men’s event, what can we do with The Women’s Tour?’

“Talking to RGT, and also to our broadcast partners Century TV, who produce all of our TV shows, we quite quickly thought, ‘There’s something we can do here. There’s something quite exciting,’ and it all went quite quickly from there.”

Timothy John

“Peter’s story, nothing less than a guide to building a world-class e-race from scratch, might command a podcast by itself, were it not for the strength of the contributions from our other expert witnesses, and we’ll return to this story throughout the episode. 

“For now, however, let’s pick up on his observation that by pursuing an opportunity to digitise a women’s race, SweetSpot would be creating something unique. It hasn’t taken long for

others to follow SweetSpot’s lead, and any race that falls under the banner of the Tour de France, virtual or otherwise, has a claim to be the biggest.

“For a branch of the sport engaged in a continual battle for recognition, the reach and interest created by virtual women’s races is a significant step. Team Sunweb’s Anna Henderson, a competitor in the recent women’s Virtual Tour de France, explains that the cliché pertaining to the world’s biggest bike race is applicable even to its digital incarnation."

Anna Henderson

“The Tour is the Tour, right? It’s huge. With [Radio Tour announcer Seb Piquet] on the live stream, I thought that was mega. We can show the organisers that we can race, we have interesting racing, and hopefully they will see that and then the next step is onto the road. So many people are watching. Often, it’s a big battle for women’s races to get broadcast. I think it’s a big step in the right direction and the next step can only go upwards.”

Timothy John

“Anna’s view is supported by Zwift’s senior PR manager, Chris Snook, a man with a detailed knowledge of the scale of the broadcast opportunity presented to women’s cycle sport by the Virtual Tour de France.”

Chris Snook

“Especially for women’s cycling, there are huge opportunities with Zwift, in particular at the minute through the Virtual Tour de France. We’ve got 20 broadcasters worldwide taking the Tour de France, reaching over 130 countries. For women’s cycling, that’s incredibly powerful. I don’t think they’ve ever had such reach for any race that they’ve done, so it’s a real opportunity for those teams to offer real value to their sponsors and significant exposure, through not only the racing but also the post-race interviews and everything that comes with a traditional sporting event.”

Timothy John

“Chris Snook’s use of the ‘c’ word - ‘commercial’ - bring us closer to the heart of this episode and, indeed, of this podcast. If the Brother UK Cycling Podcast has a USP, then it’s the commercial insight we’re able to offer, courtesy of my co-host Phil Jones. 

“Leadership of a major business like Brother UK, whose previous sponsorships have included Premier League football and Formula One, have equipped Phil with experience of the commercial realities that underpin the shiny exterior of elite and professional sport. 

“A business leader and a passionate supporter of UK cycle sport, Phil is well-informed on the scale of the opportunity offered by e-racing to professional cycling and well-qualified to

comment on its potential impact.”

Phil Jones

“If you start to look at what e-sports are doing globally, then the e-sports business is doing phenomenally well and growing at 15 to 20 per cent per annum in terms of people participating in it or people being aware of it. To put that in some sort of context, there’s somewhere in the region of half-a-billion viewers of e-sports across the whole categories, across all sports at the moment, with a further billion people who have awareness of e-sports, and it’s becoming a big money business. There’s somewhere in the region of a billion pounds worth of prizes already in the e-sports category. 

“So if we’re thinking about sustainability in the sport of cycling, then in my view one of the important pillars that you’re going to have to instal in the sport is accessing this new audience

where you can also begin to access alternative funding revenues. 

“The sport of cycling is really raising [money] in sponsorship - and that’s it. If you look at e-sports generally, it’s very different, because only 40 per cent is earned in sponsorship, whereas in the sport of cycling, its 100 per cent. The rest of it comes from advertising revenues, media owner rights payments and merchandising and ticket sales. All of a sudden, there is a huge, new revenue stream that, effectively, the sport of cycling could be tapping into which then contributes to the overall sport, whether that be on the road or in an arena.”

INTERLUDE

Timothy John

“Fan engagement lies at the heart of the e-racing revolution. Any online engagement is measurable, and, for businesses spending hard earned pounds, dollars or Euros on sponsorship, measuring return on investment is critical. 

