German rower Jason Osborne won the men's UCI Cycling Esports World Championships ©UCI

German rower Jason Osborne was the winner of the men's event at the inaugural International Cycling Union (UCI) Cycling Esports World Championships.

Osborne, who earned a world title in the lightweight men's single sculls in 2018 and competed at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, bettered a field of professional cyclists.

This included Colombia's Esteban Chaves and London 2012 Olympic road race silver medallist Rigoberto Urán, Belgium's Vuelta a España mountains jersey winner Thomas de Gendt and reigning European cyclo-cross champion Eli Iserbyt, and French mountain bike cross-country world gold medallist Jordan Sarrou. 

The 26-year-old Osborne completed the 50.035-kilometre course in Zwift's virtual world of Watopia in 1 hour 05min 15sec. 

Danish duo Anders Foldager and Nicklas Pedersen were 1.74 and 2.09 seconds off the leader respectively. 

"It was a completely new experience for me," Osborne said. 

"I have raced on Zwift before but this is much bigger. 

"The field was very tough and I just tried to keep calm."

Women's WorldTour rider Ashleigh Moolman Pasio triumphed in the women's race over the same distance. 

The South African finished in 1:13:27, beating Sarah Gigante of Australia by 0.064 seconds and Cecilia Hansen of Sweden by 1.24. 

"It was really awesome," Moolman Pasio said.

"I wasn't a fan of virtual training before the lockdown but to now win the virtual world championships, I'm super proud."

Both winners are set to receive €8,000 (£7,200/$9,700) in prize money and a rainbow jersey which will also be available to wear virtually.  

All participants used identical trainers and were given 11 powerups each.

The powerups enabled were "aero" - making the cyclist more aerodynamic for 15 seconds - and "lightweight" - reducing a cyclist's weight by 10 per cent for the same amount of time. 

Cycling esports was approved as an official UCI discipline in 2018, becoming one of the first virtual disciplines to receive official status from an International Federation. 

UCI President David Lappartient posted a photo on social media of International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach and himself watching the action unfold.