The Dassi City Challenge reached its conclusion on Friday, with the best from the Capital’s big banks going up against former pro cyclist Matteo Carrara.
Participants were tasked with virtually competing against each other along with Carrara, giving it their all to set the lowest time possible on a 900m hill climb and be crowned King or Queen of the mountain. The fastest climbers from each qualifying event were invited to the Grand Final held at the Oakley’s flagship London store in Covent Garden on Friday 11th December.
Prior to the event, adverts for the evening were run on the screens of Picadilly Circus and on the Chiswick Tower banners on the M4.
Three Dassi bikes where mounted on Wahoo Kickr turbo trainers and connected to the Zwift virtual software. Each pre-qualified competitor was placed into one of seven heats. Competitors then took on the Zwift Watopia hill climb, averaging 5% with a steep ramp maxing out at 11.8%. Former Tour De France rider Matteo Carrara set the pace at the start of the evening with a time of 1:35.9 to beat.
Charlie Webster hosted for the evening, delivering superb commentary as riders spun as fast as they could to get a place in the top three. Two of the thirteen men (Michael Gluckman 1:33.3 and Gunther Zechmann 1:34.3), beat Matteo Carrara’s qualifying time to gain a spot in the men’s final, closely followed by Ken Buckley (British land speed record holder for human powered vehicles), who pushed the watts to the max with a time of 1:36.6.
Many ladies also took part in the challenge, including ex-pro tennis player Senka Sofia, representing Goldman Sachs. Tani Burge, Siobhan and Emily Robinson also put in excellent efforts which placed them into the top three.
The top six (three males, three females), then took on a full lap of the 9.1km Zwift Watopia course. The men’s race came down to the wire: Michael lead from the start, with Ken close behind. However Goldman Sachs finest, Gunther, started to wind up the pace, first passing Ken, then Mike and pushing hard to take the win at the finish. Ken and Michael had a close battle for 2nd and 3rd with Ken passing Mike having only 10m to go.
In the women’s final, Tani lead from the start with an initial kick. It was a tight battle between Siobhan and Emily for second place, however Siobhan had the leading edge leaving Emily to dig deep to the finish in third place.
Winners Gunther Zachmann and Tani Burge took home the winning prize pot of a handmade custom carbon road frame and forks from Dassi, a week vacation at Tri-Topia, the latest pair of performance Oakley sunglasses and a year subscription to the Zwift software.