“Attempting to calculate the value of brand exposure at a real-world event is no small task. Sponsors like Brother UK and race organisers like SweetSpot expend significant time and resource in doing just that. But, as we’ll hear now from SweetSpot’s Peter Hodges, e-races like the Skoda V Women’s Tour generate an abundance of data, including the demographics and location of the user and even the amount of time they spend watching.”

Peter Hodges

“How do you get to know more about the person at the roadside? Whether it’s the Women’s Tour or the Tour of Britain, we enjoy huge roadside crowds. A lot of those people are stepping out of their homes, businesses or schools and then stepping back inside and that’s their engagement. How do you - without sounding too ‘Big Brother’ - get to know more about who they are and know some data about them? So that’s a big challenge in outdoor cycling. 

“Virtual cycling, of course, suddenly there’s a huge amount more data because people are connecting and watching the event via a Facebook stream, a YouTube stream, or even the BBC Sport stream, so while some opportunities aren’t there and we don’t have that volume of casual fans who happen upon the event or go because their school are going, you

suddenly learn more about, if you like, the hardcore fans.

“The feedback we’ve had from BBC Sport is very positive, and this has come across from all our channels: people who watched it tended to watch a lot of it. It wasn’t, ‘Oh, I’ll dip into that. I’ve seen 15 seconds, 20 seconds, I’ll turn off.’ The average view times of the videos, whether on Facebook, YouTube, BBC Sport etc. were all high. People were clearly engaged and watching it.”

Timothy John

“A notable characteristic of any e-sport, including e-cycling, is its ability to attract a younger audience. Tech savvy millennials, members of Generation Z, Generation Alpha or whichever new buzzword has been coined to describe audiences from their mid-teens to their mid-twenties, are increasingly likely to discover cycle sport through its digital form. 

“Twenty-one year-old Anna Henderson offers some interesting insights based on the different responses of her parents and peer group. Anna’s observations on the fast and furious format of e-racing and the channels through which it can be accessed are also worth hearing.”

Anna Henderson

“My friends are quite interested in it. They find it really strange how we can be riding our bikes stationary and also racing. They struggle to get their minds around it. 

“Because it’s quite short, they can watch an hour’s race, instead of a 250km race where you see the start and then come back for the final 100km. 

“I think for the average person who’s not that into cycling, it’s quite interesting to see, but also it can be quite complicated to understand what’s going on, possibly. I had to explain to my mum and my dad and my brother what was going on and why I was dropping a PowerUp. 

“Also, with YouTube, it’s so easy to pick up and watch. I mean anyone can find YouTube, and it’s such a big platform that can reach so many people of any generation.”

Timothy John

“Anna’s last point - that broadcasting races through digital and social platforms helps to reach a more youthful demographic - is borne out by SweetSpot’s analysis, as Peter Hodges explains. 

Peter Hodges

“By a clear look at the data, you can see that younger people are engaging with it. Whether that’s because you could watch it on Facebook - I’m trying not to sound too old here, saying, ‘You can watch this on Facebook?!’ - but it definitely reached a younger and slightly different demographic.

“Looking to the future, it’s not a case of you have one or the other. Perhaps gong forwards, for us and other events, these could complement each other. They clearly do attract slightly different audiences.”

Timothy John

“Peter’s last point about the potential for complementary digital and road events echoes the sentiments of our other contributors: that e-racing should be regarded as a new discipline and distinct from road racing.

“There is, however, a significant point of convergence in the need for those teams competing online and in the real world to generate an income. Investment from corporate backers will be increasingly hard to obtain as the economic impact of Covid19 becomes apparent. 

“A team’s ability to present a mixed or dual proposition - road racing, e-racing or both - to existing or hoped-for sponsors could make the difference. Here’s Phil Jones on the likely

economic legacy of Covid19 and the ability e-racing offers cycling teams to present a range of sponsorship proposals.”

Phil Jones

“This is a completely brand new way to provide more value for a sponsor, and we’ve all got to really acknowledge that for the next 18 months, 24 months, sponsorship is going to be particularly tough to come by because we’re going to see huge numbers of business failures. You’re going to see many companies struggling to just stay alive, and so the last thing they’re probably going to be thinking about is sports sponsorship to support their proposition. 

