UCI’s Exciting Partnership with UAE Brings New Opportunities

The UCI is shaking up the world of virtual and real-life cycling by teaming up with MyWhoosh, the UAE-based tech company. Zwift used to rule the virtual cycling world, but that’s about to change.

Starting in 2024, MyWhoosh will organize the Esports World Championships for three years, taking over from Zwift. MyWhoosh, backed by strong UAE government support, has big plans. They’re not only hosting the UCI Cycling Esports World Championships but also the 2024 UCI Urban Cycling World Championships, the 2028 UCI Road World Championships, the 2028 UCI Gran Fondo World Championships, and the 2029 UCI Track World Championships. The UAE is determined to become a global hub for top-class cycling events.

According to UCI President David Lappartient, the UAE is a formidable partner with a solid management structure and expertise in organizing international events. For the next three road World Championships, MyWhoosh gets exclusive rights to create virtual versions of the routes, giving riders worldwide a chance to tackle the same courses as the pros.

In a move to make virtual cycling more accessible, 20 percent of the 2024 UCI Cycling Esports World Championships semi-finalists will qualify through MyWhoosh’s public qualification process. Lappartient sees virtual cycling as a way to connect with other cycling disciplines, make cycling more accessible in big cities, and encourage more women to take up the sport.

Talking about the partnership with the Middle East, UCI President Lappartient highlights their expansion beyond Europe, with a presence in South America, Africa, and now the UAE. They’re not just about having a WorldTour Team; it’s about creating a cycling ecosystem with infrastructure and venues, like the upcoming velodrome in 2025.

During his comment, young riders from the Abu Dhabi Cycling Club zoomed past, looking in awe at their hero, Tadej Pogacar, who was present. Abu Dhabi’s investments in cycling, including the velodrome, earned it the UCI’s Bike City status, a first for the Middle East and Asia.

Now, let’s dive into the 2024 UCI Cycling Esports World Championships. This year, the event will be held in Abu Dhabi, marking a historic moment as all qualifying participants can compete in person. The top 20 male and female athletes from the semi-finals will have their travel arranged by the event organizers.

The UCI will allocate 80% of the starting spots to National Federations for their chosen representatives. The remaining 20% will be decided through a public qualification process on the MyWhoosh platform.

Lappartient hints at the possibility of seeing riders like Tadej Pogacar competing against indoor specialists in the 2024 UCI Cycling Esports World Championships in Abu Dhabi.

Stay tuned for more details on the 2024 UCI Cycling Esports World Championships, including a breakdown of the three-race live final format and course descriptions.


a 35-year-old web developer and cycling coach based in Boulder, Colorado. Over the past ten years, my passion for cycling has transformed from a casual hobby into a way of life. As a lover of all things cycling, I am thrilled to share my journey with others who share the same enthusiasm for this incredible sport.