Anti sandbagging and other areas that need development and communication

Is it my imagination, or are the issues getting worse rather than better? The number of incorrect category riders, riders with the same weight for the past 6 months, weight doping (the photos in their Strava profile certainly indicate a different weight to the zwift profile) etc seems to be reaching monstrous proportions, yet there seems little improvement to the system/racing experience from a zwift perspective. Partly it comes from a sore loser perspective, as I don’t like to lose (I am only good enough to race c cats), however, it is a pill that is far easier to swallow when beaten fair and square. In fairness to Zwift, racing pushes me harder than I would otherwise train and until a viable alternative racing platform is offered I am likely to stay put. I would however prefer it if Zwift were honest about their outlook, developments etc and if fair racing is way down the list of priorities over maximising income, then say so.

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I’d say it’s probably got worse if we are talking the normal day to day races. I think for a few reasons:

  • Zwift has continued to get more popular while any controls or communication from ZHQ to the new riders on cheating / sandbagging is non existent. And is arguably worse on that count than 4 years ago.

  • WTRL has sucked up a lot of the more frequent racers who are less likely to sandbag as it isn’t as easy or worth it there. That means less fair racers in the other races on the calendar.

  • Disillusionment from the different Zwift ‘community leaders’ because of lack of engagement from ZHQ. Again, the vast majority of racers in these events would be less likely to sandbag and much have drifted away from racing or are on other platforms. These groups basically created a brand new racing ecosystem in spite of the lack of support and tools from ZHQ. Some are still doing some good stuff, but a good few have understandably either lost enthusiasm or pretty much stopped. I find this one so bizarre as they created great things for free for Zwift, that attracted new subscribers, PR from the wider cycling media and a large population of passionate, loyal paying subscribers.

And still there is no enforced categorisation of existing categories, yet Boost mode was developed.

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Very confused with the thread merge there initially @Gerrie_Delport_ODZ thought I was going mad :grinning:

I personally was trying to start a new thread because comments otherwise get lost in the thousands of others and believe the issue needs a new focus

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We shouldn’t knock Zwift, at least we can clearly see which lap we drop off the back as the cheaters power ahead, invaluable to destroying morale, you cant put a price on it!

To be fair they are having the right conversations now. There is a job advert out there asking for someone who will be responsible for delivering exactly what we have asked for (if they don’t go off on weird autocat tangents). The trouble is it all seems like too little too late, but we can’t turn the clock back. At least there is lots of meme ammunition.

My hope from now on is that they engage with the community early so at least they can be accurate and efficient, and not develop what they think we need, rather than what we are all telling them we need. Autocat was a worrying example.

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My long-held belief is that Zwiftpower shouldn’t be “a thing”. I hope that eventually it isn’t. I’ve never thought it was a good thing that people had to sign up to a third-party system to get “the real results”.

Now that Zwift have taken control of Zwiftpower, they should, IMO, be working to integrate all the good parts of it into the Zwift platform and website directly.

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I wouldnt dare suggest the only reason threads are getting merged is to try and lose the Zwift Race Director / Vice President of competition being shown up as Sandbagging and try and get us to move on.

On the community front, it means different things to different people - Zwift dont see this as their ‘community’, this is core supporters who are too vocal, hence the survey to their bread & butter customers.
Are race organisers the community? Whilst they should be, im always reminded they were most vocal against pace partners and that has turned into one of the few successes, they were looking after their own interests.
I also have very little faith in Zwift making the right decision, based on Autocat, boost mode and their general ineptness…
Positive post there Ha

I was writing the above when that popped up…

I would agree, but take a different approach - Just auto enrol everyone into Zwiftpower as its all one eco system now. Same credentials or make it SSO with Zwift for new users or unregistered users.
I have no issues with a separate results platform but commit to it - Remove in game results/finishing times for all races - Force users to Zwiftpower (It brings multiple benefits)

Though, Im not a fan of then having to sign up to a further 3rd party like WTRL for all their events. Why am I providing HR/Weight etc to a 3rd party to be able to take part in zwift race - I get there is a bit of a juxtaposition with this & Zwiftpower but at least zwiftpower is now Zwift owned.