“Teams are going to need to really be able to demonstrate value to either be able to retain who they currently have or indeed attract somebody new. It could be that what they look at is much more micro-sponsorship agreements, so they might have a separate sponsor for their on-road season to their digital season, for example. They might split sponsorship down the middle and say, ‘We’re selling two sponsorship packages now: one is for summer and one is for winter.’

“They might say, ‘We’re selling everything.’ They might say: ‘It’s digital only. We’re going to run a whole digital programme for an entire year and have a separate kit and everything for

that particular side.’ I think it gives a lot of flexibility for a team to potentially take to market a brand new sponsorship position for a company like Brother.”

INTERLUDE

Timothy John

“We’ve considered many of the commercial aspects of e-racing, from audience engagement to sponsorship proposals. Let’s return though to the sporting aspect and to Leah Dixon, who’s already described the physical demands of e-racing and the idiosyncrasies of it’s two leading platforms. Leah, let’s not forget, won the inaugural Skoda V Women’s Tour - some achievement!

“Her triumph, however, occurred not at a mountain summit or in a packed city centre, but in her living room. How does a rider prepare for an e-race? What are the technical and

logistical requirements? And, for winners like Leah, what’s the etiquette for celebration? Were her hands in the air as she crossed the virtual finish line? Come on, Leah. You can tell us.”

Leah Dixon

“I think that they were very much still in the air, but at home. It’s not road racing, but it was still a really hard three days of racing, and there were some absolutely brilliant competitors in that race as well, over which I never expected to win. And from a team perspective, most things went well each day as well, so...I felt really elated to have got that right. 

“At that point in time, [the Skoda V Woman’s Tour] was the only [professional] bike race that was happening in the world, so to win that was still really special. And the virtual Women’s Tour was the first ever virtual tour, so it was nice to have made history with that, too. 

“From a technological perspective, I normally just race from my iPad, but for the rest of the space, I’ll make sure that my Cannondale Super Six is set-up on the trainer, that there are no chances of it coming loose; that the trainer’s stable. I think about how long the race is, so whether I might want to put hydro tabs or energy in my bottles. 

“I use two fans, because I guess it’s really important to stay cool. [I think about] whether I might need a gel or something like that. Rather than having stem notes on my bike, I’ve

normally got them written on a notepad next to my iPad with some kind of motivational quote next to it to remind me to keep going.”

Timothy John

“While Leah raced alone again in the Virtual Tour de France, not all of her competitors did the same. Anna Henderson, Leah’s team-mate last year at Team Brother UK-Tifosi rolled out online for stage two of the Virtual Tour de France, not from her living room but from Team Sunweb’s Keep Challenging centre in The Netherlands. 

“Sunweb, of course, is one of the heavyweight teams of professional cycling, with squads in the men’s and women’s WorldTours. Does e-racing in a team environment represent a

competitive advantage then? Can tactical advice and staff support make a difference behind the screen? Anna lifts the lid.”

Anna Henderson

“We all race together, obviously 1.5m apart (it’s 1.5m in The Netherlands). We all go over to where the home trainers are set-up. It’s kind of weird. You’re with your team-mates and suffering with your team-mates but you're on your own, almost. It’s nice to be around people, and was also have our DS, Hans, here. Albert is going today. It makes it more fun to suffer together, I think. 

“There are so many components to it. You have to connect your trainer, then connect it to the control wall and then go back, and some people who are newer or more experienced can

really help each other and make things so much smoother, and our DS can help us: an extra pair of hands. It makes it more fun if you are all in it together here. 

“I’ve definitely enjoyed it more, being here with my team-mates  and really having a vested interest in who’s in the race, as well. One of my first Zwift races was a men’s ‘B’ Tuesday night race, and I couldn’t quite get into it. But now, being surrounded by team-mates, in this environment, and also racing the girls who I’ll be racing on the road has definitely helped me get into that racing mentality and, yeah, it’s really good to be here.”

Timothy John

“It’s not only the riders who’ve had to cope with a new, technically-focused race day. Race organisers who’ve reconfigured real-world events as digital races have had to overcome a host of challenges, from potential show stoppers to minor inconsistencies. 

“SweetSpot’s Peter Hodges puts it well when he describes the reversal of emphasis between bike race and broadcast. No broadcast event goes live without testing, and the Skoda V Women’s Tour was no exception. From devising strategies to overcome sonic interference with post-race interviews to protocols for covering the race on social media, Peter and his

colleagues had plenty of thinking to do in the build up to the company's first digital event, as we’ll hear now.”

