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(The Gear Loop) - Despite competition from several key rivals, Zwift remains one of the most recognisable virtual cycling platforms in the world. With roughly 4 million users across the globe, it’s a mighty beast to topple.

Alas, one of the barriers to entry is the monthly subscription fee, but newcomer MyWhoosh aims to shake up the game with an eerily familiar indoor cycling experience that’s free to use.

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Not only is it free to use, but it also offers a wide range of training plans, from beginner fitness courses to pro cyclist and triathlete improvement plans, all programmed by World Tour coaches. All you need is a bike, smart trainer or power meters to get started.

The platform is based in the UAE and as such, the app sponsors and is used by UAE Team Emirates, including highly decorated rider Tadej Pogačar.

Despite the service being free, MyWhoosh also allows ardent indoor cyclists to import workouts and schedules from TrainingPeaks, Today’s Plan and TrainerDay.

Another move to pinch users from Zwift, aside form the fact the platform looks eerily familiar (including the graphics used), is the weekly races with real-money prize purses. Although if this isn’t your thing, you can hop onto a group ride and explore one of the many routes at leisure.

Being based in the UAE, the app understandably has a lot of desert terrain, with Arabia and Alula being the two main worlds packing the majority of the routes.

That said, developers have recently added Australia, with Wollongong City, City Beach and Mount Pleasant as rideable courses. The team plans to add more European maps in the coming months.

In terms of subscription fees, a spokesperson told The Gear Loop that MyWhoosh will "always remain free to use" and that future revenue models include "in app purchases and expanded sponsorship programs".

Users will see that brands can already sponsor routes, while users have the option to upgrade their virtual kit, from cycling clothing to new bikes, with that app’s owners stating that there will be an increasing number of partners expected later this year and in 2023.

"MyWhoosh is committed to maintaining the integrity of its users’ data and does not engage in data selling," explained a MyWhoosh spokesperson.

You can check out the app by visting the MyWhoosh website and downloading, with support for iPad, iPhone, Android and Windows. Mac and AppleTV capabilities are coming soon. 

Writing by Leon Poultney.