Kristin Falck is the current Norwegian Zwift National Champion and a renowned climber. She has a wealth of experience racing on Zwift and is currently riding for Canyon eSports – the world’s first professional eRacing team competing at the highest level in physical eSports. Kristin has also been selected to represent Norway at the upcoming UCI Turbo World Championships.
We put some questions to Kristin about her experience as one of the best eRacers in the world.
When did you first get into eRacing?
I started using Zwift a number of years ago, around 2015 or 2016. From my Zwiftpower account, I can see that my first registered race on the site is from November 2016 and I’ve done 441 races since then!
What’s your biggest achievement in eRacing to date?
In early winter 2018, I qualified for the e-crit finals in London – and I won. The prize was life-long Zwift membership, so Zwift won’t get rid of me any time soon! I credit this as one of my best achievements in eRacing. I also made the qualification for the CVR, Canada’s biggest virtual reality event, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to travel there for the finals.
How does it feel to be one of the best eRacers in the world?
How to answer this one… ! I must start by commenting on the fact that Zwift is growing very fast, and the amount of competitors is of course increasing along with the growth of the platform. This makes it challenging and fun, and is a great motivation to keep up the training and stay strong.
It kind of sounds so big to talk about being amongst the best in the world, but I guess I must admit that it is true, I am. I have specialized in e-racing and am pretty good at it. So, to answer how does it feel – the answer for someone like myself at the age I am, is probably grateful. I have good health, I am strong, and competing at the top level is very motivating, so ‘grateful to be up there’ is the phrase that comes to mind to describe how it feels.
What’s it like to win a race in a room on your own in comparison to a live event with your competitors around you?
That’s the thing about Zwift. It might seem like you are alone in your room, but you are not. There is a real person behind every avatar. So if I race and even take a win on Zwift, it is not all that different from having my competitors around me. Of course, I can’t get that notion of how tired or near their limit they are, but other than that, not so different at all.
Photo credit: René Zieger
How do you keep yourself motivated when you’re racing indoors?
It is social, it is easy ‘to get there’, it pays off on your overall training, you get to meet people from all over the world, you get to compete against a lot of other female riders, you can listen to music, podcast, radio, you don’t have to worry about the weather or crashes. Well, all of that. And the most important – it’s fun.
How do you use the InfoCrank power meter in your training and racing?
When I am racing I always like to dual record, to make sure that all equipment is legit and calibrated. The InfoCrank is very reliable and steady as a power source. I have compared it with both pedal power and trainer power and I’m confident that the InfoCrank is accurate at all times. It is such a reliable power source.
What difference has the InfoCrank power meter made to your training and racing?
I can use the InfoCrank indoors and it’s also good for outdoor training and racing. So I can structure both my indoor and outdoor training in the same way with the same source and power numbers. It just makes everything so easy and I feel more supported and structured.
What do you think about the rise of eSports? And what challenges do you think the sport will face?
I think we are only seeing the very beginning. This will grow, it is a new cycling discipline, you have to specialize to be good at it, just like you must if you want to be good at a time trial or at hill climbs or at racing criteriums. The challenges for the sport obviously come with ensuring legitimacy – all competitors racing on equal premises as far as power output numbers are concerned and no cheating from riders on their weight and height etc. That is why it is so important to have equipment like the InfoCrank that you know you can rely on.
But yeah, the indoor e-cycling fairytale has just begun, that’s what I think. We are at the very beginning of something totally new that will keep growing and keep bringing people together from all over the world – keeping us in shape, offering competition at all levels, offering a social training community and complete flexibility. Perhaps I can tell my grandchildren if I have some, someday, about how it all began, and that I was actually amongst the first Zwift riders and racers, and even pretty good at it … !