Cyclist Harrison Wood in the virtual saddle for E-Racing Academy
- Credit: Archant
The 2020 cycling season may be suspended like other sports but talented young Torbay rider Harrison Wood is still racing - thanks to the wonders of modern technology.
Wood's Dutch team SEG Racing Academy has sent the 19-year-old home during the virus-enforced shutdown, but that doesn't mean that he's off his bike, far from it.
Wood and his teammates have turned to the 'virtual' world of computer-based competition on their home turbo-trainers.
Programmes like Zwift are proving a real boon, and Harrison is throwing himself into a series of 'races' against some of the world's top pro squads.
'Our team has become an 'E-Racing' Academy for the foreseeable future,' said the former Torquay Boys' Grammar School student.
'I am still training around South Devon, but trying to be as sensible as possible about it.
'But a lot of our work is at home on the turbo. We train against each other - Holland is locked down the same as us - but there's also loads of 'races' you can enter.
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'It's good for the sponsors, because the races are live-streamed on the web, and for the riders because it gives some point to the training. I really enjoy them.'
Riders register a range of personal information including weight and power-output over various terrain, and then use it in races which last up to an hour.
'It's full on from the flag, then it tends to settle down for a while,' he said, 'before it's full-gas again for the last ten minutes or so.
'I was sixth the other day when only 15 guys were left out of a field of 100, and then I was 13th from a group of 30. Not bad, considering it's a good standard.
'Everyone in the sport is in limbo, but at some point racing will start again, and I am using these 'races' as my aim to keep getting stronger.'