Back after few months (was C), no cat in ZP: can I start with D?

Hey there, I am getting back to Zwift after a few months where, for several reasons, I could not train a lot… so probably I am not really in perfect shape.

When I left Zwift in may, I was just “promoted” to C (really back of the pack, anyway C).

Now I am quite sure I am not at all competitive as C.

Had a look at my profile on ZP and cat is no longer mentioned (I am quite sure a C was there few months ago), so, while waiting to get back to racing, I would like to know if it would be OK to select D and see how it goes, or if anyway I should select C to make sure my ride is logged also in ZP.

Edit: here is my profile Zwift Power - Login

Hi nice thought but no. It is taken from your last FTP
I tried that as took a year out and came back still on B
but i have dropped my FTP so back to C now

Two answers to your question .

In terms of the current “rules” you can come back to D if that is what is set ( or nothing is set) ( in fact you can enter whatever pen you like as its not enforced ).

However from a sporting perspective tou may have been away from Zwift but assume you have still been riding so you should “know” your current w/kg if not absolutely (some will) at least subjectively comparitively. So you should enter your first few events based on that until such time as Zwift calculates your current value.

In short I suspect based on how how you have presented your situation you can enter D . Someone else who was for example A or B and didnt ride but came back and have not hugely changed there fitness and power output I would expect them to make reasonable choice to enter in the appropriate higher category.

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With those figures you were a pretty high C.

Consider a ramp test to give you an idea of where your current ability is.

The other option is to enter a race with an E Pen where riders are placed in their Cat after the race.

I would imagine that you will be a C either after your first race or shortly after.

You should enter C.
If you enter C and you do poorly, no harm is done, you still get to ride your bike.
If you enter D, and you are actually a C, you have messed up the race for many people.
You , personally will be no faster or slower regardless.
You could do a race as E or A and base future races on the result.
Don’t overthink it.
If you’re not sure you belong in a certain category then you probably don’t.

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Boh I don’t know… I was not really a high C: I was always among the last.

I did pretty much no training during summer, so I think that when in full shape I was a low level C, now I am probably a D again.

You all talk however like it’s easy to go back and forth among categories: when I left in may, if ZPower decided I was a C, there was no way I could get a verified ZPower result by doing a race in a lower category.

Now, based on what you are all saying, it seems I can try to start as C and then, if I see I am really out of shape and lowered my FTP, select a D without ZPower not certifying anymore my results… is this the case ? Are we allowed to select by ourselves the categories ?

Since you don’t have any recent races, you can enter any cat right now and ZP will then assign a category based on your performance. If you enter C (or even B!) and only ride as a D, you’ll get listed as a D for next time (or, however long it takes ZP to give you a category - I’m not 100% sure about the process for returning riders, maybe it takes 3 rides).

My suggestion: don’t waste any more time wondering, just ride whatever you want, and see what happens. If zwift wants categories to last more than 90 days, they should use more data. Entering D is entirely legitimate for you and you’re light enough that I doubt you’ll be spoiling anyone’s fun. No-one else bats an eyelid at elite cyclists coming back to zwift after a summer of road racing and riding B/C/D cat until they promote.

That is not correct. I think what you mean is that entering a race Zwift would put you where your FTP is set. This is true but is only default, he can enter anything he likes. In Zwift power if one hasn’t competed for 90 days all bets are off.

To the OP you can certainly enter a D, if you crush it though you might get a wkg flag in ZP. As we all know, Zwift itself will not do anything.

Most fair and most sensible would be to do an FTP test first to see where your at. Races shouldn’t be your first thought, training again should.

When I did my first race this season, Zwiftpower did not have me listed as anything because it had been greater than 90 days.
After 1 race, it has me listed as a C.

I have just had my FTP increased in the last few days was doing the Innsbruck climb and they took my effort which was better that last FTP test over 20 mins and gave me a FTP of 236, however is am still a C class rider… bit odd but I do not race any more just TT due to being 57 yrs old.

Your best 20 min does not have to be in a race for Zwift to increase your FTP.
Any 20 min effort will work.
Since Zwiftpower takes data from races, I don’t know if a workout or free ride will affect your Zwift power FTP and this category.
I’m sure there’s been a discussion whether it should be best 20min in game or just in a race.

It uses best 20min efforts in races and group events. Not workouts or free rides.

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