C/D: How do you stay motivated during a race?

I guess I’m the only one in zwift with this issue, but I lose all motivation when I’m participating in a race with 200+ riders and I have no idea where I stand.

Specially C/D riders, how do you cope with this? What do you strive for when you’re racing? To be honest, unless there’s something to look forward to in the race, I’m this close to cancelling my zwift account.

Don’t you C/D guys join race to beat other C/D racers? How can you win a race in your category if you don’t know who’s 1st, 2nd, etc? Or am I not getting zwift races?

Isn’t the purpose of a race at a certain category to win that category?

Hi Man,

I think I have a slightly different view to the Zwift racing than you,
and my view has changed as I have used Zwift more.
Initially I only joined Zwift to avoid the bad weather, it was to keep
fit during the colder months.
After a few months I started racing on Zwift and found it fantastic
fun. In my naivety I thought that it was a level playing field. I soon
found out that was not the case. This was a disappointment to me
initially, but I changed my opinion as really Zwift was a training tool
for me, I just needed to remind myself of this.

I don’t race to win, (chance would be a fine thing) I race to push
myself, to work as hard as I can. Some of the best events I find are
the “Tour Series”, lots of riders, you have a position No. and if I can’t
stick with one group there is usually a following group not far behind,
which I like, as I don’t like being in no-mans land.

In other race events, I don’t mind racing with riders of other Cats as in my
opinion I don’t think the Cat system is quite right. C Cat riders often
beat B Cat riders etc, so I just race the group I’m in. It is still for me,
great fun. I work harder inside on a Zwift race, than I do outside, which
for me is the whole point. Keeping fit is my aim.

I hope I have given you a different way to look at your problem of
motivation. Zwift is a fantastic way to stay fit inside if you are not able to
go outside for any reason, or as a platform to improve your outside ability.
I hope you stick with Zwift.

PS I’m probably older than you so I have already realised I’m not going
to win anything.

PPS I think you may like the Hare and Hounds Races as you start and
hopefully stay in your Cat group trying as a group to catch the Cat group
ahead or avoid the Cat group behind catching you.


“Ride On”

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It’s impossible for any C and D category rider to win their race as there is always someone sandbagging and riding at 4+w/kg. All I can do is race to keep up with the people I am with. If I’m dropped by them then I try to join the next group.

Like with Troy I prefer non-categorised races. At least then you know your position relative to everyone else even if it is 250th out of 400 and you end up racing who ever is nearby.

I don’t even know why we have categories in Zwift racing. In the real world there are valid reasons for categories but in Zwift none of those reasons apply. I could argue that Zwift categories actually discourage people from racing as it leads to tiny fields where half the people are in the wrong cat anyway. Who even cares if they win a C or D cat race in Zwift? It proves nothing.


Firstly are you registered on ZPower?
I only view competitors registered on ZPower as my opponents as it gets rid of quite a few sandbaggers and cheaters.
You can see who you’re actually racing by ignoring riders in your Cat not registered on ZPower.

Racing as part of a team keeps me motivated.

Also unless I’m racing as part of a team I choose my races carefully, going for segments which will increase my ZPoints, or long hilly races with a short lead-in so no one is going to be blowing off the barn doors for the first 7km!

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Have you tried handicap races? There are a few different race series such as Hare & Hounds, DADurday Chase Race, The Chop. Based on the idea that D sets off first, followed by C, B and A separated by time gaps. The idea is you work together in your group to stay away from the chasing packs.

They’re a solid workout, and if you’re one of the stronger ones in your category your goal is the jump on the following packs if they catch you.

Another option is to choose races that only show you your own category.

e.g. go to https://zwifthacks.com/app/events/ and select “See only event category riders”, “Race” and the category you are interested in.

Regardless of category, I seem to end up with a group and I just try and beat those people. Winning outright is unlikely (zwiftpower results chop the cheaters out, so that helps)

Racing is so much fun, I focus on beating those near me instead of focusing on the numerical place

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Even with the handicap races, it still doesn’t solve the problem of sandbaggers / people deliberately entering wrong categories.

I was in a Hare & Hounds race as a “D” category rider once and held on to our leading pack for a good 2/3rds of the race but eventually got dropped on a short sharp climb. A couple of us had sent out messages to the group to slow on the climb on the previous lap to try and keep the group together (I’d had to use a feather on that lap, but didn’t have one this time) but there were five riders who just weren’t interested in helping the rest and just powering on themselves.

Me and the few others who got dropped carried on and eventually were caught by the leading "B"s at the 3/4 point of the ride with the leading "A"s just 10 or so seconds behind them at that point. We did beat the leading "C"s to the line though!

As the ride finished, I sent out a message asking if the leading "D"s held on for the win and someone messaged back to say yes, but only just - two Ds plus one B took the three podium positions. I took some comfort from that, thinking that I did help out with the D group pace for the first half of the ride.

