MyWhoosh Selected for UCI Cycling Esports World Championship for 2024-2026: A Few Thoughts


The UCI & MyWhoosh announced yesterday that the MyWhoosh virtual cycling platform has been selected for the UCI Cycling Esports World Championships in 2024/2025/2026. Up till now Zwift has been the platform utilized for the online cycling World Championship event, which has typically been held in the winter months (usually between December and February, this past year for 2023 it was held in February). Note that this Esports event is very different than the ‘Indoor Cycling’ event, as that event involves ‘artistic cycling’ – and has been held since 1956. In case you’ve never seen that, you need to stop what you’re doing and watch this immediately. Likewise, this is all different than the UCI Cycle-Ball World Championships, equally amazing.

The Esports variant has been held since 2020 (albeit skipping 2021) on Zwift, born mostly out of a blend of pandemic-era tailwinds, and Zwift’s desire at the time to try and get cycling Esports into the 2024 Olympics.

Now, many over the last 24 hours have said this seems like a ‘loss’ for Zwift, and in some ways that is probably true. But one has to remember, this is simply a paid bidding for this event. In the past, other platforms have evaluated it as well – and we’ve seen sponsorships there too. For example, both Garmin/Tacx and Wahoo have sponsored the event as well, on the hardware front (trainers). On the platform side, other platforms have looked at it as well, but my discussions over the years with them have all roughly mirrored the same commentary of it being somewhat pointless back then to put in a bid against Zwift’s heavily-backed investment money, and connections at the UCI level.

But MyWhoosh doesn’t have those sorts of financial constraints. Based in the UAE, MyWhoosh is paired with the country’s heavy investment in cycling events over the next 6 years. In fact, their press release highlights many of those, providing a quote from UCI President David Lappartient saying:

“We are delighted to welcome MyWhoosh as the new platform and organiser of the UCI Cycling Esports World Championships for the next three years, and we are convinced that they will continue to develop this exciting and popular event. Today’s announcement further confirms Abu Dhabi’s commitment to our sport after it hosted a magnificent edition of the UCI Urban Cycling World Championships in 2022. The city will again welcome this event in 2024, as well as the UCI Road World Championships and the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships in 2028 and the UCI Track World Championships in 2029.  The next three editions of the UCI Cycling Esports World Championships add to Abu Dhabi’s reputation as host of top-class cycling events.”

The point here being, everything about these selections are driven by money (and connections), not functionality or user bases. In checking with Zwift, they confirmed that they did put in a bid for the 2024-2026 Esports World Championships. It’s not clear if any additional platforms also put in bids.

Certainly, one can have a technical debate on which platform is preferred, or even a debate on which platform is most engaging for cyclists. But aside from meeting some minimum paper theory UCI criteria on what said Esports platform must have (which historically was basically written with Zwift in mind), this is really all about money changing hands. Like most online cycling platforms (save TrainerRoad), there are external investors. In Zwift’s case, that’s a slate of investors. And in MyWhoosh’s case, it’s a bit more fuzzy, but not hard to follow the trail.

To begin, the platform has a partnership with Team UAE Emirates (the pro cycling team). While MyWhoosh gets skittish around discussing their investors, the simplified version is the lead/primary investor is the government of the UAE (United Arab Emirates), just like it is for Team UAE Emirates and countless other sport/tourism efforts. Their “CEO and Managing Director” (official listed title on the press release) is Akhtar Saeed Hashmi, also the CEO of numerous UAE entities including Royal Technology Services (RTS) and Mauqah Technology. RTS is a subsidiary of The Royal Group, that is ultimately headed by Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the son of the founder of the UAE. This holdings group is responsible for some $26 billion worth of assets, as part of the UAE’s International Holdings Group (IHC).

These lines are key to understanding goals that MyWhoosh has, one of which is their stated goal to increase physical fitness and sports activity within the UAE.

As for what’s in store for the event itself (presumably to be held next February)? Well, that’s still a bit unclear – but frankly that was the case each year with Zwift too, with details only released closer to the event. That said, MyWhoosh noted in their press release:

“We are committed to transforming Abu Dhabi into a truly world-class cycling hub, and look forward to providing athletes, fans, and enthusiasts with an immersive experience that combines the excitement of esports with the spirit of cycling. This collaboration signifies a transformative era for MyWhoosh and the realm of cycling esports, bringing all the benefits and excitement of competitive cycling into home across the world. We are also excited to welcome the cycling community to Abu Dhabi for the UCI Road World Championships in 2028 and UCI Track World Championships in 2029”.

It went on to say:

“With hosting rights secured, MyWhoosh will now finalize details for the three-year collaboration, aiming to transform the event into an immersive, engaging global event.”

Given that MyWhoosh as a platform has continued to grow over the last couple years, including adding new routes, as well as holding large-prize purse events, it wouldn’t surprise me to see more worlds focused on these specific World Championship events. After all, just a day prior on Wednesday they announced a new Belgium-flavored virtual world. It’ll also be interesting to see if they end up with some form of in-person event for the World Championships, as has been trialed on a few different indoor cycling championships over the years, and I feel generally adds a bit more to the event, rather than just people doing it from their living rooms.

