Ride the Koppenberg from your living room: indoor training app promises climbs that unseat even the pros

The iconic Tour of Flanders climbs are part of a new Belgium world from virtual cycling platform MyWhoosh

Koppenberg climb riders stuggling 2023 Tour of Flanders
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Some of the most iconic climbs of the Tour of Flanders are newly available to ride from the comfort of your home, thanks to the launch of a new 'Belgium' world by virtual cycling platform MyWhoosh.

Famous cobbled ascents including the Koppenberg, the Oude Kwaremont and the Muur van Geraardsbergen – all of which feature in the Tour of Flanders Monument – are all part of the platform's first ever European world.

The Koppenberg has produced many iconic images of riders off their bikes and walking, such is its steepness, while the Oude Kwaremont is tackled twice in the latter stages of the Tour of Flanders. The Muur, as it is often shortened to, comes in two sections, taking riders up to the Oudenberg Chapel.

The famous trio are not the only climbs on offer – fans of Flanders cycling will also recognise the Eikenberg and the Taaienberg (also known as the 'Boonenberg' after three-time Flanders winner Tom Boonen's propensity to attack there), as well as the Kouterberg and the Volkegemberg.

It is not the first time Belgium has been made available to indoor cyclists – the Rouvy platform carries a number of real-life-footage style rides in the area, while RGT has a Leuven world, based on the venue of the World Championship road race in 2021

Some of the country's most famous towns and cities are also on the menu, with the routes visiting Ghent, Bruges, Oudenaarde and Brussels.

The Belgium world features 112km of roads in total comprising seven routes. It's the fifth world that UAE-based MyWhoosh has added to its roster, which already includes Colombia, Arabia, Australia and Alula.

It's a sponsor of UAE Team Emirates, and takes great pains to point out that it is, apparently, the favourite training platform of riders such as Tadej Pogačar.

Launched in 2019, MyWhoosh has yet to gain common parlance among virtual cycling giants such as Zwift.

But with a virtual riding experience around some of cycling's most famous battlefields now available in the form of the Belgium world, that could be set to change. The fact that MyWhoosh is free – supported by advertising on in-game flags and hoardings – does not hurt either.

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After cutting his teeth on local and national newspapers, James began at Cycling Weekly as a sub-editor in 2000 when the current office was literally all fields. 

Eventually becoming chief sub-editor, in 2016 he switched to the job of full-time writer, and covers news, racing and features.

A lifelong cyclist and cycling fan, James's racing days (and most of his fitness) are now behind him. But he still rides regularly, both on the road and on the gravelly stuff.