While cheating happens every day, all day, on Zwift and other virtual cycling platforms. Every few months there exists a story worth writing about. And today is one of those days. I’m out riding, running, and swimming a stupid number of miles this week (testing a very diverse set of things), but reader, I wanted to take a brief moment to acknowledge the hilarity of the situation that came across my inbox. Sent in via DCR Reader, Alex, this one takes the cake.
As you may remember, back in December (2022), the winner of one of the UCI World Championship qualifiers was disqualified. The event he was actually disqualified for occurred a month earlier in November during a 27.2KM stage that was more or less balls to the wall from start to finish (I suppose most Zwift races are). Except, our disgraced hero, Mr. Eddy Hoole, decided to take his balls beyond the wall – and on the final climb towards the finish, he pushed essentially beyond human limits. He held 8 w/kg for 4 minutes up that climb, peaking at times at 10 w/kg. Again, all after 30 minutes of theoretically all-out riding.
Here’s an image from that very livestream, showing that very moment of Mr. Eddy Hoole:
Just after crossing the line (41:23) as the winner, announcer Nathan Guerra says:
“He took on with an amazing effort, something we’ve almost never seen before”…“that is one of the best efforts, I literally have ever seen for a catch on Zwift, to go flying right on by, Eddy Hoole just did what I thought was absolutely impossible”.
Which would turn out to be true. It wasn’t possible, and is largely beyond known human performance levels.
Zwift launched an investigation, and as usual, they’d throw down a pile of data showing Hoole cheated. And while there’s some debate on how exactly he cheated, the gist of it is that either he did a man-in-the-middle attack, or he tweaked his power meter/trainer calibration values to provide higher wattages. Point being, it was super clear he dorked with it, and thus, was disqualified. Again, I wrote tons about this before here.
Anyways, fast forward to this month, and Mr. Hoole has decided that with his Zwift & UCI ban in place, he’s going to take a whirl at MyWhoosh, a competitor to Zwift. MyWhoosh recently announced some massive prize purses, ones that frankly make Zwift look a bit cheap. But then again, Zwift does have to theoretically make money and appease investors. MyWhoosh has a bit more flexibility there.
He entered a race series called SRC – or Sunday Race Club, which has a prize pool of $314,000USD per month. Yes, month. Again, money be flowin’ like a champagne room around these parts. Note that in theory, riders must complete a verification video, roughly similar to what other platforms require.
And on March 12th, he did just that. It’s a bit challenging to see after-the-fact if he won the race. But based on his stats, I’m going to guess he did. That in turn caught the attention of the MyWhoosh Facebook group, where a rider asked MyWhoosh to look into things:
To the surprise of everyone that’s ever used a Facebook page for a company, said company actually responded:
After that point, the time-space historical continuum stops until today, when someone (DCR Reader Alex), noted that Eddy Hoole had been disqualified in the results. We can see this on the results page here. I’ve pieced together the top-7 riders, along with the annulments at the bottom. Note in particular his wattages:
Now, I don’t see his name in any previous MyWhoosh Race Results that I can find for the Sunday Race Club. Nor does it say why exactly his results were annulled.
Thus, naturally, I reached out to MyWhoosh to find out (since they never responded again to the initial Facebook thread about Eddy Hoole). Here’s what they had to say:
“At MyWhoosh we are committed to ensuring fair racing is maintained. Every rider who enters MyWhoosh’s esports racing events is subject to the MyWhoosh Performance Verification Program.
After an internal investigation, the MyWhoosh Cycling Esports Race Commission has annulled Eddy Hoole’s participation from March 12th’s Sunday Race Club, and suspended him from partaking in any MyWhoosh races until further notice. Eddy Hoole has violated Clause 220.127.116.11 of the MyWhoosh ruleset for participating in a MyWhoosh esports race while serving a suspension from Cycling South Africa.”
Thus in this case, the disqualification was officially for participating in a race while being suspended by your national governing body. Which is a much easier thing to disqualify someone for than dealing with deciding if they cheated or not. Of course, given he couldn’t previously establish that he could hit the power numbers Zwift disqualified him for, these new race numbers aren’t much different.
