Cat C with no racing experience?

Hi, I am training with Zwift for some months now. I have never raced on Zwift and would like to do racing in 2023. I just saw I could not join the D category (placed in C). That seems a bit odd.

On group rides I struggle hard on cat C and I prob struggle on racing cat D aswell :wink:

I don’t want to get dropped all races. Any tips to get cat D?

Learn to draft and to keep your efforts for the right places, train your 1-5 minute power, and race in your cat… cat C.


ditto, the category assignment system is supposed to ensure you’re going to “struggle hard”

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If D isn’t an option but C is, you have done efforts worthy of excluding you from D in Category Enforcement race/TT events. Any single session of any type can decide your minimum category.

A limited number of events still use the old Zwiftpower system, Events can help identifty those for you with the rule “category not enforced” selected.


Categories are currently based entirely on power. In the future it’s expected that there will be a category system that takes race results into account, but that’s not how it works today. I started using Zwift in March and by April I was into the bottom of category B without having done a race. It did put me off racing given that the level of B races is pretty high.

Category Enforcement uses a power curve that needs data from multiple effort durations to give an accurate result. A while ago I drifted back into the bottom of B category, but went back to C after doing a single 3 minute effort. It’s possible that could be your situation as well.

I suggest entering a race in C category that suits your characteristics (power profile and weight) so you have the best chance of staying with a group of riders, even if it’s not the leaders. I also recommend signing up for Zwift Power so you’ll be counted in the final results and have visibility into your race performance.


Racing is hard, very hard - like makes you want to vomit - hard.
On top of that, most people will never win, just like IRL.
You ride hard, you may puke and you still didn’t win.
Zwift is worse.
You may be the fastest in your house, your neighborhood or your town.
Zwift is open to the whole world.
The intensity of zwift is like a world wide cyclocross race with no mud.


I think the recent ramp test you undertook probably gave you an FTP of around 2.8+w/kg which will put you in Category Enforcement (CE) cat C.

Racing in Cat C might be a little difficult for your first couple/few races but you will soon get the hang of it and improve quickly.

I suggest start with choosing fairly short races on flat courses.
Be prepared to start the first minute of your race fast.
Practice doing a few I-2 minute sessions on your own first to see what power you can hold over 1 and 2 minutes so you know how hard you can push without blowing up.
Once you get past the first minute or 2 the race will slow down and become easier. (Try not to let the pack go in those first few minutes as you will never catch them if you do )
If you do enter a race with any inclines/bumps/hills be prepared to push hard again going up them as the pack will raise power on inclines.

I suggest you join ZwiftPower where you can keep a track of your race efforts. Link below.


Zwift now shows you your zFTP, MAP, and VO2 estimates along with your top power for various points on your power curve. You can see this on your profile on It will also let you know on which date you set those personal bests. This will help show you why you are in C and not D.


This depends a lot on where you fall in terms of the category limits, your ability to exceed threshold pace at the start, climbs, and finish, and drafting skill.