Peter Hodges

“We started off, I don’t want to say with a laissez-faire attitude, but we thought, ‘Yeah, this is great. How hard can this be?’ Almost in the back of our minds, we thought: ‘We’re used to putting on the Tour of Britain, the Women’s Tour. This should be straight forwards. We don’t have to worry about the logistics of getting to places, hotels, barriers, all those sorts of things.’ But actually it threw up a very different set of challenges.

“I think almost the way to think of it is, when we’re putting on the Women’s Tour or the Tour of Britain, it’s putting on a bike race and there is a TV programme of the bike race. This was

very much: it was putting on a TV programme in which a bike race happened. 

“An example of a little thing was the post-event interviews: getting the riders to try and put on headphones, because in the background, you had the sound of their turbo or perhaps a fan. You learn little things like that. 

“On the Friday night, perhaps three or four days before the event, we did a big test event with all of the teams invited. I think pretty much all of the teams bar one rode in that and almost all of the riders, so we had forty plus riders taking part in that. The test event went really well, and I think at that point we thought: ‘Yes, this event can definitely work.’ We had a few less

worries going into Wednesday night, but there were still lots of challenges.

“Even from the point of view of social media, there is a way that we cover [a race], whether it’s the Women’s Tour, the Tour of Britain, the Tour Series, through our Twitter channel and our social media platforms. But you suddenly have the question: ‘How do we cover a race that is virtual, where everyone who is [following] is watching it on a screen? We’re not  communicating with someone stood on a roadside. How can we do that on the day of the event so we’re adding to the broadcast rather than telling people what’s happening which, quite frankly, they’re all going to be able to see?’

“All of these little things kept coming up. Regulations. I mentioned about riders connectivity. The final questions didn’t stop until after the event and even then we’re learning things and

going: ‘Great. This is how we can do it next time.’ We’ve learned so much. It’s been really interesting.”

Timothy John

“SweetSpot were not alone in facing a round-the-clock battle to create a digital version of an established road race. Zwift found themselves under similar pressure. When your client is ASO and the project is nothing less than a virtual Tour de France, however, the answer is simply to start work immediately, building virtual worlds and creating the biggest cycling e-race to date. 

“Ideally, Zwift would have had months to create not only the race but also its companion: the virtual l’Etape du Tour. In fact, it was by watching professional teams compete in Zwift’s

Tour for All series that convinced ASO it could avoid postponing cycling’s greatest race for the first time since WWII, and that a Tour, of sorts, could still be held in July.”

Chris Snook

“It’s pretty incredible really, isn’t it? It’s definitely one of those things that when the opportunity comes about, you can’t turn it down. Eric, the CEO at Zwift, often says that he firmly believed he would one day see the Tour de France on Zwift. He just didn’t expect it to be this year. 

“This year has been a particular challenge. Normally, for a project of this scale, we would like to have a number of months preparation to build the race and also the participation angle of the series as well, because of course it’s not just about the Virtual Tour de France - the men’s and women’s races - it’s also about driving participation through the l’Etape du Tour

series as well. 

“It was a very fast turnaround. We had to build two new worlds. Courses on Zwift normally take months to develop. The concept of new French and Paris maps was born in the middle of May and is now launched. We’ve been working around the clock to turn this around. Something that would normally take months, we’ve managed to do in a matter of weeks. 

“For me, personally, it was really exciting to see the Tour de France branding in the game and to have the best men’s and women’s racers from around the world competing. We had former world champions like Chantaal Black, current world champions like Chloe Dygart. We had former Tour de France winners like Geraint Thomas. It’s been really incredible to see.”

INTERLUDE

 Timothy John

“Chris’ pride in Zwift’s ‘job well done’ is shared by the riders. Anna Henderson’s opinion that ‘The Tour is the Tour’, even in digital form, is echoed by Leah Dixon, her former team-mate at Brother UK-Tifosi and a key member of the Virtual Tour de France’s winning team. Leah delivered a series of strong performances, including fourth place on the virtual Mont Ventoux. Little wonder then that she’s convinced of the motivational gains that come from racing in any version of the Tour de France.”

