Confused Cat Enforcement

So, I’m a Cat B class in Zwiftpower and have been enforced to Car B and Cat A races for pretty much the whole time of Cat Enforcement, until…!
A couple of days ago, I’ve noticed I can now enter Cat C races as well? My class hasn’t changed in Zwiftpower but Cat Enforcement has opened up a lower Category to me?
Needless to say I was confused. But, I decided to race the Race Like A Champion in Cat C and got dropped like a stone!
My power couldn’t match that being applied going uphill and I was pretty standard on the flat and downhill as well.
What’s going on? Either lots of Cat Bs have been opened up or there’s something else going on.
I admit, I’m not at peak fitness and perhaps I’m not as race sharp as I’d like but I didn’t expect it to be as incredibly hard as it was given the Cat FTP ratings. That power is in my locker?
Like I said confused…!

Can you link to the race and your numbers?

There are a couple of things that can cause a CE downgrade. A high short duration power during an activity that has made your curve steeper and dropped your CP value (especially likely if you do not have long duration max effort during the window), or key efforts have dropped outside of the 60 day window (ZP categories use 90 days).

TBH, James, I’m not sure how to link the race and my stats.

If it’s incredibly complex, which it appears to be. I’ll just accept it is what it is.

I think what was more disconcerting was the inability to stay in the race with people powering away at an incredibly high power!

Never mind, I’ll keep turning up, racing and doing my best.

Thanks for the reply.

it’s a 5min effort so expect Cat C’s to be pushing ~3.5wkg on the climb. race is mostly decided on that climb and it’s a well known course as used in UCI events in the past. shouldn’t be any problem for a Cat A/B rider though ;D (assuming ur talking about Knickerbocker)

maybe event organiser screwed up the options or something /shrug

Did you change your weight…check if it’s correct in Zwift App. Don’t use companion.

In fairness I got a pretty good response from Zwift central which I’ve posted below.
It does help me understand it better, but in essence, what I get from this is that if I ride zone 2 for 60 days, don’t race, just flatline then my category will drop.
Which perhaps answers the question with the front runners in the race. They may have dropped category also which basically means they are a B and better than me. I could check, but to be honest, it is what it is.

Hi Stormy,

Thank you for reaching out to us! My name is Eileen and I am a Support Specialist at Zwift.

First of all, congratulations! You’ve been doing a great performance, we’re glad you’re part of the Zwift community. I can imagine your curiosity about the categories and why now you’re able to race in cat C. I’ll do my best to give and explain to you the information about this matter.

From my understanding, you’ve been racing as category B or A, but a couple of days ago, you realized that now you’re able to race under cat C too. Now you’re wondering if you could be disqualified from racing under cat C if you are cat B in Zwift Power and what is allowing you to race under cat C. First I give you the answer and then I explain to you how it works.

No, you shouldn’t be disqualified for racing under cat C being Cat B in Zwift Power when Zwift opens that option to you. What allows you to race under cat C is the performance you have on every activity; either races or events, your performance determines what category is offered to you in enforced events. But, let me explain to you further how the category selection works.

At the moment we select your category taking into consideration Zwift Power Category and Category enforcement:

  • Zwift Power takes your 3 best 20-minute w/kg rides over a rolling 90 days to categorize you.
  • Category Enforcement takes your entire Critical Power Curve of all rides on Zwift over a rolling 60 day period to categorize you. The Critical Power curve takes all w/kg snapshots and takes the best numbers to place you in the correct category for your effort.

Although they work in tandem, they are separate classifications.

Example: You can be in Category B in Zwift Power, but category A based on Category Enforcement Metrics. They are separate classifications. When a Zwifter can’t ride a Zwift Power race in their Zwift Power category, it is due to Category Enforcement being included in the ride.

You could read our article about category enforcement [FAQ ] and find more details about this matter any time you wish.

Your minimum category is calculated taking into consideration:

  • Take a historical look at your maximum values for VO2max, MAP, and Critical Power as it’s captured in Zwift for all activities over the previous 60 days.
    Every ride you do in Zwift—regardless of if you’ve saved the ride or not—saves the power data that we use to determine your available categories.

You can reach the values for the category minimums in the tables inside this article [category minimums].
If any of your maximum values are equal to or above the minimums shown in the tables, you’ll only be able to race in that category or higher.

So the performance that you have had in the last 90 days to your Zwift Power category and the last 60 days to the Category enforcement, determines in what categories you’re allowed to race. As a plus, I also recommend you calibrate your trainer, to keep reading the correct data.

I hope this information helps you to understand better how it works, and let me know if you have any other questions or feedback.

well someone could theoretically do that but they would have to pretty much only race on zwift once every two months and never do anything other than recovery rides in between

Another possibility is it’s the start of colder weather in many places around the world now and a lot of people (like me) are just starting to return to Zwift after a summer outside and have very little Zwift data in the last few months. When I left Zwift for a summer outside I was restricted to A and B cat, now with only a few weeks back I’m allowed into C too.

@David_Stark it Roll 60day window. i think. some races have rules about blowing the Cap and get UPG, you can go and pubstomp Zwift Champ race with out DQ.