Did it last night - great fun! Cruising back down again with aching legs and lack of blood to the brain, there’s that moment when you go under the bridge near the bottom, with the colours of the Mayan jungle up ahead… just for a fraction of a second reality was suspended and I actually thought I was returning to my hotel in some exotic foreign location after a real epic climb on the bike…
Lots of thoughts. The Road to Sky route provides a good session with a few kilometers before the Alpe climb starts for warming up in, but the short rise near the begining after the bridge forces you into a moderate effort a little too soon. Ideally I’d rather have it mostly flat for the first 10 minutes of the route. Minor quibble though…
I like the map. One thing that would be useful though would be an easier to interpret indication of gradient changes that are coming up ahead. The usual profile graphic sort of works, but the difference between 11% and 8% appears as quite a subtle change on the diagram so I occasionally found myself sitting down to spin and immediately having to get out of the saddle again (or visa versa) because I was taken by surprise. BigRing has quite a useful colour coded system for this which works quite well.
I love the fact that the route profile is the same as the Alpe itself… The environment is much prettier than the video footage in BigRing or Tacx TTS though! It’s that immersive fantasy element that makes Zwift what it is, but knowing that the effort id almost exactly equivalent to the real Alpe d’Huez climb is a great bonus.
It’s interesting comparing the Alpe du Zwift segment on Strava with corresponding segments for Alpe d’Huez in BigRing. The entire BigRing Alpe d’Huez route is slightly longer as it takes in the climb through the town to the higher finish line and also starts a little bit earlier, but this segment is pretty much equivalent to the Alpe du Zwift profile: https://www.strava.com/segments/11060914?filter=overall
I also created a segment myself on the BigRing route called “Alpe du Zwift (equivalent)”, but I’m not sure if that’s showing up yet.
I’m 63kg and did the Alpe du Zwift insider verified segment in 51:19 at 248w average. My corresponding time on the BigRing segment is 54:02 at 245w. I calculate that the 3w difference might account for about 35s, so that means that the Zwift Alpe is still about 2 minutes faster for the same power than the BigRing one. I’m curious what calculations in the corresponding software algorithms that’s a result of. BigRing allows you to set the bike weight and mine is at 7kg. In Zwift I’m currently on the Zwift aero bike and the Zipp 404s. The figures are close enough for assumed wind strength and direction to account for the difference though!