Autocategorization Test Events & FAQ

If it was an Elo style system, the benefit of catting up is that you have an opportunity to improve your rank quicker.

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Depends a lot on what kind of races it ends up producing. Still, my position is that by default, last place in A is better than first place in B (standard disclaimers apply). Also, I guess there are two different modalities in play: generic races where you join at a moment’s notice and race against whoever is there vs. race series where you have an idea about your race schedule well in advance and tend to race more or less the same field from one week to another. (Then again, most of the non-ZRL race series have taken quite a hit compared to last winter.)


Hi @Marko_TeamVegan - yes the Autocat buttons are disabled currently as the events have not been created yet. We need to be able to send you to the correct/an event once the Autocat has done it’s things otherwise you’ll be sent to a ‘not ready yet’ page.


I would like to know how this will work. At least for the test race I was assigned a Category and could not move up (nor down). I would hope that if this type of system gets implemented that it will be a minimum Category and you can always race up if you so choose. The hope is that the fixed assignment is for testing only.


Thanks, Flint & Co, great to hear you’re testing what I hope is just one of different options. There is no explanation on the Autocat link, so I’m raising points blindly here, but if this were eventually rolled out:

1 - no set categories please, leave it to organisers to decide parameters.
2 - no requirement to join yet another third party site. Any system needs to be in-built to Zwift (along with ZwiftPower) or it will be ignored by most.
3 - no requirement for advance registration and sending of links, it creates more barriers for both rider and organiser and is open to abuse.
4 - allocate every rider a ranking and block them from entering any pen below their ability, with whatever parameters the organiser has set.
5 - allow for different event settings, e.g., mass-start for all pens, staggered starts but able to see all others, age groups, weight categories, gender-separated groups, etc.


Hey everyone, quick update:

The original route I had written down for this test was Volcano Lap for 3 laps.

The route has been changed to Watopia Hilly Reverse for 3 laps.

This so we can give you some climbs to you all (lovely, right?) as well as help to get some more dynamic data.


I made a quick video with my review and observations of the potential 6 Category racing system and test race results found on At the end of the video I put up a table that compares how the new 6 auto assigned categories placed racers compared to the classic Zwiftpower D to A+ system.

Link to YouTube video review:

It seems that Zwift is testing this system and I am very hopeful this will result in more competitive races and eliminate sandbagging since racers are auto assigned their proper category. I was auto assigned Cat 5 and was unable to try to join a lower category hence eliminating sandbagging.

What are your thoughts on what a new racing category system would look like? What do you want in a new category system? Are 2 additional categories a good thing for Zwift racing? Would you continue to race if you were auto assigned a category and do you like the idea of auto assignment? How did the assignments look to you based on this test race? Do you like the idea of speed or ETA playing into your assigned cat? What about using 5-min and 1-min power in addition to the traditional 20-min power for category assignment? Good idea?


Thanks for the video!

I’m am currently a mid B with an average of 3.6 W/kg and was assigned category 3. That seems right based on my last efforts on Vatopia Flat. I see that I have some efforts around 17:40 min per lap. For three laps that gives a finishing time of ca 53 min. The winner’s time was 52:40 min.
I know that the auto-cat is not based on the current course, but on efforts on courses with the same difficulty, so they will probably have more data to use for their calculation.

Regarding the 6 vs 4 categories, I think it is a good idea for races with good participation, but the two riders in cat 1 could need some more competition.

This thread should maybe be merged into Autocategorization Test Events & FAQ to have the feedback in one place.

Did you do the test event?

No, I was too late for me. I hope to be able to test it out on Wednesday.

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It looks like my post and the FAQs were posted real close together. I was probably drafting my post when the FAQs went up and agree it should have gone up there.

I will move it for you. :sunglasses:

EDIT: There it is moved.

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it not really test if King Bath salts is not racing, send me the link i will race, 15-0 in the D racing. #EatYourFood100Kg.


Link is in the first post. Come join us for some fun.

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I suspect that the category assignment needs to be done late, and that the number categories and people in each category sized to give competitive fields.

The test event ended up with only a few people in C1 and C2. Large numbers in C3 and C4, then falling off again for C5 and C6.

Possibly four (at most) categories with a about 20 people each, or three with 30 each would have been better.

The issue with this is that you can’t tell people ahead of time which category they will end up in, and Zwift has to do the assigment very late. So not sure how that would or could be implemented.

But if it could be done, guaranteeing a competitive race would be good. People really don’t want to show up for a race and find they are racing against a small handful of people.


When do you expect the signup to be available for the next set of test events on 7 July?

I did the test event in C3. My overall impressions:

  • very closely matched, 26 people started and until second time up the short climb before the Italian village, only two dropped
  • the group split in two the second time across the top of that climb, roughly 55%/45
  • overall the speed and effort were less than the equivalent 3R race (which has a mixture of A/B/C etc in the front group), WKO says I have done Volcano Flat x 3 laps 26 times (last three years), and that was only my fifth-best effort
  • The finish was hotly contested with fast lead out and sprint
  • For at least this event, the “race quality” for ZwiftPower ranking was very good, so lots of upgrade points for people compared to a typical 3R B category (for comparison) on the same course.

Overall I think this was a success. I think I would prefer the ranking to be by success at racing, e.g. either ZwiftPower rank or a newer/better Elo based system.


Yes @stuart_lynne I saw you in the race. I think people were racing more tactical than normal. Since we were so evenly matched we had to be careful.

Also ATP had a big team and they controlled the race.

It felt like real racing. :+1:


Yes, that is probable explanation. Well planned attack off the top of the climb, got good separation, then moderate effort until one km to go.

Overall only two hard efforts. Stay with the attack and then the final sprint.

Hopefully when this gets rolled out we’ll have the option of racing up a category. From a training perspective you can get more out of trying to hang onto a faster group than getting a high finish in a slower group.