Cat A racers almost alone in most of the races

Since most of the races are using a “staggered start” in combinaison with “only riders in your group visible”, cat A racers are alone (or 2 or 3 guys) in races. Which mean doing an iTT against nobody. It’s pointless. I used to be an avid zwifter, but I am thinking about give up…
Can Zwift reduce the number of race (or stoping the stagered starts), in order to have a decent pack of riders in most of the races ?

1 Like

or one low number have the A/B race as one group. run avg of X riders = pool them into one group.


I think the real problem is designing a category that doesn’t have enough riders in it (plus a large portion of people with faulty equipment who shoot to the top). They have all the data necessary to correct that but so far have not.

I think you deserve better but all I can suggest is to use ZwiftHacks to search for events with all categories visible (and perhaps same time starts as well). Those options are on the Rules tab.

Also look for E pen races, and don’t be afraid to “Race” the Zwift group ride series; as silly as it sounds… it’s about all we’re left with, outside of legitimate series as A racers.

Yes we may still have to deal with cheaters in some aspects, so you have to take the group rides / zwift series with a grain of salt; and hold out for legitimate series who do take care of the cheaters.

But yes, A in the normal Cat Enforcement ruleset is a total mess.
It’s either empty, or slated with cheaters or as stated, faulty equipment riders.
It’s a little more effort, but it is worthwhile.

I have been doing an E pen series from HERD all through winter though and have been having a lot of fun with it. And it has kept me from having to deal with the reality of being a Cat A rider now as well. So look around for those types of races, they’re out there.
Because whenever that series dies down/off as we enter the summer months… I’m not looking forward to, well, nothingness.


Yes I also consider that the cat system is a problem. Idem for the cheaters (or people using faulty equipment). But those problem have been raised in many topics and Zwift doesn’t do anything about it. Like you suggest @Andrew_Nuse E pen series are my favorite (that why with my Team Foudre we organise “La Cyclo” which is just a E pen serie like IRL, and we make sure each rider is legit). But it occurs just onec a week. So yes, those recent time I focused on rides (since it’s the only place with a decent pack) and took them as a race, as many riders in the front group (but it remains a paradox and it’s a bit boring to observe that new riders appears in the front group after 30mn of intense race -or use the coffee break when the race gets tough…).

There are races with all categories visible and same time starts. I don’t think this is really a solution to the problem you are commenting about but there are some options. Are you aware of all this? I know it’s bad but I want you to have an opportunity.


Yeah; fortunately most of my week is broken up with LOTS of big group rides and leading; literally 3/4 of my week is literally that, and then 2 days of racing which I find as a nice balance (WTRL TTT and the HERD E), along any other bigger series like FRR have been “enough” for me.

But, yes, with summer coming, I’m going to have to process things as they come.

If Zwift does indeed push out RacingScore in the next few weeks/months as they said they would, that might be some light at the end of the tunnel in a limited sense.

Really though this is just the imbalance of CE and categories as a whole; and I guess not to blame ZHQ entirely, some of it is a regional issue as well. Euro time slots have far greater counts A racers than Americas time slots as an example; and it all ebbs and flows with season and availability.
As usual, a crowd “grows a crowd”, which could be the issue with Americas (seeing empty pens means nobody wants to sign up).
So knock on wood RacingScore at least opens the doors for more options potentially, and more series that don’t lock us into empty races.

1 Like

Thanks. Yes I am aware of this and try to opt in this kind of race each time I can. But actually, 90% of the races consists in staggered start (which is a problem if you just got limited time slots to ride). What’s more it appears that B cat riders avoid to opt in the race where everybody start together (there are very few participant in this kind of race). So the problem remain, unfortunately…

Look for the EVR race series (longer distances) and the British Cycling race series events.

nobody wants to be in A brother… me neither

my personal reasons:

1: nobody else is in A
2: see above

i can give a few reasons as to why i think nobody is in A… but i do that all the time already. a new category system, i understand, is close to being released so i’ll give that a look first instead of riding zhq about it, but it’s been this way for a while.

edit: A races, the good ones, are typically the kiss 100 on sundays (two timeslots), TTTs are always good, the tiny races and zrl are always reliable… then you probably have to look at league racing other than that. not into much league stuff, so i can’t say which ones are good or popular. i guess DRS probably is. there’s a few unlikely events a week that are strangely popular that are basically chain gangs but most of them are outside EMEA times as they’re probably just unofficially settled on as a way for americans/aus/asians to actually get to race other humans instead of an empty pen

Quote " a new category system, i understand, is close to being released so i’ll give that a look first instead of riding zhq about it, but it’s been this way for a while."

Do we know when or is there a post on here about it?

This might be the latest…

1 Like

Thanks @Paul_Southworth

You might try some of the specialized series offered by non-ZHQ organizers like FRR, Chasing Tour, TFC, DIRT, etc. They usually require a more complex sign up process but also either have more As, use custom categories, offer mass starts or some combination of all three.

Here are links to a couple that seem to be continuing over spring and summer.

Edit: Unfortunately these types series/races often don’t appear in the Companion App, so you have to search them out.

1 Like

Yes, I know them and appreciate FRR and chasing tour races. It’s perfect when thoses races are scheduled on time slots where I am available. And they got numerous racers because:

  • 1st they use the Zwfit racing cat system which is much relevant than the standard CE system;
  • 2nd the “obvious cheater” (miscalibrated HT, etc.) are not there.

My point was that (in an ideal world) each races would be like FRR races.
NB: WTRL races used to be interesting, but it appears that over the recent period the organizer no more focus on having “legit A” (or a least making a distinction between A and A+).

1 Like

The biggest categories of riders probably don’t want that. Many prefer to fight for higher placings at the junior varsity level. It’s understandable, even if not everyone thinks that way.

a good effort is a good effort in a 3R race or an FRR race or even a group ride, so i see it different. i want to just jump on and race at whatever time i have available when i feel like it. can’t race against an empty pen though

1 Like

Yeah it’s really bad for the As. They created an empty category and forced you into it. There’s no reason why you should want that. To me it seems like the easiest fix would be to simply move the category boundary to stick more people in A. C category is packed and moving its boundaries to balance out the categories would make a lot of sense to me. Not as a replacement for a results-based category system but just as something they could do quickly without a lot of effort.

1 Like

i wonder if there’s more to it than that… D has always been short on riders too, i think. i don’t know a lot about D, but i first made it to A over 3 years ago. hard to pin this down as fact, since we had a pandemic and during that every event was packed regardless of category or nature… but i default to B, i know B, i know who’s who in B more or less, enough to know that every single one of us goes to A and then returns to B sooner or later, or are in and out of A like we are repeat offenders or something.

and of the ones i know personally, not a single person does it because they just want to win cups or whatever the perception is. well maybe one or two do, i won’t snitch though. broadly speaking, people just don’t like being in A. for one or many reasons.

even though i’m complaining, it is what it is though. people like me are gonna race regardless, so D is way more important, since that’s where newer racers and less seasoned cyclists often start and they’re the guys who need the attention

My guess is as you go further down the categories, the typical rider’s level of interest in racing against the best people declines. People at the top of B are pretty serious athletes and might be open to racing against the best, except if they do that they get an empty race. But in C/D I speculate that a lot of people don’t want to race against the best because it would be demoralizing to them. Not a lot of Cs choose to race in B, even though that’s not an empty pen.