The one down the road for me, Zwiftpower becomes a Trainingpeaks/Intervals.icu type platform alongside the race results, then you get real benefit out of it.

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15 months ago. :confused:

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We have to also consider the opportunity cost - what could ZP have developed in to in this period? I am aware that there were quite a lot of plans to improve it - including a new ranking system and rankings based pens for race organisers. Of course this would be massively impacted by the lack of pen enforcement, and bringing the whole thing in house needed to be done, but at this point in time, with no significant improvements on the table, we would be in a better place if it hadn’t been taken over.

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Sadly that is why I dont believe anything that is said until I see it with my own eyes.
“you can’t base a reputation on what you are going to do” I believe is the saying

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And what has happened in those 15 months

Was it a well designed and agreed roadmap of assimilation and improvement to the benefits of both platforms. Zwiftpower able to fulfill all the product benefits it could but was unable to previously and zwift acquiring all the feature extension of zwiftpower and creating a better more seamless and integrated experience for those who use the product.

OR

Treated as if just acquiring it was all that was needed to sort all the issues out and instead of this going off to find yet another external system to create yet another set of data silos outside of Zwift that presumably at some point are going to have to undergo the same fate as happened to Zwiftpower because nothing has changed in how these integrations should work. No lessons learnt and nothing improved . Its just history repeating itself.

I know where I am in the answer to that one . As we have not seen as yet any of the former but plenty of the later .

@Lee_H hit the nail right on the head . Simple first step of a proper integration should have been to implement single sign on between the platforms . That would have removed so much complexity and opened up so much road in front of this to be driven forward.

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Reading between the lines, I suspect the most notable change might be a move away from wkg to speed based auto-cat, since that has “benefits beyond competition”. If this includes cat enforcement from the start will be anyones guess, but eventually it probably will as I do genuinely believe it’s something they want to do zeventually. It also wouldn’t surprise me if after that they will look at throwing ZP out of the window, since I believe Autocat is based on all rider data (compared to just event data). Why do I think this? Because it shifts the focus away from all weight related stuff, and long term that is probably a good thing.

I have less hope that organiser definable cat boundaries combined with auto-enforcement is on the list though, which is unfortunate as that would be a game changer. Shifting the current boundaries by .2- wkg would make for some interesting racing IMO. TFC comes close with the split cats, but I believe including the very top of a cat below with the lower-split-cat spices things up a little further.

Anyhow November is nearing so that might make the direction a little more clear.

Were they? I, for one, was all in favour of them; I think I said at the time it was the best functionality since the introduction of race pens. I’ve been on so many crappy group rides or ones where none of the leaders show up, that Coco was a lifesaver. Now, the only ones I’ll join are those with sociable riders and engaging leaders

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@Dappy-Muppet-TFC and @Anti-wtrl

We merge these similar topics to get more traction and more visibility, you will notice that amount of conversation you started with your post after I merged it.
If I did not merge the topic then we would have two topics with people saying the same thing.

I merge/review and edit many topics daily and it is no small task keeping the forum on track.

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Yeah, but Zwiftpower is just a PHPBB mod isn’t it? I don’t know the details as I’ve never seen the code; but also if Zwift don’t have people who want to work in PHP it’ll never be a first class citizen.

From memory yes, there was quite a few organisers who were quite put out as this would impact their numbers and it would impact their events at the time - It was probably a fair consideration on its launch, but doesn’t change that ‘from memory’ the main negativity came from some ride organisers.

I was on the fence with regard to them and now think they have the potential to be great, just need some minor improvements to get them over the line.

But I wont derail this thread discussing PP.

Edited due to typing on my phone originally.

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Personally I think if it weren’t for Zwift power then Zwift and Zwift racing would not be as big as it is today.
It will be nice now that Zwift own ZP to have every Zwifter in the data base and also not have a 3rd party login (Same with WTRL). Zwift can update Zwift power to look more like Zwift. Results in the end of the race should be the same as the results on ZP.

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What’s happening in November?