Did I calculate my race category wrong?

(Steve Riley) #22

I’ve found myself in the same situation dude, too fast for Cat C and too slow for B, I race in B but require breathing aids and medical team on standby, and I come around bottom of the Bs each time, I can’t drop to Cat C now as Zwift power has recorded me at Cat B So I get a UPG and no result (I tried it once). So I guess I have to just get faster, but at 45 years young it’s not likely to happen over night

(Galen Kehler) #23

Hey Zak :slight_smile: I’m honestly on a bit of a mission to figure out why I’m not stronger in zwift racing honestly. I know I have a high threshold, but also nearly nothing above threshold. I’m definitely an outlier, but also a good example i think why FTP is a poor measure to base on for zwift bunch racing.
I SHOULD be able to make up some ground on the flat, or at least the descent. As it is right now I can fight to stay with the B’s for a while and then finish a few min behind them.

(Galen Kehler) #24

I’m not going to worry too much about it this season, almost spring now. Zwift is a great way to train hard, but it’s almost time to get back in the real world, where it’s just me, the clock, and Wiggins in the distance :wink:

(Galen Kehler) #25

I just use the wattage I can sustain at a maximal effort for 1h as my FTP

(Pitch Blank) #26

No one other than Eddy Merckx is holding “The Hour Record” ! :yum:
Whatever Zwift is just not a great tool to do real races in. Category based on FTP. :rofl::man_facepalming:

The point is how FTP is measured?

  • CP5 + CP20? Both Cp5 and 20 in one day or each CP fresh at a seperate day …?
  • CP60 all the way?
  • In a race with others?
  • In a race against yourself, against the clock, ITT, TTT?
  • Hilly, flat, indoors, outdoors, temperature, wind, elevation, … so many factors …

… f.ex. watch this:

I guess now people come up with comments like he should just train a bit harder and loose some weight like in this topic here: To cheat or not to cheat

(Lin Alan) #27

You should definitely race as an A. However, the fact that you’re struggling w/in the B is also not that uncommon. If you are a steady state guy (e.g., triathlete, TT), and you are not used to constant changes of pace or short bursts way above threshold, that W/kg will still get you dropped in the B races especially if you’re not paying attention. You need to have good 1min and 5min power as well. In an A race w/that W/kg depending on who shows up along w/the course, you could be in the breakaway group or back of the main pack.

Zwift pack riding dynamics takes some getting used to, especially with slight delay between your increase/decrease in power compared to when it occurs in game. Once you get used to the pack dynamics, you can save a lot of energy like in real life. If you go off the back of a group in race, you’re almost definitely not getting back on unless you can go at least another W/kg faster than you were when you got dropped or find someone to drag you back on. Moral of the story, don’t lose the draft.

Also, knowing the courses is huge. Obviously you don’t want to race something going up Alpe du Zwift. 4.3W/kg is not going to make the cut! But there are also flat courses and/or rolling courses where if you measure your effort, know where any surges are likely to take place (e.g., short ramp/incline), you can do very well.

Got a buddy who races in the same Zwift category as you? Does he do better? Maybe have him watch you race and have him in your ear telling you where to be, when to move up, etc…

Keep at it!

(Galen Kehler) #28

I’m not sure pack dynamics or learning racecraft will help much, looking at the top 10 of my last race and there were a lot of 110lb guys, and I know from real life racing that I can’t hang with those guys up the climbs. I’m conceding over 80lbs to most of the lead group of “A” racers.
The same holds down the list, the guys closer to me are all averaging 100W less, but also 20kg lighter.
#doubledraft just accentuates this, if there was a #halfweight race, I’m sure I’d do better.

(Johnathan Freter [DRAFT]) #29

I’m going to try to say this in the nicest way possible. It sounds like your issue isn’t your power, rather it is your ability to ride in the group. Maybe it would be beneficial to you to “sandbag” in a lower category until you learn to race. Once you’ve done that, then you should rejoin the category that aligns with your power.

(Galen Kehler) #30

No need for diplomacy, you’ve just said EXACTLY what I’ve been saying. If I were to find a group that I could finish with the pack, that would be the better training, and the best way to gain the skill and fitness of zwift racing.

And if I start to win races I move up, just like real life. The only difference is, in real life, no one starts racing in their FTP category, you start in novice and move up.

(Alexander Perdon (CTWT)) #31

I basicly agree, categories should be based on your competence as a racer and not just be based on w/kg.

(Alexander Perdon (CTWT)) #32

My FTP is also around 220 watt, but I can certainly tell you that my legs are dead after 3 minutes of 280-320 watts…

(Galen Kehler) #33

I suppose it’s an inevitable part of the simulation, that we might each need several categories, like my real race licence.

For me my zwift cats look like:
Flat TT: A
Hill Climb: C
Regular race: B
Doubledraft: C

(Alexander Perdon (CTWT)) #34

For me it would be:

Flat : D
Hilly : C
Single Alpe : B/C
Multiple Alpe : B

(Robert C) #35

“My FTP is also around 220 watt, but I can certainly tell you that my legs are dead after 3 minutes of 280-320 watts…”

To be more exact, on a race I did last week - around 280 average the first 30 seconds, 250 the first minute, and 230 the first 3 minutes. I did the entire race (20 km with a good set of climbs) at 205 average. I ended middle of the D pack, but isolated for the last 5 km or so.

I also had a bunch of peaks in the 250-320W range during the race, mostly climb sections and catching up with attacks.

(Alexander Perdon (CTWT)) #36

That sounds more familiair to me. Although my weight is only 63kg, I will still finish mid D too despite the watt/kg is upper C / low B. ===> w/kg for most races is complete bullshit

(Galen Kehler) #37

A lot of it comes down to the language used. Calling to “doubledraft” makes it seem quite different than if they’d just called it “real mode” if they truly believe it is a truer-to-real-life simulation.
And the race organizers use very harsh language toward racing outside your FTP category, so I tried to stay in the “A” group for a long time based on threats of disqualification, permanent bans, etc, even though I’m finishing in 30th place.

(Johnathan Freter [DRAFT]) #38

Until there is a watchful eye over the Zwift racing, I would caution most people of doing this though. It would be easy for someone to enter a “b” or “c” race because they don’t have the skill to ride at the level that their legs can, then punch above their weight class and smash a lower level race. I think if it is being used as a learning tool this is okay, if it is being used at legit sandbagging (to boost one’s ego), that is Not okay. i.e. just don’t go into a “C” grade race (suggested FTP around 2.5 w/kg) and smash out 4.3 w/kg.

(Gerrie Delport TeamZF) #39

@AlexanderPerdon with a FTP of 220watt and weight of 63kg, you are a mid “B” rider. If you are not crushing the C group then you need to redo your FTP test.

Last year you did the Tour of New York - Stage 4 at a peak 20min power of 3.2w/kg

(Galen Kehler) #40

Yeah no one is talking about winning a race, I’m old enough that ego is as distant a memory as sprinting. Just trying to find a group to finish with.

(Alexander Perdon (CTWT)) #41

I am missing your point I guess. But just a note, I don’t always go all the way in Zwift since I want to train 3 or 4 times a week and I just take it for fun. However…if someone is close to his or her FTP for multiple times a week I highly suspect his or her numbers, unless he or she is very well trained or a prof.

But anyway, I am quite confident my FTP is about 220 watts.