Anti sandbagging and other areas that need development and communication

They can show in the results, just blank out their data. You can opt out showing some data now in ZP such as HR.

That user will show in the companion app race results so it’s not completely private even when applying privacy settings.

Good points. Think its only HR the user can select to opt-out of currently but yes, they can remove all user data easy enough. Have to wonder why if its so easy, they havent got it on the roadmap yet, or even done it already.

Yeap, really hope that people can´t change weight and height with the ease that we see today.

I wonder how Zwift races would go down if we had category enforecement via weight groups, instead of performance data.

Would four (or maybe split further to five) categories something along the lines of…
-60Kg
60-75Kg
75-90Kg
90Kg+

typically give a decent field entry split?

Or how about you simply sign up for a race and ~1min or so before start signups stop and the entries are split by weight into four equally sized groups as possible?

Weight doping would be off the charts, i could easily change my weight to under 59 kgs and destroy the field.

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Possibly not across the whole field but what about category pens ( provided they were large enough) being split by weight?

Surely even Zwifts computer programmes could spot that an ‘out of game’ or ‘not active in an event’ change of weight of 38% might warrant further investigation.:balance_scale::microscope::lying_face:

No, weight is an important variable but it’s not a good category. Very good races are had across these weight boundaries in every single race of the day.

If you split by weight the ability variation in the field would be huge and blobs very small, more like a TT.

As an example in the Critty Critty Bang Bang Race A race on Saturday, less than 3 seconds covered people from all 4 of your categories (from 60.0 to 91.0). The 91kg guy would smash his weight peers if he was made to race them.

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I don’t agree with the second sentence, not if we are discussing anything but cat A. And I can prove it with data.

I do, however, agree very much with the first sentence. So let’s make an IMPORTANT POINT about the the idea of weight as categorization, a clarification of why weight would be such bad basis for category definitions:

Weight is a variable that will definitely impact race results, THEREFORE it should NOT be used as categorization.

The same goes for ANY OTHER variable that has an impact on race results. They should NOT be used as categorization.

While it may seem intuitive to use a variable that has an impact on race results for categorization it is a fallacy. It’s when you try to predict future results based on some external metric and use that to put people into pens that you go wrong and all sorts of bad stuff happens.

20 min W/kg is a horrible basis for categories, not because it is W/kg but because it is intended to act like a proxy for future results. Using such measures to defines categories will only lead to unfair races and exploits (not necessarily related to each other, i.e. they can be unfair even without exploits).

There are several reasons why it is such a bad idea but one of them is that they will not be perfect predictors and this makes them fertile ground for exploits and unfairness. And even if they did perfectly predict future results, then it would still be a bad idea because racing would then be pointless.

Thus neither weight nor height nor Watts nor 1 or 5 or 20 min W/kg or any other such measure should be used for categorization. Ever.

A categorization should NEVER try to predict future results. It should be built around a completely different principle. You should never be in a category because someone predicted it will match your future results (I can make an exception for first-time racers). It should always be because you earned that categorization.

And btw there is really only one variable suited for categorization, one that has nothing to do with physics. You all know what I’m referring to.

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In Zwift, heavy weights with a W/Kg near the top of the cat limit win most stages regardless of profile.

Very light weight riders below FTP threshold stand a chance on very hilly course as they can get a higher W/Kg limit.

Those in the middle will never win. e.g. There are no top 40 Cat C racers between 70-75Kg.

The big guys get to match them in W/Kg on the climbs and destroy them with absolute watts on the flats.

Any middle weight Cat C rider that put out the watts to match the heavies would be bumped to Cat B as soon as they tried.

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Exactly so on all points, @Sean_Dunn_IBC . This is not a mystery in Zwift and I find it “interesting” when Zwifters try to debunk it.

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One of the worst aspects of this is that hilly races are especially sort after by cruisers because they know naive heavies will think the climbing will somehow magically be harder than a flat threshold effort.

Cruisers know they’ll probably get a weaker field on the descents and flats.

For a lot of riders Zwift racing is rigged to be unwinnable.

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There’s something here I have yet to figure out. Winnable… After a couple years of finishing at the bottom of A, what is a person winning by taking a podium spot in B, C, D when these are essentially power-based categories? Age and gender I can understand (which makes it that much more frustrating that results can’t be sorted by age in ZP).

The same thing plays out IRL. Should a person join a lower category simply because they are allowed to, knowing they will take a top spot? Or should they join a higher category and push themselves to their limit, thereby improving?

I’m a relatively strong climber. Locally, in real life, I can compete with a higher group on climbs but will finish near the bottom of the same group on a flatter course. Should I select a category based on terrain or just go one way or the other for all races and deal with the results?

I’m an A racer according to Zwift, yet lots and lots of B (and sometimes C) racers finish ahead of me. Should I figure out a way to join B (sandbag, increase weight, etc) or train harder for uncertain results? Seems most racers feel entitled to the first option.

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the same as what a person winning an A race wins - nothing whatsoever

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“Absolutely Nothing” - Dark Helmet, Spaceballs

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Haha, well OK you don’t “win” anything obviously as there are no prizes for any cat.

But if none of it matters why do heavy riders care about sandbagging? The cheats aren’t able to gain a climbing advantage as the W/Kg are matched anyway.

If you’re up in Cat A the lower cats probably look pretty pointless but to us grunts it’s just nice to have somewhere to race. Otherwise every race would be a Cat E.

I really don’t feel “entitled to win” anything, honest. I know I’m a weak rider, I have the numbers and the results to prove it! :stuck_out_tongue:

Rest assured I couldn’t sandbag my current cat even if I wanted to. I’d have to magically gain an extra 70 watts of threshold overnight before I could hang on the flats with the guys 30Kg heavier than me (same wpk in the climbs obs).

It’s doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, we only ride for fun eh.

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I would love that. Pleeeeeeeeease make every race Cat E and let individuals sort the results. Hell, I’d be slightly happier if I could simply sort on age.

I’m not an A rider. I’m just not. I don’t care what the formula says. Here are my last 6 races (not hand picked, they are my most recent races, in order):

Last every time. Every race, I scream “PLEASE LET ME JOIN B!!!”

I’d rarely podium in B. Usually I’m in the middle of B.

I see lots of riders who can obviously put out the power, they’re just holding back. Are they sandbagging? Maybe. My argument is they are at the very least cheating themselves out of training and reaching their true potential just for the sake of sprinting for a B podium.

Any of three options would make me happy:

  1. Let me turn off the cats and sort the results as I wish
  2. Let me join B
  3. Force riders who can do the work to join a higher group (and pull them from the course when they exceed the limit, no exceptions)

#3 kinda sounds like the recent cat enforcement. I don’t know if the “new” system is working or not, but it seems highly unlikely to impact those that choose to hold back.

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I personally find the cat enforcement great. It seems to account for my weight, and allows me to enter my Zwiftpower cat, C, although my w/kg are over the limits. I will have to move up to B soon as my watts increase, but for the moment I think that Zwift has gotten it right for me.

According to ZP you are. Congratulations on the upgrade.

My goal this year is to go to A category but so far it seems like a stretch goal.

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I’d like to move up to B, but then do I? :joy:

–Cædmonius est Domi