But those are all details to be sorted out over the coming months.

With that, thanks for reading!


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  1. Madmalkav

    Is the app still a bugfest? When I tried it was terrible on that area

    • Tim Parker

      3 of the 4 rides I tried on the weekend ended in a crash after about 6-7 mins (two on same map, nearly same place FWIW), and the country flag is seemingly randomly set at the start, _and_ changes during the ride, unless explicitly set in the user prefs. Apart from that, not sure, only had a brief go and not sure how much more i’ll try (politics-wise, not a good feeling).

  2. Robert

    The “artistic cycling” event already looks like a cross between a circus act and a bad dream after too much dessert; but cycle-ball takes the cake. It’s like the result of a bet at 3am after last call.

    “So, what do you do in life?”
    “Me? I’m goalie on a second-division cycle-ball team”

    • Amarynth

      I really enjoyed watching both and think both are quite amazing. Thanks for the links Ray!

      I did Flatland BMX as a kid, and I had no idea people were doing similar things on full size bikes.

  3. Scott

    Hey Ray, have you done a review on MyWoosh? I would be interested in hearing how it performs in comparison to apps such as Zwift, Trainer Road, Systm and RGT.

  4. Marcos

    As of today MyWoosh does not allow enrollment of the ones borne before 1970 …. What?

    • Hal Wye

      Found this just as I was trying to register today.
      Enter in the “Date of birth” field any date earlier that 1970 01 01 and you are shut out.

      “Value must be 19700101 or later”.

    • Dolan Halbrook

      That’s an epoch bug

    • Roberto

      I found as workaround that you sign up first with a date 1970 or later BUT then you can change the DOB in your personal profile with any date you want…(also 1669 and earlier…)

  5. ian

    Glad you reminded me of Whoosh. Tried it today, easy signiup on an IPAD.

    No issues found other than realising difficultly was set to 50%. 5 worlds including Belgium now and worked as others I have used over the pat two years.

    I tend to get bored on apps so this is just great for free at the moment.

  6. Bradley Tipp

    I’m assuming that you can’t use MyWhoosh platform if you are not a straight man? This really sucks when a totalitarian ‘government’ just buys into sport like this. MyWhoosh is free because YOU are the product. No thanks – Zwift should organize their own non UCI event – Personally the UCI should be condemned for their sell out of cycling. Just like Formula 1 and Golf. Shame on the UCI.

    • andre

      It is indeed just sportswashing. This is how WikiPedia describes the practice:

      Sportswashing is a term used to describe the practice of individuals, groups, corporations, or governments using sports to improve reputations tarnished by wrongdoing. A form of propaganda, sportswashing can be accomplished through hosting sporting events, purchasing, or sponsoring sporting teams, or participating in a sport.

      For me this was a reason not to look any further into MyWhoosh. I’d rather pay €15 a month to Zwift than using MyWoosh for “free”.

    • Jonathan

      Yep, agreed. Not that anyone cares, but I thought I’d hit the like button for your post.

    • JaJa

      I agree with Andre and Bradley. I’m happy to pay a reasonable monthly fee to Zwift or another platform to avoid supporting a repressive government.

    • Steve

      I dont know why the gay community think they can still tell everyone else how they should feel. You’re gay, we get it, but pretty much 99% of the population aren’t, so why should we dance to your tune all the time.

      If you don’t like MYwhoosh then it’s very, very, very simple….don’t use it. No one is forcing you too. But don’t try and convince other people they are wrong for using it just because you don’t like the regime behind it. Most people won’t care, they’ll simply use it to get fit, end off. Don’t make everything political. Normal people get on their bikes to get away from the sh*t in life.

      As a straight guy, I got sick of Zwift constantly pushing LGBT agendas down my throat. I wasn’t paying them a monthly subscription for them to get political, so I came off. That was my perogative.

      Don’t believe the whole world is behind your gay agenda and if they aren’t then let them get on with it. Life’s too short, so use Zwift.

    • Steve

      The whole point is that this is political, it’s not veryx4 simple! Define to us what “agenda” the gay community is forcing down your throat. Now they’re not allowed to make persuasive arguments now because they’re a minority while you say whatever you want just because you’re ubiquitous? Why can’t you let other communities live the life they choose without claiming it’s hurting your sensitivities somehow? You just prove nothing has changed and are willing to change platforms due to _your_ politics. How are you any different than the accusations you make? Projection.

  7. MatthewQC

    “We are committed to transforming Abu Dhabi into a truly world-class cycling hub”

    A place that is as flat as a stroopwafel and has a summer daytime high of 43 C? Just come out and say it: you’re greenwashing (and maybe money laundering), and the UCI was willing to help you. Everyone knows it, and you’ll feel better embracing the truth.

