Category enforcement problem

I’m very much a mid level C rider and when I went to sign up for the classics race today I’m only able to join A or B. I’ve never averaged over 3.2 in a race except for a couple that were well under 20 minute rides. Any idea why I would be bumped and / or who to contact for help? I love racing on zwift and I’m no sand bagger as it’s currently everything I can do to stay with the front group in C class races until I get dropped like a rock on the final sprint and that’s on flat courses. Anything with lots of elevation I’m mid pack at best.


Hi Corey,

We have your estimated critical power as 274w, with your current weight, this comes out as 3.21w/kg/

The system looks at your power curve from 2-50 minutes, and having a look at your race data, I can see that you’ve managed 3.56 for ten minutes, at which point it starts to drop sharply to 3.25 for 15 minutes and then drops sharply again.

The system believes you are better than you think you are :slight_smile:

I think with your power, except on hilly stages, you’ll do fine in B and would probably comfortably beat me :slight_smile:

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Thanks James. So it looks like the two really short sprint races I did burned me on category. What’s odd is zwift power still shows me as C so category enforcement must be independent of zwift power I guess.

Yes, it doesn’t use 95% of your 20 minute power like ZP does.


Hi @Corey_Shidler, have a look at this thread to explain everything.

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I have the same problem.

I think as a female being forced to race B in mixed races (when I am actually C in both mixed and women in ZP) is a total killer - I barely can keep up with mixed C men. If there were more women’s races, maybe it would work, but B men vs B women? No chance. Plus I am not even sure I classify as B female, except by some obscure Zwift algorithm :wink:

I think this really needs to be looked at.

I’m happy with the cat enforcement system. I’m a low B on Zpower and allowed to race as a C under cat enforcement. But Zpower disqualified me for riding in the wrong category !? Will the two systems become aligned in the future?

The race was incorrectly configured in ZwiftPower by the looks. . With CE races, it should not be possible to get a ZP dq for entering any available category.

Nope - two entirely different systems so sometimes people will straddle both systems.

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@James_Zwift can give you some feedback on why you would be Cat B…my guess is your Critical power is just above 3.2w/kg and over 200W.

I have to compete in B and readily accept that I have absolutely no chance of winning a race.

Not winning races (and even getting dropped on the first climb, like me :joy: ) does not mean you are in the wrong category.

Happy to look at any examples though.

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My thoughts on CE are: I was a low B in Zpower and most races, even split category, I struggled to hold onto any attacks. CE places me in C and I have completed 6 races in C, never in the first 5 or 6 finishers, but usually in the front group. Most races in these races looked to be evenly matched. This for me has really improved the fun of my races. Looking back, I think the only reason I was in B was the Crit City races I did which were just over 20 mins at full throttle.


Most people (who have complained at least) have the opposite problem - they are ZP C’s but dont understand why they are CE B’s.

Looking at your ZP profile, you have some races older than 60 days but under 90 that are the ones that pushed you into B (ZRL and Crits) - they’ll drop off soon so unless you do some more efforts like those, you’ll be C in both.

The fun racing is definitely at the front regardless of which system - when Zwift build a ranking system AND allow organisers to adjust the pen boundaries, we’ll all hopefully have interesting races, not just those in the front group.

I think that if Zwift wants to encourage and support women cycling (we know you do! Bring on the Tour de Femmes!), it’d be helpful to understand that there’s a very big difference between men and women currently classified in the same category… There are a few ways to alleviate the problem, for example, women only divisions in every race, or different algorithms to calculate women’s categories for mixed races.

I’m in favour of cat enforcement, it’s the absence of difference in men/women calculations, and then making them race in the same category, which is not right IMHO.

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We have Women’s Only races for the Zwift Classics. Unfortunately attendance is so low it’s almost not worth doing it, but we will continue to do so.

You do have to be over a certain level of watts (250 in A, 200 in B, 150 in C) to be put into a category.

Uhm I’m below 200w, C/C and can only sign up in B/B. Hence why I’m puzzled…

Re women’s only, yes the attendance is low because the frequency is less than the mixed ones, so less “convenient” in a way. I think that if in every race there were women’s only categories, the women would race those instead of mixed. That is, not separate races, just separate divisions in the same races.


Based on what I’ve seen, I don’t think that would be the case.

We have your estimated CP at 210w.

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You’ve held 210w for 30 minutes so I think this is accurate.

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Looking at your profile you are over 200W…don’t look at 95% of 20min.
Category enforcement is not the average of 3 races…it takes all your best efforts from 2 to 50minutes to calculate your Critical Power and your MAP/Vo2max.

Read this Category Enforcement - How is my category calculated? [February 2022]
CE101.pdf - Google Drive

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agreed and it’s the same problem the old system had in that it did not really account for anaerobic or neuromuscular ability at all, which is largely what decides zwift races and also what really separates the genders. FTP and CP20+ aren’t deciding races, the only thing those numbers decide is what category you get shuffled into

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I completely agree with Ana. As I female I find it very discouraging that there is not enough support for women’s racing in Zwift outside of ZRL. As Ana wrote “That is, not separate races, just separate divisions in the same races” I other words start with the men but at the end get placed against our peers and not the men.