Getting dropped during supertuck - even no. 1 on Zwift

Hi all,
This week, I participated in a race on London Loop. On the second descent, I was all of a sudden dropped from the pack, I was in (roughly 10 persons). I heard on the live stream that the same had happened to no.1 on Zwift, Lennart Teugels, and also some others. He was able to ride back to the group on his own only to win the race! Unfortunately, I was not :).
I wrote with Teugels afterwards, and he thinks it was a glitch (see the conversation on the Companion app, DCU race this wednesday).

I am not sure, though, and would like to get some opinions:

  • the draft 3 protocol, could this be the case?
  • the route down the box hill, perhaps?
    I weigh 76 kg, so I do not think the a low weight is to blame. Also not my trainer: the avatar was in supertuck.

If it is changed dynamics (as I suspect), do anyone then know how to handle it. Like, if you find you avatar slipping ever so slightly down the pack, should you immediately tramp the pedals for some watts to regain speed and then super tuck again (as opposed to pedaling with less watts for longer time)? Or how?


I doubt it’s the new Pack Dynamics. I think it’s more likely a glitch, perhaps a connectivity issue, where Zwift momentarily decided that you weren’t drafting with a pack and hence altered your speed and that was enough to spit you out the back.

I’m only making a guess, of course. But we haven’t had loads of other people complaining about being dropped while supertucked.

There are a couple of reasons why this happens. Firstly is a glitch where Zwift for whatever reason don’t allow your avatar to enter the supertuck even at 0 watts. This has happened to me several times, and the only thing to do is to start pedaling as soon as it does it and then try again. The second thing is the trainer, where some trainers can be bad at actually reading 0 watts. As far as i know the Elite Direto XR can show this behaviour, and did do it for Pim Van Diemen who was dropped from Teugels on the last lap in the DCU race. If you check his dual recording, you can see how the trainer takes 10+ seconds to drop from 30 to 0 watts, despite his PM dropping right away

You’re right, but the OP said that his avatar was in supertuck :wink:

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Missed it sorry. Thought he was dropped because he couldn’t enter supertuck. Maybe this is some of the same behaviour you see on the radio tower descent, where if you hit the front to early people can come flying past you and you get dropped. In small groups like his it doesn’t require a lot of speed difference to drop out of draft zone, so if he hit the front at the start of the descent, with a small gap down to the rest of the group they might have had to much of advantage in speed for him to catch up.

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Thanks for explaining, Joakim. I think this was what happened! I was at the front ever so little and waited for the pack to catch up - but of a sudden found myself out of the backdoor. Maybe I waited a sec or so too much before I reacted but then gave it a max 1 min effort to regain contact. But the pack simply sailed away.

Do you think this happens on steep descends in particular, like from the Radio tower? And has it always been so?

I have not experienced it for - but absolutely something to look out for!


PS: Teugels skriver i chatten, at han måske ikke skal køre med til vm. En skam for helheden - men måske ikke så meget for jer, der skal bære dannebrogstrøjen den dag :). Alt det bedste med forberedelserne og udtagelsesforløbet!

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Yeah, steeper and longer descends are more problematic, so especially radio tower and Bologna, can be a problem in smaller groups

The underlying problem is the unrealistic speeds on descents with no slow down due to tight corners.

That is an issue, yes. But it doesn’t apply to the Box Hill descent described by the OP, since that has no tight corners.

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Momentum can work against you if you are at the front, slow a bit in the wind, and then the group behind sweeps past at a higher speed. You don’t get enough time in their draft to accelerate, before they are ahead of you. It’s a bit unsatisfactory of course but I wouldn’t describe it as one of zwift’s biggest problems!

I was dropped like this on the bologna descent last time I did it in a group ride. 81kg and supertucked (but quite tall, which probably handicaps me even in a tuck). What made it more annoying is I’d waited for the leader at the top, rather than just going down and waiting to be caught at the bottom.

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If you get into supertuck, in any decent, you get dropped. It’s just completely unrealistic. It happens so fast you cant react to it. Secondly, the pack dynamics are the worst I have experienced in ages. They seem to work differently depending on connecting via Bluetooth or Ant+. The biggest problem is that my avatar positions himself so unrealistically, something an ordinary cyclist would never ever do. I always find my avatar riding on the side of the pack or moving over for people pushing from behind.
Additionally, very frequently, he sticks on the side of the pack, and the pack starts pulling away, but the avatar doesn’t move over into slipstream, causing me almost to lose the group. This is just BS; sorry. The list goes on and on and on. I have been on Zwift since almost launch date, and from all Group dynamics, this one is by far the worst ever.

I think I have seen a change in the supertuck behavior lately. Previously, it was not a problem to start supertuck from the back of the field, hit the front and then continue to go with the group, even if some where soft padling. Now, I’m often spit out the back if I try to do the same.

The TTTs over next couple of weeks will be a good test of this as they have steep descents and people will notice if they suddenly split.

Thanks for replies and comments! Hope Zwift is taking notice. The real problem is the irregularity: you can predict when you are in danger of getting dropped and react in time. It is unrealistically. It should be easy to change this since it is confined to supertuck only. Or perhaps go with uci and drop the tuck! :star_struck::scream::call_me_hand:

backpedalling can also put you in the supertuck if you get that glitch, as long as your primary picks up cadence from backpedalling.

i have that direto x issue you mentioned so i prefer to just ride z1 downhill and not supertuck at all, but if i use my PM as my primary i can backpedal into an instant supertuck