Then I went and looked on ZwiftPower. The five Ds who broke away? All DQ’d. Two of them ZP had classified as Bs, the other three as Cs. It should have been a giveaway, the fact that they could hold 3-3.5 wkg for such long periods of time (the rest of us were able to do it for a short sprint, but then died), but we felt we had to keep up with the front guys to stand a chance.

So basically I buried myself for nothing. Would have rather ridden around in a group of TRUE Ds and finished last, frankly.


Good thing those Ds left you! Part of the strategy in those races is knowing when the strongest riders need to leave the weaker guys behind

I’ve had races where I push extra hard at the start for the group, sort of knowing I’ll not be able to hang the whole time. Those handicap races are really fun. I’ve even seen guys use TT bikes as sacrificial rabbits for the group!

And realistically nothing ever will when categories are open to anyone entering them.

Power numbers themselves can always be manipulated of course, but there’s no gatekeeping either. OK, there is disqualifications after the fact, but they only count in the ZwiftPower view of things, and they do nothing to prevent people screwing up the field.

There are solutions to this, I think. However, Zwift probably aren’t too keen on implementing them because it could alienate paying customers or block them from using some aspect of the service they way they want to.

For example, a race series could have a hard lock on entrants such that any rider who has exceeded the category limits 3 times in the past 60 days can’t enter the race. (Or some horizon.)

Or something like real-world races where you get points for placing in races and move between categories that way. Maybe something like the mechanism where once promoted out of the “starter” category people can’t re-enter it.

Zwift seem to be putting a lot of energy into eRacing, but it does only seem to be the high end Pro/A+ and invitational races. Grass roots support would be of much greater benefit to the majority of us.

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And that’s the thing, I was quite happy for them to leave me/the rest of the Ds and for them to win - until I found out that they weren’t Ds at all. They were Bs and Cs who didn’t want to start with riders who were as good as them and just wanted a 10 minute headstart on riders of their true category.


Sandbaggers are the worst!!!


Racing will suck for B,C and D riders until Zwift implement something that auto assign categories. Racing was more fun before we had starting pens, people entered the correct pen and it was competitive.

Sandbaggers should be the easiest fix (Yes I said easy meaning most bang for your buck)
Jon Mayfield also mentioned something along this lines in the last ZwiftCast, But He also said there need to be an option for people to races a lower cat if they want a training race, I think that is a bad idea, all sandbaggers will have “training races” all the time. If you want a training race then enter you own cat and “race” at your own pace.

I don’t care about inaccurate trainers as long as it is repeatable. Lets just start by getting racers in the correct starting pen.

As I said before it is just more motivating to race for top 10 D cat as 41st overall. There are different tactics if you race against people of similar ability. Mass start is just hang on as long as you can and then settle for x place.


Absolutely a bad idea! You’re right of course: people will abuse any loophole available to them.


Cheaters, losers, and sandbaggers will always exist in zwift races and in real-life competition, and if I’m competing (zwift or otherwise) and see a POS like that I’ll do anything in my power to ban him. That’s not the point of the thread.

When I enter a race, my only goal is to win my category. Right now, as a C/D rider, the ONLY goal that I CAN have in Zwift is to win the whole race, and that’s just unrealistic, unattainable, and plain ridiculous.

While I’m a paying member, I will always be criticizing this and Zwift will always be ignoring me.

The alternative would be what Daren_Chandisingh_VI and that’s to choose races that only show you your own category. I’m in EDT time, I race between 6:30pm and 8pm on Tuesdays & Thursdays, and I prefer flat races that are less than 18 miles. Which race do you recommend?

Use the site I linked to and check out what’s available. If there isn’t anything, you could potentially start the series you want to race in.

I did, the problem is that it doesn’t mention timezones.

Daren Chandisingh [DIRT] :seedling: :beginner:

    July 8

alt Man_With_A_Plan:
I’m in EDT time, I race between 6:30pm and 8pm on Tuesdays & Thursdays, and I prefer flat races that are less than 18 miles. Which race do you recommend?

Use the site I linked to and check out what’s available. If there isn’t anything, you could potentially start the series you want to race in.

It shows them in your local time, doesn’t it?

For example, for me it says:


That’s my correct current local time.

The best race series on Zwift was the CVR race series. Racers started in their own Pen, you knew who you were racing against. Week by week we were battling for points. Most of the B,C and D riders watched the finals of the A’s learning what they did.

If Zwift want to get into E-sport they need to get the B,C and D riders exited about racing, these are the people that will watch the “pro’s”. People that are passionate about Pro racing is also racing IRL.

Zwift do have your FTP and your weight, so they can use that to put everyone in the correct Cat/pen. they can even have a A,B,C,D and then E for everyone wanting to do a training race. So you you can pick auto assign (A,B,C,D) or open E.

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I don’t know how strong the correlation is here.

I’ve followed professional and amateur road racing since the mid-1980s. I’ve been to track cycling championships, I’ve gone to watch National Road Race, town centre crits, watch all the Olympic coverage avidly, and TV coverage of all kinds.

But I’ve never ever raced. Not even once. IRL at least, although I do race occasionally on Zwift.

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This was just a observation from my small sample size of people I know. :blush:

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