Cat enforcement have ruined Zwift for me

No, but hanging with the group allowing you to be in a position to make your sprint worthwhile is race craft.

5 Likes

But the level of skill required to do that is basically trivial (if you have the requisite fitness level). I agree that a few newbies might not be good at it for their first few races (it may also depend on how responsive their equipment is) but it’s hardly relevant to most racers.

Being able to draft well and position yourself sensibly in the group is the single most relevant part to Zwift racing.

You are correct in that drafting is not hard, but course knowledge, knowing when a rise is coming that could cause the group to split and ensuring that you are towards the front of the group is vital.

7 Likes

IMHO there are two parts here: one is the cat enforcement, and the other is the cat definition.
I think most people are OK with the cat enforcement, as this promoted fairness, but the definition (I am guessing) is what prompted @David_Danser to headline this post as is.

Maybe we can agree one bit at the time… :wink:

I agree racing on your own is not fun, nor productive, so there has to be a way to design races and categories which make riders feel they have a chance - to be competitive, that is, not necessarily win.

I understand race organisers can define different parameters to “CE” riders in certain pens. So maybe they need to be aware of how they define the pens for various courses, in which case the same rider could be in a different category (and pen) according to the course, instead of being defaulted into a category for everything. This should possibly alleviate some of the male/female differences in mixed races too, as women do not have the same raw watts as men in the 15s/1m and even 3/5m, which, I agree with James, is what makes a big difference in winning.

3 Likes

Any progress updates re racing enforcement plans etc? @James_Zwift

We were getting a kind of timeline update occasionally.

In regards to the above discussion. This cat boundaries issue just has to be further improved. As many have pointed out repeatedly, allowing race organizers to adjust cat boundaries will allow more interesting racing.

Riders like David above will enjoy racing far more if they are not stuck at the bottom of some arbitrary fitness level. Humans are not born into categories. It’s make believe.

By adjusting these boundaries in certain races, we’ll give everyone the chance of being at the top of their category from time to time.

It was mentioned this was a long term goal. Are we talking weeks, months?

2 Likes

What @DejanPresen said. Flint posts monthly to let you know what progress we have made.

Bear in mind that the team are working on a number of things - category boundaries included. It will take a bit of time - Category Enforcement as it exists for us is currently an on/off with no further customisation options available but we will work on this.

4 Likes

image

everyone responds to training differently, sure, but you can train it. bear in mind that i am still around 54-55kg

I can understand why creating the capability for custom CE for community race organizers might be difficult, but from Zwift’s end, couldn’t they universally themselves change the cat definitions globally? Eg. for all of next week’s CE races, move all Cat definitions up or down 5%. Do the opposite the week after than, etc. I know that early on in the beginning of CE, numerous formula tweaks were seemingly made.

Start getting people used to the idea that racing Cats are not set in stone, and if last week’s race didn’t work well for you, maybe you’ll like next week’s.

Yes, we will start using random power ranges for categories. I can’t see how anyone would possibly be confused by that.

4 Likes

Its probably more intuitive for people who race or have raced in real life compared to those who have only tried it virtually (I suspect the VR only racers would probably also be a bit surprised at what happens when their front wheel touches someone else’s back wheel).

thing is, if you cant sprint being at the front is irrelevant as those that can sprint in the group are going to decimate you, I talk from experience on this

You can train to sprint. I mean, doesn’t mean you’ll be the greatest sprinter in the world, but you can train to get better at it.

3 Likes

category boundaries last week was to loose? one would say ?

When I race and I make it in the front group in the last±2km I call that a win.

Sprinting is for a special type of rider.

1000w is not a huge ask on fresh legs but very hard after chasing light weights over the climbs.

1 Like

The problem for me is that most of the events (especially in lower categories) are much too short. The events dictate the type of rider who can be competitive, 20 minute power is very short, and ZP (and CE?) only try to assess those short efforts. Getting back to the OP’s point, riders who know they can’t be competitive in the Zwift style of racing won’t be there at the back of the pack - many won’t show up at all. I use Zwift to train for endurance events, which means I have no plans to train for sprints or punchy efforts because that won’t help me reach my goals. You can count me among the riders interested in racing but mostly not finding suitable events.

1 Like

you could try FUSION thursday races (BST evening), DBR saturday races (BST morning), KISS sunday 100 (BST morning and BST afternoon). they are all pretty long (1:30-3hrs), run weekly, and are cat enforced/split. the pace is usually appropriately sensible

3 Likes

Oh yeah… they’ll be confused. But for only a little while. And no more than they are now when they can’t figure out why they’re categorized the way they are. But if y’all look a little bit longer term, there will be a dawning realization that it is, what it is, Whatever happened last week might be a different story next week.

I think it’s probably a losing proposition that everyone understands exactly where they stand in the ranking, how they got there, and how to game the system to place themselves wherever they want to be. So, just keep shuffling the deck.

A more workable solution might be for Zwift to introduce some easily accessible split-cat races (even better if they could do so with CE)?

My enjoyment of Zwift racing increased tremendously when I discovered the TFC Mad Monday Series.

1 Like

Wait. Are you saying that the categories will be set in stone?

Because I thought that one of the main points was to allow event organisers to change the boundaries, just like they can do now.