PowerUp Tri Podcast Episode 16: Sam Appleton

PowerUp Tri Podcast Episode 16: Sam Appleton

ON October 3, 2019 by Zwift

The PowerUp Tri Podcast is hosted by former pro triathletes Matt Lieto and Jordan Rapp, who lend their in-depth knowledge of the multisport to the Zwift Tri audience.

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For many users, Zwift is the perfect blend of their love of gaming and a desire to get efficient and quality training for cycling and triathlon events. Nothing could be more true for 70.3 superstar and gaming fanatic, Sam Appleton. Sam is known around the tri circuit as a gaming nut so, of course, we just had to have him on to talk about it. That, and Jordan also embodies this fully so it was time to let him geek out about gaming with someone!

On the other side of the spectrum, many of us are totally unaware of the huge popularity of gaming, and the huge industry of esports. When I was doing my research on this topic (and trust me I had to) I was shocked to see the participation numbers and the money involved. To find a gamer that was under $500,000 on the earnings list I had to go past ranking 200. I know, crazy!  Needless to say, the industry is very healthy and the growth isn’t going to slow down anytime soon.

It was actually quite fun and enlightening to listen to Jordan and Sam banter about gaming and hear their true passion for it. Terms like “Twitch”and “PVP” went straight over my head, but it was certainly a great learning experience.

An extension of gaming, esports, is growing massively. Now Zwift is involved too with the KISS Super League and its recent announcement of a World Championship presented by the UCI next year.  My girlfriend Jen Luebke races professionally for Sho-Air Twenty20 and had great experiences racing on the platform this year. We talked a bit about the opportunity that these races can provide for athletes across the globe.

In the tech corner Jordan points out what he thinks was the biggest absence from Eurobike this year–a 12-speed compatible smart trainer setup. With so many pros going that way on SRAM it seems like it’s a hole that needs to be filled… or does it? There’s lots of other fun stuff in the pod this time as we spend time catching up with Sam. We get the details on his season to date, including a broken collarbone recovery, his 70.3 Worlds race, and his recent trip down “the isle.” We also get him to break some tri news for us and I give him a million-dollar idea – ‘The Aussie Nickname Generator.’

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