First race pointers

Hi, I entered my first race today and have a few questions. I got left behind on the lead in, at the very start of the race it seemed all the others disappeared so I took it at an easy 150watts or so for about 10-15 seconds them boom was back in 65th place or so. How do the lead in’s work? There was a group a bit ahead of me and I was whacking in a lot of effort to try and catch them, started in the C catergory and should be towards the top of this and entering the B’s. But I was pushing about 4wkg trying to catch up on the lead in lap.
Also how do the sprints work as I’m sure I was top of the leaderboard however when I look at ZP everyone just has green power for the sprint and no time, is this normal?

The lead-in is part of the race, when the flag drop it is go go go.

I don’t think there was sprint points/times for that crit race.


Yes, this sounds like a Zwift race. You need to spin up and get your power up a few seconds before the start or you will get dropped right away. Plan on going hard for the first 30 seconds or so before it starts to settle down.


Ha ha lesson learnt for next time, mine was almost like a connection issue I was ahead of everyone I could see so took it easy for a little bit then boom everyone appeared and quite a bit ahead. Doe leads work the same way as the race or is there any restrictions as the group ahead we’re about 2wkg and I was pushing 4 to try and rejoin (and I’m almost 90kg) and I wasn’t gaining much ground on them, or is that purely pack the joy of dynamics.
Can I ask what the point of the lead is in then if you just start racing straight away?

1 Like

Ah bugger twice I went to set a good time on the sprint :joy: that was a waste of energy I guess


often the lead in is just the distance from the start pen to the beginning of the first lap. if the course is multiple laps of a circuit, you wouldn’t ride the lead in section more than once, so it’s not counted in subsequent laps

1 Like

Ok sure the lead in today was 4-5mins which seems a lot on a 20min race and I just wasn’t sure what the point in it was or whether it restricted your speed or anything.
Will have another quick go tonight to see if I can get a better finish

Was this by chance on the Champs? Due to the placement of the start pens, the “lead-in” is something like 1/3 or 1/2 of a lap, so yeah, it can feel a little wonky. In the D-cat FutureWorks crits on the Champs that are only a single lap, literally 1/3 of the race is “lead-in” :joy:

Yes it was on the Champs
Just looked at my stats on zwift and it seems a bit odd to me how my average power is quite a lot higher but I only placed where I did, why is this?

Personally treat the lead in as part of the race distance. Personally I start ramping up the power to about double my FTP from 5 secs from the start at least and then go hard with the group ( hopefully the front group) until it settles down. If however it is a race where A,B,Cs etc start together (different pens though) I normally aim to be in the front 2nd or 3rd group as know I can’t stay long with the higher cats normally. Try not to hit the front of any group in my view unless it is a small group and then it is a case of taking turns on the front. I am no expert though so others will have better suggestions no doubt and it is a case of giving it time to find out what works for you. In relation to your higher power than others questions, did you hit the front of a group often? How long were you on your own? The others probably raced more efficiently etc, it took a while for me to learn to do that although other factors such as weight/height will also come into play

Well I had another race tonight. It went a bit better and I got a better start than yesterday, stayed with the pack for a bit then it split and I got dropped and was struggling to catch up again was pushing 4wkg+ but the lead group was still pulling away.
Managed to get disqualified for no HR which is fair enough I’m happy to just get a decent workout in, the only thing is being disqualified does that skewer my stats as on my ride the 15s wattage is like 4.5wkg but I went for it on the sprint and got top of the board so surely it should show higher?

Don’t worry about it, there’s always another race, and you’ll keep on improving with practice. The HRM requirement is just so silly, there are a million ways to cheat and virtually none of them are prevented by the rider wearing a HRM - has anyone ever been disqualified because their HR data showed something dodgy? It’s just another point of failure on a system that has enough glitches already. IMO.

I know if I wanted to cheat I would make myself shorter than over 6ft and 90kg :man_facepalming:t3:
A bit annoying though as my set up is right on the edge of my WiFi and dubious about adding extra connections in incase it effects my connection but suppose I don’t have any choice if I want to get involved in the races.
Any reason though why my 15seconds average isn’t showing from tonight’s race as I have a figure there but it’s off

Results arent processed yet - wait for the lightning bolt to go green.

sometimes it takes a few hours to process the full activity on zwiftpower, and very rarely (twice for me in about 500 events) you can get unlucky and it never does

Thanks I seen it did update after an hour or 2 :+1:t2:
Last question I think, if you get disqualified you can still continue in the race it just won’t show on ZP is that right? As it will be a little while till I get a HR monitor but wanted to carry on entering some races, not fussed on the ZP rankings just using them as a form of training as I can still see the workout on my zwift/strava

1 Like

The DQs come after the race on ZP so yes nothing will stop you entering a race without a HR.

You will appear on ZP results under the filtered tab so you can still see your time just not in the ranked finishers list.