Clare cyclist Imogen Cotter has been named on the Irish team for the upcoming UCI eSports Cycling World Championships.
Cotter has received a wild card to compete in next month’s World Championships.
The selection caps a remarkable comeback for Cotter who just over a year ago was struck by a van driving on the wrong side of the road while she was on a training ride in Spain.
The Ruan woman had just signed her first professional cycling contract at the time but despite fears that the collision could cost her a career in the sport, she was able to compete again eight months after the accident when racing at the 6th Grote Prijs Beerens in Belgium.
Earlier this month, Cotter was confirmed as part of the renamed Fenix Deceuninck squad’s new development team and will compete as a UCI Continental rider.
Before the crash, Cotter was in the form of her life as she secured the biggest race win of her career at the Senior Women’s National Road Race Championships in October 2021.
The Clare cyclist was due to wear a specially designed Irish jersey for the following 12 months but the prolonged spell out of competitive road racing meant denied her this opportunity.
She spoke to The Clare Champion earlier this month about her desire to don the Irish jersey again after a stellar 2021 saw Cotter representing her country at Rás na mBan.
She will now be afforded the opportunity to do so on February 18th when the UCI eSports Cycling World Championships are held.
Cycling Ireland had already named the Irish team for the event, with Chris Dawson (Dawson Racing) and Richard (St Finbarr’s CC) competing in the men’s race while Linda Kelly (Barrow Wheelers) and Heather Foley (Yeats Country CC) selected for the women’s event.
The 2023 UCI Cycling eSports World Championships will consist of three short and explosive events: The Punch, The Climb and The Podium, which will be contested on three separate routes for both men and women.
Cycling Ireland Head Coach Neill Delahaye said: “Imogen demonstrated a very high level in Zwift races a couple of seasons ago and we believe in her ability to race again at this level, as strong as ever, in the Irish Jersey.”
“The opportunity offered by Zwift to include her in the Team for the UCI E-Sport Worlds gives her the chance to deliver a strong performance and serve as a stepping stone for her into a successful road season.”