Leah Dixon

“It’s really cool how lockdown has been a chance for e-racing to come to the forefront, so it’s been cool to have seen that change. I think, definitely, for the [virtual] Tour de France, everyone seems to have raised their game, because the Tour is the Tour at the end of the day.”

Timothy John

“Leah’s observation that lockdown has normalised e-racing is bang on the money. Perhaps modesty forbids her from celebrating the speed with which she and her fellow professionals have adapted to this ‘new normal’. The introduction of cameras into our daily workplace interaction can be disconcerting, as Phil Jones notes.”  

Phil Jones

“It’s funny being at the end of a camera. I’m sure everybody listening who’s been on the end of a Zoom call or a Microsoft Teams call can identify with that when they’re the person doing the talking. It’s very difficult some times. You can’t read people. You can’t ‘play off’ people, which we normally get in these human circumstances. 

“So, yeah, it must be a great adjustment period for a rider, because other than the data that they’re seeing on the screen….Remember some of those famous races over the years

where Rider A looks over to Rider B, looks into the whites of their eyes and launches an attack, whereas now, of course, what they’re doing is monitoring watts-per-kilogram. 

“I notice now in e-races that a lot of the professionals are turning off their heart rate monitors. They’re not having that data shown, for example. It is getting quite cagey and tactical and that tells me that the kudos of winning some of these races now is beginning to increase.”

Timothy John

“Anna Henderson is not a rider who hides her data or her response to the intense demands of e-racing, either from her competitors, or her team-mates. As we noted earlier, Anna’s outings in the virtual Tour de France took place in Sunweb’s Keep Challenging centre in Limburg. So how much, if anything, is gained from her ability to read signals from her team-mates, if not from her competitors?”

Anna Henderson

“We have some interaction with our DS. He has the Race Overview software that Zwift came out with and he also has Zwift PowerUp, so he can see where we are in the race: what the rolling watts-per-kilo are. He can communicate that with us and tell us what’s coming up. 

“With the girls, there’s a lot of heavy breathing going on. There’s a little bit of communication as to whether they should use a PowerUp or not, but it’s generally heavy breathing for sixty

minutes. My numbers are my numbers, and I’m going to go as fast as I’m going to go, right?”

Timothy John

“Anna’s transparent approach to performance date is refreshing and encouraged by Team Sunweb, whose coaches seek as many metrics as possible for post-race analysis. As a 21-year-old neo-pro, Anna is a member of a new generation of elite riders, unsullied by the less-than-transparent approach of her forebears. Nevertheless, e-racing, like all disciplines in cycle sport, must protect riders like Anna, who cherish transparency, from those who might be prepared to pursue victory at any cost. 

“So what steps have been taken by races like the Skoda V Women’s Tour to prevent the damaging possibilities of ‘digital doping’ - the complex pursuit of unfair advantage online,

gained chiefly from inaccurate reporting of the rider’s weight?”

Peter Hodges

“We had a fairly good set of regulations. We had people liaising with the teams, in terms of the set-up - their trainers and the app. Also, within the application, there were certain spot checks that could happen and did happen. Ultimately, the one thing you have is that riders who win or place have to submit power files, which go into…I suppose it’s almost the equivalent of the biological passport in road racing. They’re kept on record.

“Undoubtedly, this is a growing area. It’s been growing over the last 18 to 24 months and there will be more events in the future. At the moment, in cycling we’re very new to the process of, well, how do you keep track of the performances from riders competing in a given event and anything that may or may not be suspicious?

“The thing that all of the teams and riders bought into, and this was the heartening aspect, was this was just a positive event to try and get women’s cycling shown - BBC Sport broadcast it - and just to try and get the racing back out there when it had been decimated. For all the teams and sponsors, and indeed the riders, they had no way to put themselves in

the shop window; nowhere to promote their brands or themselves.

“It was almost a coming together of everyone in the spirit of cycling, without trying to sound too evangelical. I think everyone pulled together and understood that this was a first and a new event, so there was going to be teething problems, but also that everyone was going to play along and play fairly.”

Timothy John

“Peter’s view is strongly endorsed by Leah Dixon. As the winner of the inaugural Skoda V Women’s Tour, Leah, more than most, perhaps, has an interest in protecting the legacy of her result.

