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If you’ve ever wanted to suffer alongside your favorite Tour de France team — you finally have your chance. Zwift’s new Climb Portals will transport you to the magical world of virtual mountain passes and real-world suffering to reach the top.
What is a Climb Portal?
A new in-game feature for Zwift, Climb Portals are launching just as the world gets their Tour de France excitement revved to the max. The Climb Portals simulate eight of the Tour de Frances’s most significant and famous climbs — including the dreaded classic, Col du Tourmalet.
How do I Find a Climb Portal in Zwift?
In July — when tour stoke is at its very highest, riders will see Climb Portal entrances on routes which will be branded with graphics for both races, Tour de France and Tour de France Femmes.
There are two ways to access Zwift Climb Portals.
One, ride your bike through it while riding in Zwift while in the “Just Ride” mode. The entrance should be very noticeable, like a dreamscape compared to the Zwift graphics.
Two, choose to ride the Climb Portal when on the home screen starting a Zwift session. Don’t worry — you won’t start directly on the climb, there will be a small warm-up window, and then you can start your ascent.
After the climbing starts, the rider will see graphics (very tour-commentary-like) on their screen to keep them motivated and paced. Zwift states the climbs are very close to the real-world equivalent, matching the pitches near perfectly.
The locations of the Climb Portals will be in two virtual worlds in Zwift; one in France (duh) and one near the outskirts of the Volcano in Watopia. Climb Portals will be available for accent starting June 30 and will change throughout July. There are eight different climbs and a new Climb Portal First Ascent Challenge.
How hard are the climbs?
Well — they are hard enough to be in the Tour de France, so we’re guessing pretty tough. However, riders at home and indoors have some distinct advantages, like a fan! But if you’re worried about how tough each climb will be, Zwift has a tight illustration of what to expect in spice level. The Cote de Terbiac is near the milder side of climbing (still 3.4 km at 5.8%), and the most spicey award goes to the classic HC category Col du Tourmalet.
Climb Portal — First Ascent Challenge
This new Zwift challenge requires riders to complete two on-demand stages, each with four different climbs. The first stage will include the Côte de Trébiac, Col des Aravis, Col d’Aspin, and Puy de Dôme. The second stage will include the Côte de Domancy, Côte de Pike, Col du Platzerwasel, and Col du Tourmalet.
Zwift Climb Portal Stage Schedule
Below is the Zwift Climb Portals schedule and which Tour de France and Tour de France Femmes stages they will mimic. Ensure you have your favorite stages saved and timed properly on your viewing device so you can suffer and attack alongside the pros.
Stage 1: June 30-July 30
Short: Cote de Trebiac—3.4 km at 5.8%
Short: Col des Aravis—4.4 km at 6%
Long: Col d’Aspin—12 km at 6.5%
- Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift Stage 7 on July 29, 2023
Long: Puy de Dome—10.5 km at 8%
Stage 2: June 30-July 30
Short: Cote de Domancy—2.6km at 8.6%
Short: Cote de Pike—2 km at 10%
Long: Col du Platzerwasel—7.1km at 8.4%
Long: Col du Tourmalet—16.9 km at 7.4%
For more information on the Zwift Climb Portals and Zwift Play, check out Zwift.com—Vive Le Tour!