In 2009 a certain event has changed cycling forever. And we do not mean another Lance Armstrong’s comeback, but the release of a smart cycling app named “Strava”. We bet dollars to doughnuts, that there is no single person in biking business that have not heard of Strava. If, however, someone is not familiar with it, we hurry to explain that Strava is a kind of training log in which rides can be stored, shared and analyzed. One may say – “it’s nothing new” and she or he would be right, if it wasn’t for one, particular feature of Strava. Namely – the segments.
The idea behind it is simple. On road or off road segments’ GPS tracks are stored in Strava’s database. Whenever someone completes the segment during the ride (and record it with a GPS bike computer or smartphone), and then upload it to Strava, she or he can compare achieved result with other riders’ results on current section. A person with the best time is titled as KOM (King of Mountain) or QOM (Queen of Mountain). This is how terms like “KOM hunting” or “KOM war” got into the cycling dictionary. Once Strava appeared in biking world all trainings and club rides got a new dimension. Our favorite loops and routes “studded” with segments became the arena of constant virtual competition.
It was a matter of time before Strava segments bursted into bike races. Nowadays almost every rider owns a cycling computer or a smartphone, so we thought that it would be a good idea to introduce additional element of competition. That is how we came up with an idea of Strava Segments Cup, which will appear on this year’s edition of Sudety MTB Challenge. What’s the formula? On each stage there will be one climb and one descent marked as the race’s official Strava segment. The segments will be announced before the race and marked on the maps, so each rider will have a chance to get to know their location. Participants who upload their stage ride to Strava will take part in a virtual classification of best climbers and downhillers of Sudety MTB Challenge. The ranking will combine both elements (climbing and descending), but will be led in both women and men categories.
Apart from the fun that the virtual battle for KOMs and QOMs bring, the best riders and rideresses will be rewarded with GARMIN EDGE 520 bike computers – the first devices with Strava Live Segments feature, that allows to track your time on each segment in real time!
We encourage all the participants of Sudety MTB Challenge to join this virtual racing. The rules of the competition and segments descriptions will be published soon. Stay tuned!