D to C

I’ll call myself an ex-athlete as I’m just two years away from my 70th birthday. I’ve been competing as an honest D level athlete and I have seen marginal improvements over the last few months, however, I have never averaged more than 2.5watts/kg, in any race. A few days ago i took part in the EVO CC Race Series on Innsbruckring. Out of 32 D starters I finished 6th, more than two minutes behind the D winner. Two of the finishers had 2.6watt/kg averages and, going by the heart rate data, all of them were condiderably younger than me. Can someone at Zwift explain why I was moved up to C? I went from 6th in D to 48th, and last, in C. Strava estimate my FTP at around 190 although on Zwift it is 210. The 210 is optimistic. Anyway, nobody enjoys being last and if Zwift thinks that an almost 70 year old is encouraged by this strange move, it is mistaken, because the only way is down.

Take a look at your profile on the zwift.com website. Go to My Feed → My Profile → More Info and you will see info about your best power numbers along with the dates that they happened. Category Enforcement uses most of those power numbers (at least from 2-30 minutes) from the last 60 days to calculate your minimum category. If your 20-30 minute power is high but the short power intervals are low (below your abilities) then your category can be inflated. Getting dropped in a race and doing a long chase can give you a nice long term power increase. But sometimes your category and zFTP can go down if you target the shorter term power numbers in free rides or workouts to see if you can increase them. If you want to post a screenshot of the data here you might get more advice about it.

There was another recent thread about this:

Age is not factored into the category calculation.

Obviously, Mike. I’ve actually just raced again, as a D on Greater London Flat, performing slightly better than Innsbruck (shorter race), but Zwift has left me as a D. I guess it’s difficult to rationalise with a computer program. But the real issue is, should borderline transient improvements affect category, for any age?

I don’t work for Zwift but might be able to add some information, most of which can be seen on your ZwiftPower account.

Zwift currently operates two race categorisation systems. Sometimes it is not obvious which type of race you have entered.

ZwiftPower (ZP) - you find your ZP category on your profile page on ZwiftPower.

Category Enforcement (CE) - you find that on Zwift.com as pointed out above.

Until recently I suspect you were Cat D under both systems and able to enter any race you liked as a Cat D. However your last three races, immediately before this EVO race, took you to a three race/event ZP power average of 2.51w/kg (95% of 20 minute max )

This 2.51w/kg makes you a ZP Cat C and you entered the EVO race as a Cat D.

The EVO race description said that it was a CE race and as such should only let you enter the appropriate category, which I think is Cat D.

However I suspect, with no firm evidence, that the EVO race may somehow have been set up as a ZP race. When the results were produced I suspect the system saw that you were a ZP Cat C in a Cat D and applied one of the ‘disqualification’ options for riding out of category which is to promote you to the bottom of the Category you should have raced in.

Your last race was a Race London which is run under CE. This race allowed you to race in Cat D.

One old problem with ZP races is that the system allows you to race in a lower category than you really should - and then be disqualified.

I think for the next 2-3 months you will need to be careful not to enter ZP races unless you are prepared to race in Cat C.

You can still race CE races as a Cat D unless you keep improving which appears to be happening (congratulations at still improving at nearly 70) as I suspect you are close to being a CE Cat C.

Thanks, Ian, it’s obviously slightly more involved than I thought, but many thanks for taking the time to explain it to me. Perhaps I should now focus on the positives and start preparing to move up to Cat B! Many thanks again.

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