Category Enforcement - How is my category calculated? [February 2022]

CE does not just use race data, it’s all Zwift data.

In a race, most riders want to use the least power possible for a race finish position. They might and I suspect often do harder intervals in ERG workouts or even freerides.

Riders with a relatively flat power profile especially sub ~2mins, that often makes them more suited to time trials rather than races, are that little more likely to be in a higher CE category if close to a promotion boundary.

Hi @Rudiger_Reichow8072

Looking at your races it look like it was this race that put you over the top:
ZWIFT Racing League | WTRL - Mixed/Men’s EMEA East DIV2

Category enforcement (CE) don’t average your power it use the max numbers over the last 60 days. CE also look at different metrics than ZP so if you were on the line between C and B there is a good change that you will be in the upper cat.

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I think I have found The Perfect Zwifter.
Look at these results:


18 last races, 12 podiums. He must be very close to the category limit 4 w/kg, you say? Nope, his ZwiftPower rating is 3.52 w/kg (that’s actually below the average of cat B!) and his critical power is around 3.7 w/kg. Now sure how Zwift calculates “ZMAP”, but his 5-8 minute power is well below 5 w/kg. He must have a very high or very low weight, then? Nope again, a very normal 80 kg.

How does he do it then? I guess his 20-60 minute power is high enough so he can hang on to the lead group, and he has very good short term power which he also uses regularly (his Variability Index is often around 20%, Punch: 97%).

Should he be upgraded to A? Based on his results, absolutely.

But for now he gives hope to those who aren’t at the top of the category. Ride smarter, not harder :wink:

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This is where I get confused on the CE models. Yes, this profile is very interesting and his success his admirable. His short term power is very good as you say, but I understand that with the CE/CP models, this in fact would be more likely (since it’s high) to actually lower his CP.

He could have finished 10th in all of those podiums.

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if all anyone did was race the Long Island Cranx race they could have a near 100% win rate in A but that’s only because nobody enters it

How do you know his CE results?

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Of course I don’t know Zwift’s secret formula exactly, I’ve calculated critical power and ZMAP according to the PDF mentioned here.

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I mean, from what data?

CE takes in to account all Zwift activity not just races.

Well, in this case the rider has done only races in the last two months…

Zwift taking into account all activity actually makes it easier to manipulate your critical power. If I do a 3 minute free ride and achive 4.6 w/kg average in it (and then end the ride so I won’t affect my 5-8 minute max power), I might decrease my critical power enough to drop me back down to C… :thinking:

And in your next race you will sprint and be back in B. :sunglasses:

On a more serious note, if it’s that “easy” to bounce around CE categories (possibly on a weekly basis), it’s going to be a bit of a nightmare for team events with fixed cat boundaries, such as the WTRL ZRL and TTT series?

it isn’t. as i understand it, currently you can be moved up but the problem is you’re not able to tell that you’ve been moved up until you try to enter your next CE race, which would probably cause carnage in ZRL. but once you’ve been moved up you’re there for 60 days minimum

but once you’ve been moved up you’re there for 60 days minimum

[citation needed]

Sure about that? I won’t be moved down immediately if my numbers change for the worse?

No, because your best stats in the last 60 days will be what CE uses.

Thanks for the clarification. That certainly makes more sense.

Maybe they could use some kind of auto-messaging (red alert :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:) to tell you, or your team manager, that your CE cat has changed?

Teams are probably going to need much bigger rosters.

Highly unlikely. Unless you have done no max efforts longer than that in the 60 days.

And there lies a major problem for honest racers:

  • Dynamic in one direction only for 60 days. ( at least average of best 3 results gave some chance of a movement back at some point before time period is up)

  • But being dishonest all I need to do is keep adding a kilo to my weight until I see a nice + sign on the category I want to race in.

Category Enforcement - forcing people to race in or above correct category/pen - absolutely working.

Category Enforcement - method of calculating which category is most appropriate - still needs some refinement.

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By definition CE is putting people in to the correct category.

Its unlikely anyone’s fitness is deteriorating to a significant extent in 60 days. That’s the point - it’s a sweetspot to capture as many data points as possible and also allow for a time-out if fitness declines.

If you can perform once, you can do it again. Choosing not to, or being too fatigued, or stating that it was a ‘one-off’ effort (this isn’t a thing), whatever reason, does not justify the idea that you should be in a lower category. The only thing that would is a technical glitch.

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Absolutely agree with everything you have written. Just think the fine detail of how the category is calculated might benefit from a little refinement to reduce the ability or temptation to weight dope to get yourself back out of the correct category.