How well do you know the roads of Watopia?
Patrick Tan has been riding on Zwift since the early days of beta testing in 2014. He’s been cycling for more than 20 years, and over the past 7, he has logged more than 67,000 kilometers on Zwift. Tan regularly leads group rides for his club, Team Ascenders, based in Singapore. He also leads rides for Zwift Academy each year.
With all that experience, it’s safe to say he’s familiar with Watopia’s roads! And all three of his favorite routes are featured in the 2021 Tour of Watopia, ready for you to explore.
“I did the Tour in the past and loved racking up each of the stages as an accomplishment,” says Tan. “Also, the make-up days came as a lifesaver as we may miss stages due to commitments elsewhere. So we have a chance to complete the collection.”
If you like to race, Tan suggests riding different routes with friends as a way to prepare to race them.
“It will be fun to challenge one another in a friendly way and share the fun,” he says. “Find out the pinch points, best attack corner or simply where to get the best screenshot. The knowledge gathered will be helpful for races as you will put the best strategy to good use and go for the win.”
Sand And Sequoias
A feast for the eyes and legs.
- Length: 20.2 km (12.6 miles)
- Elevation: 146 m (479 feet)
- Lead-In: 2.4 km (1.5 miles)
Why he loves it: “The ZHQ Team deserves credit for creating a beautiful desert extension with this. Titans Grove has a series of rollercoaster-like twists and turns to keep us tight on the saddle. Once out of Titans Grove is another flat charge across Fuego Flats to help legs get some tempo riding/recovery. A beautiful and well-designed route indeed.”
Spot the wildlife: “The beautiful environment and the dinosaurs keep riders visually engaged traveling through it (Titans Grove). Jarvis the Bear never fails to get people's attention for a good laugh too, whenever he falls from the tree.”
Watopia’s Waistband (event only)
Hit the highlights - not the high hills - of Watopia.
- Length: 25.5 km (15.8 miles)
- Elevation: 95 m (312 feet)
- Lead-In: 2.4 km (1.5 miles)
Why he loves it: “This route is a series of flowing flat roads with some minor elevation changes covering many of Watopia's key landmarks. The route is extremely flowing and good for keeping groups to a steady pace throughout the entire loop. Definitely one of the best routes getting around the entire Watopia Islands.”
Landmarks: The Fuego Flats desert includes Western and “space age”-themed towns, cliffside ruins, and a refreshing oasis. Underwater tunnels will lead you to the docks of a fishing village, and then you’ll take a spin around Watopia’s active volcano.
Road to Sky
The shortest way to Watopia’s longest climb.
- Length: 17.3 km (10.7 miles)
- Elevation: 1045 m (3,428 feet)
- Lead-In: 0.1 km (0.1 miles)
Why he loves it: “As an antithesis to the Watopia’s Waistband route, this one is popular because it leads riders to the top of AdZ (Alpe du Zwift) in the shortest fashion. The fact that the mountain closely resembles the real Alpe d’Huez gets riders into a climbing frenzy and a sense of achievement accomplishing it. Who wouldn't like to say I climbed a Hors Categorie climb today?”
Landmarks: The 21 hairpins of Alpe du Zwift count down as the road goes up. From hairpins 17 through 15, you'll ride through an alpine village (and get a little rest for your legs at hairpin 16). Who might be camping in the orange tents at hairpin 7? As you climb, watch out for the yeti!
Alternatives: For a longer warm-up, try Tour of Fire and Ice, which winds around the volcano before going up the Alpe. Want some more ideas? Tan says, “Personally, I found these routes really engaging and would no doubt put them on my Top 5 list. The other 2 being Three Sisters, when you want a climbing day without the big altitude, and Big Foot Hills, which has everything across Watopia without major climbing.”