  8. Nick G

    I think the money thing is disheartening. In fairness, there are always question marks about some of the investors/countries behind every tech product, and people from different countries will also have their own biases when commenting about these. However, that doesn’t mean these questions should be altogether dismissed and not weighted into a decision. A lot of big sports bodies appear to be doing this and just taking the money. This decision by the UCI doesn’t sit well with me.

  9. predr09

    Until it runs on MacOS like Zwift does, it’s a non-starter for me.

  10. Dave

    The vibes around this are extraordinarily bad.

  11. Bisher

    I will never give a penny to anything associated with the UAE government. They are supreme bad actors in the Middle East, funding death and chaos in Yemen and Libya and propping up dictatorial regimes throughout; they think the other 300 million Arabs need to be under their boot. They are a bunch of rednecks with an inferiority complex who happened upon a lot of money. I would first give up cycling before subscribing to MyWhoosh.

  12. nilson

    I like MyWhoosh and have had a great experience on the platform so far. So much so that I cancelled my Zwift membership this morning. Not only has Zwift failed again and again to innovate in this space, they seem to think they are better than every other platform out there – what with their huge user base of old white men on ZPower.

    Rolla World, Wahoo RGT, MyWhoosh, etc… are each compelling in unique ways (for example, MyWhoosh has a dual recording function in-game). RGT offers users the ability to join events or (some) workouts for free. Rolla will be free for the next year as they grow. What is Zwift doing to retain customers… besides the same thing they were doing last year and the year before?

    Politics and UCI corruption aside, Zwift will obviously always have a problem with any company that offers a free competitive product that cuts into their market share yada yada yada… and isn’t there currently a lawsuit between Zwift and Wahoo?

    IMHO, Zwift is providing a great example of how not to conduct business.

    • Andreas

      > what with their huge user base of old white men on ZPower

      Oh dear, you are just trolling, right?

      > and isn’t there currently a lawsuit between Zwift and Wahoo?

      No. Wahoo sued Zwift because of their indoor trainer, so exact opposite of what you try to spin here.

  13. hpcolous

    That is a win win for customers. Just bring it on! If myWhosh fails, Zwift will win. But if they deliver, customers will see big improvements on the field neglected by the current monopoly. More users will be exposed to a different new interface, different sceneries (Colombia, Australia, etc) If people do not like the free version, that is also a win win to appreciate demand more from a paid subscription. If morela and political reasons prevent you to use an app, thing about also the moral trajectory of the so called “clean” an impeccable country behind Zwift. Those discussions already happened at the recent World cup hosted in Qatar. We live in a global market. But we customers have choices. Yes, we have examples of other products being free (android) and gardens guarded carefully like apple products, but people make choices. Most likely both ecycling platforms will emerge victorious after the UCI partnership with myWhosh. I am still using Zwift but watching closely and using it more myWhosh.

  14. giorgitd

    I just tried to install MW on a Win10 laptop using the MS Store. All seemed fine, but attempting the 1st run, it fails with a missing D3DCOMPILER_43.dll. Hmmm… I also note that some minimum requirements seem … high? If the list is to be believed, the minimum processor to run is a Ryzen 7 3700x and the minimum graphics hardware is RTX 3060 Ti. Which excludes a lot of pretty current and very capable computers.

    • J

      Not that you’re still looking into this, but D3DCOMPLIER_43.dll pertains to DirectX. You need to download it and reinstall it on your Windows laptop. That’s what fixed it for me.

  15. Bill

    Things that need to be done and working well before I move over.
    * Apple TV support
    * Garmin Connect native Sync with load data

  16. frnkr

    I think the whole picture is shady because the CEO has been developing spy software earlier and as in all professional sports the UCI deslnis probably fixed with bribery and oil money.

    As with their goals it’s most probably just same as with all authoritarian countries: whitewash and try to get as much good will as money can buy.

    I believe this truly is big threat for all the other companies because with oil money they can be free next 50 years and drive competition off the market.

    I wouldn’t touch this company any way if interested in of privacy, free market or human rights.

  17. Pier

    I downloaded Mywhoosh a few days ago.

    The UCI think wasn’t of course a motivation for me, but finding a free app for a couple of workouts a week was. No interest in races, but I would like to see more real people around the app courses and maybe the publicity will help.

    I tried it with my Xiaomi Poco X3 phone (2021. (GByte ram), with my 2020 ipad pro and 2020 Windows PC: they all work stunningly well–just keep them connected to a power source.

    Graphically is much better than Zwift and the courses are real ones. It controlled power surges in erg mode very well on my Direto XR–with Zwift or Rouvy I often had minor issues. Great workout library, workout are easy to be copied or modified–I suggest to use Windows for this.

  18. To fix an issue with the D3DCOMPILER_43.dll, you just need to install DirectX End-User Runtime from Microsoft. I did a fresh install of MyWoosh the other day from windows store and had this issue but installing the runtime corrected the issue and I could launch. Make sure you remember to untick “install the bing bar” unless you want to start using bing to search :)
    link to