Event Timing Changes [December 2023]

Hello Zwifters!

With game version 1.55 release, we have included a change note that reads as follows:

This change was made as there was a discrepancy between the finish time riders saw in their results and what they saw on screen in the moments before they crossed the finish line.

The majority of events apart from time trials have results shown in elapsed time since the event start (gun time). This change will now allow riders to gauge their progression in an event based on a known previous result more accurately

Here is some more detail on what that means going forward:

  • All non-time trial events will now show your elapsed time in the HUD as the time from when the event started. For example, if you join an event that starts at 10am, the elapsed time during that event will begin at 10am when the event starts. This is a change from the current behavior, which shows your time beginning after you cross the start line for the event.
  • This change applies to all events except individual time trials (ITTs) and team time trials (TTTs), as time trials are better suited to chip timing.
  • Meetups are not included in this change given that meetups do not start in a paddock like events do.
  • If you join an event late, the time displayed in your HUD will be your individual chip time, beginning from when you started the event, as you will have missed the gun time and therefore have ridden less than Zwifters who were present at event start.

One final distinction to be made is that after finishing the event, your elapsed time shown on the HUD will change from displaying the “gun time” of the event to displaying your “chip time” (the elapsed time beginning after you crossed the event start line). This will continue until you change worlds or otherwise end the activity as it does today.

For example, if your event starts at 10am, you finish the event at 11am, but did not cross the start line of the event until 10:05 am, you should see the following behavior:

  • Your elapsed time during the event will display the time since the event start at 10am, and as you cross the finish line at 11am you will see one hour of time on the HUD. Once you cross the finish line, your displayed time will now show your chip time from when you crossed the start line at 10:05 am, which will give you a new elapsed time of 55 minutes until you change worlds and/or end your ride.

Note that your .fit files and subsequent Strava or other third party platform uploads will display no change in data; the information displayed when you upload your Zwift activities will continue to display as it does today.

If you have more questions or feedback on this change, please let us know! Your feedback is valuable. To keep feedback timely, we will be locking this post 14 days from the original post date.

Ride On. :ride_on:


but in a TTT (a WTRL one at least), the final results time will be the gun time, not the chip time. When you are chasing a time, it would be better if the HUD time matched what the final result was going to be.


Why is that?

I would of thought in iTT and TTT the gun time is the most important as that is what results are based on or does this mean that these race formats are moving to chip time for results?

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I wonder if Zwift is doing it this way because gun time might include the time you spend in the pens waiting for your TT time slot. Maybe Zwift just needs to do some programming to make gun time work for TT/TTT races?


You beat me to the punch, Eric. This is correct.

We have only changed the displayed time in your HUD during events. For ITT/TTT events, it makes sense to see your chip time, as you can spend a few extra minutes in the pen depending on the size of the event and when you’re slated to go.

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Does events in this scenario include Races (Those being scratch races?)

Am i understanding this right, if I am last across the start line as we roll out from the pen, and then get pipped in a Sprint finish over the line, I might still win on timing rather than placing?

Im fully prepared to not have understood this change correctly.

That’s incorrect, iTT and TTT have always used gun time so any extra time in the pen is not being added to the results or there would be big problems with results.

(ignoring Bologna iTT which uses chip time, not sure if any other iTT does this) TTT for sure uses gun time

but the chip time isn’t the final result time! You are obviously keeping track of when a rider/team is released from the pen because that’s what is used in the results. That’s the time that should be on the HUD - the time you sit in the pen is irrelevant.

Edit to add two strava posts with videos of the finish that show what I mean. The HUD time at the finish is different than the resulting finish line time

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Maybe there’s some confusion- I understand it as being “gun time” in Zwift is the stated time the event starts, say 10am. So in an iTT or TTT, your actual start time could be several minutes after the “gun time”. Gun time isn’t when the game tells your TT team to go.

But I’m confused on why for this change based on what @Lee_H said.

I think you can ignore me, as the finish results show Gun time and this change brings the HUD in line with that (i think - again im fully prepared to be wrong).

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I’ve definitely had races (in events/challenges where there were multiple different events that were scored by fastest time over all of them), where I would come in with a number I had to beat. Cross the line with my HUD showing a number faster than that number only to have the result on the final screen showing I didn’t beat that number after all. Happened often enough that I gave up predicting (or just mentally dropping 20-30s from my goal time to try to account for it). The scratch/points race thing is a start (and I get that the TT module may make it more challenging), but I hope this change is coming for TT too.

What is the startline ?

Is that the line under the countdown timer or the line under the banner?

In addition to that, placement in starting pens for big events (100+ riders) is getting more and more important?

But for mass start no draft ITT’s it isn’t important you can easily wait for minutes in the start pen and then start your race?

It can vary. But generally (but not always) there is a white line across the road as you leave the start pens (not each individual pen but the whole pen complex). This is the point where the timer would start before this update.

For example. In this video you can see the countdown timer goes to zero then the event timer stays at zero until they are outside the pens and before going under the banner. The event timer only start counting about 25 seconds after the race had actually started.

I presume that with this update the event timer will start as soon as the countdown timer goes to zero (which is how the final race time was calculated anyway). This change will bring the event timer and final race time into line with each other by removing that period at the start of the race where the event timer was not counting.

Sounds like this will make a positive difference to timed based GC series, such as the Zmonthly races, where you might need you need to finish within say 37mins to lead GC… While racing until now, you would have to cross the line with ~36mins30secs showing for your actual time to be under 37mins.

Actually I read ZI article and it makes more sense now. It’s better now, other than TTs.

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What about Zwift?
Will the first 15 seconds or so show on our race?
Previously neither Zwift or Strava shows the power of the event before the start line?

Will this also affect the distance meter for races that start in the Glascow pens going through Champion’s Sprint? Right now, races that start that way don’t have the HUD timer OR the odometer start until we reach the start of the Champion’s Sprint segment. That’s several hundred meters after we leave the pens. Probably the most egregious (at least that comes to mind) of these issues.

Will this make a difference to uploads to Strava I aimed for 15 mile today, my Zwift result in Zwift companion shows 15.1 mile with a time of 43:51.
The fit file exported and uploaded to Strava shows a distance of 14.96 mile with a time of 43.27.
It has always matched before, if I am trying to hit a weekly target on Strava do I now have to lengthen every ride to make up the shortfall ?
I have judt noticed the upload to Garmin Connect is 15.11 with a time of 44.18 !

I’m just confused by time-trial times. In an individual TT in the real world, there’s only one time, which is when you cross the start line till when you cross the finish line. Often, you’re on the start line with a standing start.

The HUD time I see in Zwift can be up to 30 seconds out from the time I’m given later. I’ve never made any sense of it, nor worked out whether either of them is telling me the time it took to ride along the course from start to finish, which is rather the point.

In the UK scenario, there’s a traditional emphasis on standard distances, such as 10 miles exactly, and riders will look for their fastest times for 10 miles on any course. It makes no sense if what is being timed is something different from that course. In reality, Zwift courses can be 10.3 miles or whatever, which is fine - the real world is going that way too, as courses become more difficult to find.

As I read it, this change does not affect TTs, and I can’t work out why because the current situation is so hard to understand for those.