In any case, I now return you to your previously scheduled Tuesday. While neither Zwift nor MyWhoosh is great at solving cheating for the masses, at least there’s one less cheater on both platforms. I can only imagine Eddy Hoole is now eyeing Rouvy, who just today announced a new competition that results in the winner getting an all-expense paid VIP trip to Spain to watch the finale of the Vuelta.
With that – thanks for reading!
Trip to Span?
Moth balls to the wall
Effectively he’s like a moth to cheating, ideal for someone trying to span the gap.
Breaking news: eddy hoole will be on Lance armstrong podcast to talk about “hard work”
Hero – male
Heroine – female
Heroin – drug
Heroin – Dope
heroin was Bayer’s commercial name and is derived from the root “heroic”
My real favorite sport is cheating, so I’m just trying to get better at my craft.
Hold my beer eddie..
Way to go kid. Welcome on the podcast any time.
Watts too? Nooooo do you have a link?
Literally impossible for someone running these IRL race times (link to legacy.usacycling.org) to put out the ‘power’ on his streams.
strange delusional attempts to back up the cheating with doctored dual recording make it weirder than the usual zwift cheater
Well, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
It is sad and odd that same person got caught with the same methodology. He should learn from his mistakes.
Wbal values somehow need to be adjusted, same goes for 1hour FTP and 20min values and make it more believable. Let’s say 7 watt /kg for one hour :)))
joke aside, let’s assume he is superhuman, in the aspect of these values, then he ahould ask for official measurement and statement that he is capable of such things, if that cannot be proven, then cheeter shall be called cheater and shall receive longer period of ban from ANY similar esport.
Funny how many rider on all the eSports platforms can maintain w/kg beyond UCI pros.
With an average heartrate of 141….
The moth jokes above are referring to a typo near the start – moth instead of month.
Keep it up – always look forward to new posts from you!
I’m pretty sure he got 6’th in the results until he was DQ. We covered this in detail on the Nowhere Fast podcast!
Don’t talk about mywhoosh club!
Let us talk about MyWhoosh then. I occasionally spectate a race, and no matter what. ALL riders do 5w/kg continuously and dont even deviate ,1w/kg during those races. They are all cheating on that platform.
link to cyclingtips.com
In fact, he didn’t win the race – he finished 5th. His showing up on the starting line was a surprise to all the regulars (it was his first time on MyWhoosh), and unsurprisingly, there were numerous complaints to the organizer, not just that one post on the FB-page.
Is it actually easier to disqualify someone this way (was it specifically in their T&Cs)?
Is esports covered by bans applied by national bodies of their ‘reality’ sport?
Are e-races getting sanctioned by the NGBs and UCI as legitimate races now?
Would be interested to see how they go about enforcing bans, and also how it would work in reverse.
Yeah, I’d assume it’s a heck of a lot easier to just DQ someone this way, versus proving they did something wrong like Zwift does.
That’s ultimately why Zwift really only goes after the absolute most flagrant and damn-sure violations. Basically they need to ensure from a legal standpoint, their ass is covered. Especially in an age where (rightfully or wrongfully) a race DQ or whatever becomes an online witch hunt, in some cases leading to job loss, or worse (as has been shown).
Cheaters suck (a lot), but at the same time – I don’t think it’s worth dying over. How companies find that middle ground is messy. How society finds that middle ground is equally messy.
Also, background for this comment: link to runnersworld.com
(This is one of the more neutral mainstream media pieces on it…)
Rouvy has more than its fair share of cheaters, That make Mr Hoole look like an Amateur. Went off Zwift years ago, even a 6 week please come back free ride. Which I tried and well still boring, I dont race anymore at 73. Now on Fulgaz which has alot of Australian content, and for me is useful for my Peaks Challenge next year. This years was cancelled when half a mountain fell down blocking the road out of Falls creek. Oh well next year, 235klm with 4000m of climbing. Set myself to do in 12hours.
If he can push out those watts, he should be working for ESKOM (South Africa’s electricity producer) as they could do with a couple of extra watts!
People are so incredible. Seriously, that’s…fascinating 🙂
Strava needs to follow this example and cull-out UNREALISTIC and embarrassing (For Strava) distances registered in their ongoing challenges !
Some obvious motor doping on Strava, 70kph uphill yeh right.