Category D Racing Support Group

Is there a reddit subgroup or something for us amateur racers in the D group that are constantly inundated with non-D racers that apparently have small egos and won’t race in the right group. Somewhere we can all sit around and lament.

I just finished a race this morning. 104 racers finished in D - 46 of those were over 2.5 wkg (ie, NOT D racers), and 22 of them were 3.0 or higher. The top wpk was 3.9. The fastest time was 34:54 (mine was 56:14).

Obviously it’s a Zwift issue. But I also don’t understand people’s mindset. If I played in my son’s U10 t-ball league and kept hitting home runs - I’d be embarrassed for myself. I knew it wasn’t fair. When I call out the B and C’s in the D race, all will ignore me. One responded one time, “I haven’t raced in a while”. I thought that was hilarious - then how about you race in B and if you’re in the bottom - you feel bad … instead of making us real D riders feel bad (he finished with a 3.9 wpk).

Yes, I’m venting. I’m never going to be a C racer - it’s not just in me, but I like to race - it adds a different element. But it’s tough when half to a third of the group shouldn’t be higher. They’re very, very ‘small’ people …

Cheers!

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Hi @Mark_Cheers1, welcome to the forums. I don’t know of any reddit threads, I’m not too familiar with that site, but you have a good idea.

If you have a few hours to spare, check out this thread:

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Hi @Mark_Cheers1

Welcome to the forum.

Sorry you had that experience. We have been asking Zwift for many years to do something about people joining the wrong category.

See the link Mike posted it is just one of the many threads on the topic.

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I Started 2 replies and realized I was just repeating the 2.4 k. comments on the other thread.

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I noticed the same ■■■■. I raced a crit city race last week. Came in 2nd. The top 7 finishers besides me were all above the w/kg for a D racer. I would be embarrassed if I had to cheat to win a race. Also I would be embarrassed if a true D rider beat me. Just my .02 cents.

Absolutely agree, same could be said of C races, it’s very frustrating to have to compete with B racers on ego trips all the time, the sooner we go to a points ranking system where you compete with riders with similar status the better, then we should be able to gradually improve our performances by regular fair racing rather than getting blown off and depressed all the time.

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C and D races are an utter shambles and have been for a very long time due to sandbaggers

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ZP D cat life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what placing you are going to get. It’s always exciting to see a :trophy:after finishing 12th or 13th or something. And if I win in real time in Crit City, it makes my week!

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I don’t show results on screen for my races so they only get the sanitised results in ZP… you still can’t stop them entering but at least they can’t see a result where as a B they won a D race…

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I did a ZHR Hare and Hounds race last night, an A cat sandbagger signed up with the D cat and pulled a small group of them all the way to the finish. We never caught them (C cat), however, it was a flat course in Neokeyo and the A’s and B’s never caught us C’s either.

I have not raced in a while and have been a C Racer for quite a while in the 2.9-3.1 range for full effort races. I signed up for once of the new chase races that Auto assigns and they threw me in D since I have no race data for many months now. I decided to not race. I am probably more like 2.7-2.9 right now due to the holiday weight, but the point is that I know I am not a D and would rather not skew results. I wish more people thought like that, but it is beyond most egos apparently.

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What series was that? WTRL chase races use their own algo’s to determine pen assignment which include your performance on that particular course. If its WTRL based, it works for some, and not so good for others (kept putting me in B and my stats are pretty much the same as yours. Ended up riding on my own within 1km of starts).

Welcome Mark, this has been a long standing issue - I’ve been racing for a year and a half or so since joining zwift, in Cat D. Very frsutrating given the inertia to solving the issue, but my only advice is to try and search the races for a low number of sandbaggers in D (zwiftpower will help here), a couple of hours before you want to race. You might get lucky with only a couple, but in truth the option is to try and forget them, and look forward to improving your w/kg, or beat a personal course time etc.

I did call out one of them a few days ago, and got a “shut up and ride”. Clearly, he knew what he was doing.

I know this isn’t news to you, judging by your responses, but here’s the official word from Zwift I got yesterday, "This is known as sandbagging and is not easy to control. There is an anti-sandbagging system being tested in some races and if successful, it is planned to roll out to all events. "

Cheers

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Yep - We’re testing category enforcement from Feb 21st.

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I run D only races and on a good night we get all genuine D’s… on a bad it’s chaos… there is usually a bit of chatter in the pen where we call out the guys out of Cat but that usually gets the normal abuse or I’m having a quiet ride…

Cat / Pen enforcement is the way forward and then I can make a big effort to advertise the races as at the moment it can give people a bad experience so I have held back in doing that in the way I would want…

All I can say is just go out and enjoy it, keep ZP Live handy and you will see out of Cat riders so don’t follow them… remember… have fun…

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I am really, really happy to hear that!

Mark

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it’s very frustrating to have to compete with B racers on ego trips all the time

There was a funny incident in a race last night where one sandbagger accused a worse sandbagger of cheating.

There’s some hope as I just did a Cat C Crit race and was actually contending for the win with 2.9 w/kg (in an 11 km long race!!). Things seem noticeably better since last year but I’ve only had a few races since a 2 week hiatus due to Covid.

The ego is apparently difficult to control. Now take a look at the KOM at Box Hill. The owner of which could not weigh much more than 15 kg .

@Mark_Cheers1 like most, I, too, am very frustrated, but am not sure how to address sandbagging/cruising. It seems obvious that Zwift is doing very little to address this. While the Category Enforcement race may be a positive step, I did not find it helpful since I couldn’t sign up for a “D” race – even with my 2.27W/kg avg – so I had to race against the "C"s anyway.

I have commented on several racers’ rides (using the companion app) “You must be very proud” after they “won” a race in the wrong category. Passive aggressive? Yes, I will admit that. I did have someone reply that he was sorry and I felt he was sincere. Everyone else just ignored me, so they either think I am actually impressed by them, or they are too ashamed to reply. I have given up on that since shaming people seemed like a poor way to address this problem.

One other idea might be if someone in “A” wants to ride in a “D” race there should be a way to level the playing field – like making them do it on a Buffalo Fahrrad (“B” racers would have to use a mtb for a “D” race and “C” would need a gravel bike for a “D” race). That wouldn’t solve the problem, but might be an interesting step. And at least you would know who is in the wrong Cat.