“It’s often said that anti-doping exists as much to protect honest competitors as to prosecute the dishonest. For such a new discipline as e-racing, attempts to prevent cheating online

have a wider significance, however, as Leah explains.”

Leah Dixon

“In the lockdown situation that we’re in, with it being the only form of racing that we have, you want to make sure that’s credible, because it’s another option of racing that’s available to a lot more people, so you kind of want to protect the legacy of that. There’s obviously making sure that the weight is accurate and then checking in with the team to make sure that everything right, but I think that e-racing organisations do a great job in making sure that all of that set-up is correct.

“I think what’s also great now is that, more recently, for the RGT Women’s Tour and the Zwift Tour de France is that you’re on a Zoom virtual call as well, so it’s pretty much complete transparency on the basis that everyone can see you racing, which sometimes is not great when you’re at a heart rate of 200bpm! But I think it gives you the added value of transparency.”

 

INTERLUDE

 

Timothy John

“Having learned more about the sporting aspects of e-racing, from tactics to protocols that ensure fair play, let’s turn again to the commercial side and consider in more detail what long-term advantages might accrue to the entire sport from virtual racing. 

“The virtual world might contain solutions to cycling’s commercial challenges so notably absent in the real world, where teams rely solely on sponsorship to survive. E-racing’s biggest event to date, the 2020 Virtual Tour de France, was delivered by a partnership between race owners the ASO, considered the most powerful organisation in cycling, and Zwift, the

biggest of the new kids on e-racing’s block. 

“But will alliances like this continue to hold as e-racing cements its popularity? Phil Jones sees potential for a fundamental shift in relations in favour of teams and new media owners and is intrigued by how the sport’s traditional power brokers - race organisers and governing bodies - will respond to the threat.”

Phil Jones

“I think the issue will be how much the ASO wants to control that. I think what’s very evident is that the e-sports arena is mostly operated independently from the traditional, national federations and international federations. It’s kind of cutting out its own pathway, its own revenue model.

“Because the numbers are so huge and [because of] the platforms involved, like YouTube and Twitch, and the way revenues are being earned, a lot of that is bypassing traditional media owners and moving onto the new media platforms. 

“I’m pretty sure that if I was CEO of any of those national or international federations, I would have this firmly on my risk matrix to say that we have a new competitor on the block and

that we need to be a part of it and we need to manage how those revenue flows work. 

“If you’re a team then clearly there’s quite a lot of opportunity that I can see there. For example, you might begin to do your own fan engagement - merchandising and events - in a way that you’ve never really done them before, outside of your normal closed group of sponsors: sponsor ride-outs and things like that. 

“You’ve suddenly got a position here where you might have a global fan base who can have a digital ride-out with your team and they might pay for that privilege. It might only be a small number: let’s say it’s a pound, or two pounds, or a couple of Euros someone might pay to join a ride-out. 

“But what if, suddenly, there were 50,000 people on that [ride] for an hour or two hours. Suddenly, you’re looking at a potential income stream of $100,000 dollars for that one hour. The

sums begin to speak. I think this is the part of the sport that really comes into view. There are enormous financial revenues to be earned.”

Timothy John

“Not only does e-racing offer teams new opportunities to earn revenues, but by creating accurate avatars with sponsor-correct kits and equipment, professional squads can serve sponsors in a new world. And team sponsors are not the only brands able to enjoy exposure on a digital course, as Zwift’s Chris Snook explains.”

Chris Snook

“Pretty much all the branding exposure opportunities that exist in the real world can be replicated in Zwift, so, naturally, for the Virtual Tour de France, all the teams have their kits in the game with the sponsors' logos. The bikes are all in the game, so they get the same opportunities in Zwift as they do on the road with the sponsors of the race, like Skoda, for example. 

“All the markings on the road are in the race. We’re able to bring in time partners like Tissot as the official partner of the Virtual Tour de France and the Tour de France. And all the broadcaster package overlays that exist: obviously Tissot comes up prominently on the broadcast visuals as the official time partner, just like you do in the real world: in-game

hoardings, roadside banners etc.”

Timothy John

“Significantly, Skoda was one of the key brands mentioned by Chris as he identified those supporters of real-world racing who also enjoy exposure in Zwift. It’s far from their first mention in this podcast. As title sponsors of, you guessed it, the Skoda V Women’s Tour, their support leant vital credence to SweetSpot’s project to digitise the Women’s Tour, a real-world race of six years standing.

