On Thursday, the UCI announced that it had awarded a three-year contract to the Abu Dhabi-based company to hold the Championships from 2024 through to 2026.
The event, which was first held in 2020, has until now taken place exclusively on Zwift, with rainbow jerseys awarded to the best male and female riders.
In a statement shared with Cycling Weekly, Zwift said: “Naturally, we are disappointed by this outcome but we are extremely proud of the three great World Championships we have delivered with the UCI to date.
“Our commitment to grow the sport of cycling esports from community racing upwards and to further our elite racing product remains unchanged. We will continue to innovate and drive this new sport forward.”
The UCI shared a press release on Thursday thanking Zwift for its “expertise that has helped establish this event”, as well as its “popularity among both the cycling and esports communities”.
Announcing the new partnership with MyWhoosh, UCI President David Lappartient said: “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.”
Created in 2019 and homed in the UAE, MyWhoosh is a lesser known, free-to-use virtual cycling platform. Every year, it hosts thousands of races for users, but has never organised any intermediate-level events.
A spokesperson at MyWhoosh assured Cycling Weekly that the platform has the knowledge and tools to ensure fairness in virtual racing. They highlighted the company uses a “comprehensive 3-step verification process”, and earlier this month introduced ‘Power Passports’ to monitor riders’ progress and detect discrepancies.
Those competing in the Championships will also be required to submit weekly videos to MyWhoosh, showing their equipment and serial numbers on both primary and secondary power meters.
This year’s Esports World Championships were held on Zwift in February, and were won by Denmarks’ Bjørn Andreassen and Loes Adegeest of the Netherlands. Other previous winners include Jay Vine, now of UAE Team Emirates, and Team AG Insurance - Soudal Quick-Step’s Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio.
The final of next year’s event will take place in Abu Dhabi.
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