Taylor-Brown relishes testing esports debut

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Georgia Taylor-Brown insisted she enjoyed her debut as part of Super League’s esports squad but admitted it was a steep learning curve.

The British star was given a baptism of fire in the Trofeo Bologna race of the Zwift Classics series.

The field was blown apart early in the race and the gaps between riders were increasingly strung out by the time Ashleigh Moolman Piaso took the victory.

Taylor-Brown averaged 232 watts for 65th position and, like the men before her, confessed that learning the tactics of riding on Zwift is a big part of the challenge.

She said:

I enjoyed it but it was so hard from the start and after the first climb I completely blew.
I thought I would try and recover on the descent and try and go again and the hill was even worse the second time around. I thought I would get into a rhythm and I really didn’t.
At the start it was a pace I could have stayed at but it’s hard on Zwift because you put in an effort and you slowly surge to the front and then you think you are going too fast and you end up at the back so it is all about tactics.
I had my boyfriend at the side of me saying ‘go now’, ‘don’t go any faster’, ‘stay there’, and I found myself in difficult positions.
I enjoyed it and I would definitely do another one because I learnt a lot from that first one and I will take into the next race that I do.

Taylor-Brown rode much of the race in the close company of Super League teammate Cassandre Beaugrand but couldn’t hang on to her in the final surge. She said:

I knew where Leonie (Periault) was and where Cassandre was.
Leonie was just in front going up the first climb and I thought ‘ok, try and get back,’ and I just couldn’t.
Then I was with Cassandre for the rest of it and we caught Leonie again going into the final climb and then those just pedaled away from me into the clouds!

For all of the pain of the experience, Taylor-Brown admitted she was delighted to be back racing again, even if it was via esports.

It definitely gives you a little bit of a focus and today I was sat around chilling out and it felt weird. It felt like a proper race was coming up.
I tried to treat it like a proper race and I prepared beforehand and I had a gel about ten minutes before. I did all the right things.
It was nice to feel you were in a bit of a race and not focussing on having three hours to go on the Kickr just pedaling away.
It was nice to get away and into that race environment because I have really missed it.

The men are in action again on Friday night at 7pm BST with the women returning on Tuesday April 21.

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