Category enforcement problem

There used to be a lot more participation even in Zwift series like the Classics. I’m not sure if it’s ZRL or not but it feels like women’s attendance is way down since it got big which is disappointing.

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I believe on zwiftpower we can split categories after the race with this

I can use this at VirtuSlo events…but i don’t think this will help bring more ladies to racing.

Hey @DejanPresen - I have never seen this used. Could be interesting to see what happens. Are the women in the race going to have their own classification (eg. 1st, 2nd 3rd etc.)?

I think what we are trying to say here is that in mixed races, same cat, women and men are very different. I see B women cat racing in C mixed (which is valid) and beating men as their w/kg is “B” grade in women, meaning they can go above the 3.2w/kg boundary as long as they stay below 200w. Probably annoying for men! :wink:

Maybe a better way is to determine different cats for women as we definitely do NOT have the raw watts men have (at any level…), so we get smoked big time in flats, sprints, and downhill.

Zwift already gives more “drops” if you are female, so there could be an extension of some kind of gender-based calculation when determining the racing categories. As I said, I am in favour of the enforcement, but the categories have to be “right” in the first instance. Hard job - I know! :slight_smile:

I have tested this in one of our old events i can edit in Zwiftpower.
A, B, C, D, E are Men’s Pens

Women would be split into categories based on W/kg into:
F (Women A)
G (Women B)
H (Women C)
I (Women D)

I will use this starting in August for our monthly Virtuslo Racing Series every Thursday at 19:45 CEST / 17:45 UTC and in our Virtuslo eFondo every Sunday at 10:30CEST / 8:30 UTC


With the best will in the world, there is no way I can do this for 1056 events.

Anna - I’m a big supporter of female racing (I ran the SHEries series recently). Without making Classics a male only series (can you imagine?!) we will always struggle to get attendance in the female only ones.


I don’t want to be in your shoes :slight_smile:

Hola @James_Zwift - I agree the female attendance is low (I did the 1st Zwift classic race in B female and I was the only one, in the whole race! Depressing, and definitely NOT fun!!).

I :heart: racing, so this was a low point, as is when I get absolutely nowhere in a pack of B men in a mixed race. Riding on your own is lonely. :sob: I mean I am in the same category as a male friend of mine who is a multiple (age/master) AU champion on track - he’s huge, mega fit, young(er) and pushes BIG watts!! Ouch!!

That is why (IMHO) would be best to have everyone start together so there is a draft, but then classify the women with women. More fun, no? :wink: Men won’t feel hard done by some lightweight women with big w/kg ratios racing “down” a category, and leaving them in the dust uphill, and we/women won’t feel lonely racing on our own with single digit participation… :grin:

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My experience from running women’s only events (as a community event organiser) as a mass start is that I get shouted at by the lower categories because they think it’s unfair. They said they would rather be in a race of 3 people in their category rather than a mass start of 15-20. I disagreed but they were adamant!

There’s lots of options that we can consider, but I don’t think there is one good solution.

BTW I 100% get everything that you are saying and is one of my biggest frustrations.

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Nuts! Don’t they know about the draft?!?! :smile:

It’s not actually a great solution unfortunately, I’ve played with it a bit I think the problem is this has to be done instead of using Zwiftpower category enforcement, you can’t have both.
So if you have your race set up with classic Zwift categories, the ZP settings are to have power based enforcement on, or women’s categories on. So if you sort by women’s anyone who entered out of category won’t be moved or DQ in Zwiftpower if they entered out of cat.

Then if you use the new category enforcement settings then you will have to use the mixed CE settings for everyone on entry rather than being able to use the women’s only CE settings.

You would only get draft for as long as your threshold effort lasts hanging onto faster riders then you quite likely will be riding solo which is even worse than racing with 3 of similar ability.

i like a mass start every now and then but more as a test than a race. Everyone is different though and with numbers low it’s hard to find a balance to suit all.

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Wouldn’t it be more straightforward if the “Women Only Races” CE criteria, was instead used more broadly as just women-only, for whatever race they enter – unisex or women-only?

Category enforcement examines a Zwifter’s historical performances based on power curve data and then identifies the best minimum category they can join for a race. Category enforcement prevents a Zwifter from joining a category that’s too easy for them based on their power data.

Women A is from 3.7W/kg up…would you want them to race with men in A or B? Women only categories don’t have watt floors. They can’t be mixed with unisex as you call it :smiley:

As a long term D, I prefer the mass starts in different pens. You can see who is in your cat but race with others. I really enjoyed the Zwift series from ‘19-‘20ish that were like this.

The feedback (read as, lynching) I received when running women’s only mass start E events is that it was demoralising for lower category racers seeing everyone shoot off into the horizon.

Double Draft future should be more used in all races…cause it’s more like IRL and for the Mass Start races should be a default option IMO.
Looking at the calendar i found only 4 races with Mass Start and Double Draft :see_no_evil:

When are you going to bring Zwiftpower categories in line with category enforcement? It’s going to be confusing for newer riders.

For example, I’ve not raced for a long time and know my outdoor power is down on where it should be. Category enforcement gave me the option to enter either A or B, so I went B. After the race, my Zwiftpower category is B, but category enforcement now only has me able to enter A. (Probably should have entered the A race in hindsight!!)

I’ve always felt that the 20 minute efforts isn’t a good metric for categorising racers, and I think category enforcement makes a better job of it. It can’t be hard to have the Zwiftpower categories linked to category assigned by category enforcement, so why not bring these in line?

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Yep aware. We’re going to get this fixed.


That’s great news :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: