Sunday Race Club from MyWhoosh

Could the MyWhoosh Sunday Race Club be a nice little earner?

While some traditionalists may look down on the rise of Esports, many love them. Road racing is a difficult sport to do if you are also holding down a job and have a family. The long hours required to build fitness and time away for competing can often clash with family/job commitments. Which is where a virtual event like the MyWhoosh Sunday Race Club can help.

Before you can race, you have to complete the Power Passport Test
Before you can race, you have to complete the Power Passport Test

The MyWhoosh Sunday Race Club is a regular event held every Sunday. Completing two of the Sunday races in a month will get you an invitation to a monthly final. The races are split into four categories for men and women and MyWhoosh use Dynamic Categorisation to ensure fair competition. To get categorised, you’ll need to complete a Power Passport Test. This involves you videoing yourself completing the test – no sandbagging! MyWhoosh will pick this up if you then race and produce better numbers. In the video you’ll also record your height, weight and your equipment.

This is the what the Power Passport Test looks like
This is the what the Power Passport Test looks like

Prize Money!

Once you’ve submitted the video you can then race. However, you won’t be able to get your hands on the prize-money until you’ve completed three races. Ah yes, prize money! As you may be aware MyWhoosh has been developed with money from the UAE, who also sponsor Tadej Pogačar’s team. With backers like that behind them, the MyWhoosh Sunday Race Club can offer some serious cash prizes.

The four categories will have prizes down to fifth place for the qualifying races and the monthly final. As an extra incentive to encourage teamwork, there is also a team prize on offer in the final. Teams can consist of three to five riders and placings are based on overall times. There are a lot more rules and controls to ensure fair competition, which makes sense when there’s real money on the line.

MyWhoosh's Sunday Race Club offers some serious prize money for all competitors
MyWhoosh’s Sunday Race Club offers some serious prize money for all competitors

Will the Sunday Race Club replace ‘real’ racing?

Could the MyWhoosh Sunday Race Club ever replace its outdoor relative? The money involved is not be sniffed at; especially for the Category 1 riders. Win a Cat 1 race and you’ll pocket 10,000AED, that’s £2163.! For Category 4 riders a win will net you 2160 AED or £467, not something you’ll see at any lower level amateur races in the real world. You can see that if you’re a good E-racer, you could start to make some serious money, without ever leaving your house.

Tempting for female riders

Those prizes are equal for both men and women and while the men’s races are busy, the numbers are lower in the women’s races. So could this become a way for female amateurs to make some money? It’s common knowledge that most female racers are not being paid anything like their male counterparts. Could they supplement their analogue racing with this digital version to help fill the financial gap? Would this then take riders away from ‘real’ world racing? No more travelling and hotel costs to stump up to take part in a national series and for the winners, some real financial rewards.

One of the routes from the Sunday Race Club
One of the routes from the Sunday Race Club

E-racing is safe

Another issue is that some strong riders I know who would like to race, won’t because they think it’s dangerous. Could the Sunday Race Club satisfy their competitive urges, while staying safe and making some money? I think for some riders, definitely. E-racing is completely safe in that you’re not going to be involved in a crash. Also, some riders just don’t go as well on their own as when they are surrounded by sixty other fire-breathing maniacs! While I enjoy the cut and thrust of the bunch, others find it terrifying; MyWhoosh’s race could be the outlet they need.

But it’s different

Virtual racing is a completely different pursuit compared to its non-virtual sibling. I’ve found E-racing to be more of a sustained “who can push the most watts” effort than anything like a real-world race. There doesn’t seem to be any real tactics other than just keep pushing the watts. There’s certainly no benefit to be gained from being a canny rider and good bike handler.

That last point is something that many older riders are worried about. Will strong virtual riders cause problems if they attempt a real-world race? A rider that is used to riding flat out on a virtual road may have trouble adjusting to an actual race, where positioning and bike handling are vital skills.

I think it’s unlikely to completely replace real racing; unless global warming creates a world where we can’t ride outdoors. For me the joy of actually riding outdoors, with all the thrills and spills that come with it, is just so much better! However, that’s me, an amateur who races purely for love. I have no great expectations when I race, at most I’ll grab the occasional top 10 and be happy. For me racing is all about being there, competing and pushing myself. Any financial reward is far from my mind!

So if you fancy racing with a chance to make some serious money, head over to the MyWhoosh Sunday Race Club. If you’d like to read about what it’s like to take part in one of these events, read Zach Nehr’s account.

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