“Cycling fans of previous generations, your presenter included, will recall Skoda’s unforgettable television ads in covering Tours now long past that captured the excitement of viewing a race from inside the convoy. Peter Hodges explains the kudos added to SweetSpot’s new digital event from the patronage of one of the sport’s longest-serving sponsors of its established real-world races.”

Peter Hodges

“Skoda’s support was great, and I think they saw very quickly a way of reaching cycling fans, but also of continuing their support for women’s cycling. They have a huge campaign. They back the Internationelles. They are really keen on promoting, as we are, they parity of women’s events and men’s events. 

“It was fantastic support from Skoda and it really endorsed the event. It’s a blue chip name. It’s a name that’s known throughout cycling and around the world. It certainly gave the event validation being able to say, ‘This is the Skoda V Women’s Tour’. It added that very nice green cherry on the top.”

Timothy John

“The impact of attracting a blue chip title sponsor extends further than the creditability it lends to a race, digital or otherwise. Brother UK has established an unrivalled credibility in UK cycle sport by its sponsorship of four teams and a fleet of neutral service vehicles, in addition to its role as Official Print and Results Partner to SweetSpot’s three real-world races: the Tour of Britain, the Women’s Tour and the Tour Series. 

“Phil Jones, the architect of Brother UK’s comprehensive sponsorship of UK cycle sport, acknowledges the influence that support from a recognised partner can exert in pitches for additional backing.”

Phil Jones

“Once you land a good quality title sponsor, it really makes it a lot easier for other people to be involved, and if anyone ever knocks on our door and says, ‘We’re already doing this, and it’s already been evaluated and support by…and they’re onboard and they’re doing this with it,’ then I think it becomes a much stronger proposition for anybody new that you’re trying to land.”

Timothy John

“Zwift’s ultimate ambition for e-racing is to introduce the most intoxicating elements of live sport: crowds, rivalries and proximity to the athletes. Their inspiration lies in the arena-based competitions already held by other e-sports, in which players using digital consoles compete in front of a live audience. 

“E-cycling, as we’ve already discussed in this episode, contains an athletic component that should present a far more compelling spectacle. But will fans pay to watch their heroes compete on turbo trainers? Zwift believes so. Here’s Chris Snook.”

Chris Snook

“The vision will be to have arena-style or stadium-style events, much like you see with other e-sports competitions on Fortnite, where you host these races in a venue and fans can get up close to the riders and buy tickets to these events, which is another thing that cycling struggles with. 

“Ticketed events in arenas where you have the opportunity to build franchises: city-based competitions, for example, where you might have a Manchester-based e-sports cycling team that will race a Liverpool-based cycling team, for example, and you start to build these franchises, built around the teams more than the riders. It will enable those teams to become more sustainable models and bring in sponsors on a longer-term basis. 

“There are some really interesting opportunities that e-sports can delver, partly due to the static nature of the competition.”

Timothy John

“Arena-based e-races, where competing teams might race turbo-to-turbo, if not wheel-to-wheel, is a bold concept, but one whose success has already been proved by other sports. Could e-racing supply the largest of the many missing pieces from professional cycling’s commercial jigsaw? 

“Free access to casual fans at the roadside is at once its greatest gift and greatest headache. Phil Jones, whose passion for the sport is balanced by a clear understanding of its need to generate return on investment, believes that Zwift’s vision for ticketed events is sound.”

Phil Jones

“As Chris has rightly said there, with Zwift’s plans to think about, already, ticketed events, and that in itself is a brand new genre of the sport, where effectively a new income stream can be earned, and that I think is very, very interesting." 

INTERLUDE

Timothy John

“Let’s conclude this investigation into e-racing, the biggest thing to emerge from cycle sport in this unprecedented period of lockdown and social distancing, with a final word from each of our contributors. 

“Let’s start with Anna Henderson. Could a rider of such formidable ability on the road foresee a team in which e-racing held the same importance for her and her Team Sunweb colleagues?”

Anna Henderson

“Definitely my heart lies on the road, and I think the feeling of winning on the road will never be matched anywhere else. But I think you can get pretty close. Like finishing second yesterday, I thought: ‘Ok’. That brings up my confidence to go out on the road and implement that feeling.

