The world is a big place with lots of incredible circuits to ride. On my short list is Valkenburg, Netherlands. Why? Well, it has hosted the Road World Championships five times—a record—in 1938, ’48, ’79, ’98 and 2012. I want to experience, first-hand, just how punishing that circuit is. That desire will have to continue to wait.
And now, for the first time since 1986, the Road World Championships will take place on American soil. No matter which side of which pond you live, the odds are you won’t be there. Funny detail: you don’t have to be there to ride the course.
The 16.2-kilometer (10-mile) course is available through Zwift. Each of the course’s punchy climbs is there, along with the city’s historic architecture. And while your trainer can’t rattle you like the sections of cobblestone found on the course, Zwift’s reproduction of the circuit is faithful enough to include each section of cobbles.
Riders will be able to enjoy it September 13-15 and then again from September 20-27.
Zwift is available as a free download to Mac and PC while still in beta.
I’ll be punishing myself on this once I’ve finished punishing myself at Interbike.