Drama beyond the race as the frontiers of VR Racing push another step forward with West London VR and CADEsport’s groundbreaking event: one of the great moments in the history of VR Racing. We salute its heroes

Great moments in history are those that are groundbreaking and influential, not necessarily the choreographed fanfares of big media productions. True fans of sport know this, those who organise sport will also know that the excitement goes beyond the sport itself.

West London VR has been at the forefront of VR Racing for more than three years, other pioneers went before us, but we are of pre-pandemic VR culture, not pandemic era VR popularists. We realised early on that, for all its advances, Zwift didn’t do certain things as well as other platforms and we were exploring others like Rouvy, Fulgaz and Wahoo RGT amongst others from a long while back. They all have attributes we like but we started organising racing on Wahoo RGT as it is a far better platform for racing than Zwift. Then in 2022, came CADEsport, the new kid on the block with wild ambitions that give us the opportunity to take the indoor cycling experience to the next level. Braking, Steering and Crashing are the headline attributes, but there is so much more.

Some peole don’t like change, but we embrace it. We appreciate that anything new has teething problems, but we embrace it.

CADEsport has routes/courses they call maps which we can all ride but it hasn’t had a facility to create your own courses yet. That will change soon but on Wednesday 5th April history was made as the first real life race course was Replicated in CADEsport and raced meaningfully … a historic moment as the most sophistacted VR platform just added some new attributes.

But, we all know that things aren’t always smooth, the new tech had a few glitches in testing, but West London VR had put the CADEsport Devs under pressure as the World Series Qualifying Races started on 5 April. In then end, it was just a few hours before the race that we were able to confirm that the race would be run on West London VR’s Ab-Fab Ascot course around Ascot Racecourse.

Having held back announcements whilst the CADEsport Devs worked around the clock to get the course ready, the publicity for the event was minimal. We rushed out the announcements shortly before the race.

Meanwhile, there were two CADEsport updates which riders may have needed to download, plus the new map (the course), and some other new maps now available on the platform. Latecomers risked not having enough time for the downloads. We sent a few warning messages out, but many riders didn’t get to the start on time unfortunately.

Having got through the ‘would anyone turn up?’ worry, there were nine pioneering heroes who raced. The course held up, but three riders did have techanicals, reducing the finishers. However, Malcolm Murdoch will be awarded third place despite his dropout just metres from the finish.

And what about the broadcasters? They were amazing. Damon Bates of ZMS set up two broadcasts just in case the course wasn’t ready (we had a back up course just in case) and regular commentator was unavailable due to a commitment made about 8 months ago before West London VR started CADEsport races. Cometh the hour, cometh the man and Mark Allard-Will stepped up with a superb commentary.

So who won? Erhan got a superb win in front of Homer Thompson and third spot has been given to Malcolm Murdoch by therace jury asdescribed above. We’ll write a report about that later, but some of the use of steering was exemplary, good cornering and smart use of power ups made the race as thrilling as getting it on.

Well done to everyone involved, this was a milestone in VR Racing History, made great by the pioneers who participated, or tried to log on in vain … VR heroes, every one of you!