“Personally, for me and Team Sunweb this is a really good stepping stone to go back onto the road. For Sunweb, I think our focus really lies on the road, but then again Zwift is here to

stay, so we’re going to do the best we can with Zwift.”

Timothy John

“And how about Leah Dixon? The overall winner of the Skoda V Women’s Tour and part of Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank’s all-conquering squad at the Virtual Tour de France, will she continue to target digital victories, or, like Anna, seek to carry her form online out onto the road?”

Leah Dixon

“I’ve sort of gone the opposite way to a lot of racers in lockdown, in that, while I obviously have embraced e-racing, I know that in lockdown, a lot of people have spent a lot of time on the turbo and on e-racing platforms. I think that I’ve used the benefit of my experience on that front, where I’ve actually identified lockdown as an opportunity to work on my weaknesses, so I’ve spent more time riding on the road and developing skills in the hope that when the season resumes, I’ll be in a better place on that front. When racing resumes, I’ll be ready but e-racing has definitely been a benefit. You know that you’ve got that additional sharpness there that you need to step it up at that level when the season restarts.”

Timothy John

“Will we see another Virtual Tour de France? Could a digital incarnation of the world’s biggest bike race become an annual event? Here’s Chris Snook.”

Chris Snook

“Who knows? I think the challenge will be the scheduling question. When could we do a Virtual Tour de France again, because we all look forward to the real Tour de France going back next July. That’s the big question. If the Tour de France or the Virtual Tour de France was to return, where could that take place and in what form?

“I think we’d love to see it come back, and I’m sure that there will be lots of questions over the next year or so, but we’ll just have to wait and see. Fingers crossed!”

Timothy John

“What plans does SweetSpot have for further digital reinventions of their established real-world races? With September’s edition of the Tour of Britain postponed until next year, will they seek to replicate their success with the Skoda V Women’s Tour? Peter Hodges.”

Peter Hodges

“I think there will definitely be more virtual events from us. As to when they are or what they are, let’s just say there are lots of interesting discussions going on. I can’t say exactly, but there are some great opportunities out there. Without trying to sound too pun-tastic, its is a whole new world for us and one we’re determined to explore.”

Timothy John

“The last word goes to my co-host Phil Jones, Brother UK’s Managing Director. As someone combining a passion for cycle sport with an unflinching focus on its ability to deliver return on investment for the business he leads, Phil’s view is the most holistic of our expert witnesses. What conclusions does he draw from e-racing’s lockdown-inspired coming of age, and what does he predict will be its ultimate contribution to cycle sport?”

Phil Jones

“I think it’s been a tipping point this year. For the first time, you’ve seen, with regularity, professionals participating in online racing. More subscribers, bigger audiences, bigger platforms, and then things begin to open up: content platforms, revenue sharing, share of advertising contributions. These are all things that teams usually don’t get. There’s an enormous pie, a big pile of cash, waiting for somebody to unlock it. It would really be a crime, in my opinion, if the sport doesn’t see that and begin to configure itself and then add in credibility by having professional riders race both or develop their team to address that market as we talked about earlier.”

 

Timothy John

“Let’s end in our normal manner with a ‘social shoutout’ for the guests who’ve contributed to this episode. You can follow Leah Dixon on Twitter @leah_dixiee and you can follow her on Instagram @leah-dixie, but dixie this time is d-i-x-i-e.  

“You can follow Peter Hodges on Twitter and on Instagram @PeterDHodges, all one word.

“You can follow Anna Henderson on Twitter @annahendersonxo and on Instagram @AnnaHenderson__.

“Chris Snook is on Twitter @chrisjsn00k.

“You can find Phil Jones on Twitter and Instagram by following @roadphil for his cycling output. For business Tweets, you can follow Phil on Twitter @philjones40. 

“And we sincerely hope that you’ll follow Brother Cycling. We’re @brothercycling on all three platforms

“We hope you’ve enjoyed this episode. Don’t forget, you can hear our first four studio-based episodes, recorded before lockdown with all kinds of interesting guests, on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify. 

“Thanks very much indeed for listening and stay safe.”

MUSIC

Phil Jones

“If you’ve enjoyed today’s episode, please hit subscribe.”

 

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