IT was a cycling race like you have never seen and Kardinya resident Anthony Sciano turned in an incredible performance to match after finishing on the podium at the Zwift KISS Australian eCrit Finale in Melbourne.
The cycling event with a twist saw riders compete on road bikes locked into indoor trainers.
The trainers keep cyclists stationary while converting their effort into speed and propelling an avatar on screen through a digital world towards the finish line.
Factors including height, weight and power all affect the rider’s overall speed, with the trainer increasing resistance to match conditions of the course.
Despite only scoring a wildcard into the event, Sciano finished less than half a second behind race winner Aaron Dunn after 33.4km of racing.
The 25-year-old, an experienced triathlon competitor, said he was more than happy with silver.
“I just thought it would be a great opportunity to go across to Melbourne and race and do something I enjoy,” he said.
“I thought it would be nice to finish top five but there was no expectation to get a podium.
“I was quite proud of myself.”
Sciano said Zwift – which incorporates elements of virtual reality, multiplayer games and indoor training software – was increasing in popularitybecause it is a great way to meet and train with others around the world, with the work on the bike complementing all the hard yards off it.
“I think there’s a convenience factor for many people,” he said.
“It’s a training tool as well and I think you build quite a social community through it.”
Sciano will be on the bike again when he joins the likes of former rugby league star Matt Fuller and MMA giant Soa ‘The Hulk’ Palelei tackling a 24-hour non-stop endurance challenge to raise money for Telethon.
“It’s a privilege to be alongside those guys, who’ve put themselves through this before,” Sciano said.
“I’m humbled to be a part of it, contributing to something that’s greater than me and having the opportunity to help others.”
Sciano said he expected the middle stages of the challenge to be the most difficult, and Palelei, a two-time participant, said he was in for “pain”.
“The hardest part is between 1am and 6am when there’s not as many people around,” he said.
To donate, visit https://give.everydayhero.com/au/24hr-spin-cycle-for-telethon.