Green Cone of Sandbagging

How about at the bottom of the results with 'DSQ" next to their name?

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Good recap. I hope the cones are an “intermediary” step just to get folks used to the idea that Zwift is going to start policing this a bit more now. I think that from day one, Zwift has wrestled with the issue of sandbaggers in races. To be clear, I think that vast majority of riders on Zwift do NOT race so it made since (until COVID19) to sort of let ZwiftPower deal with the cheating.

But COVID19 has changed things a bit from my perspective. There are a lot more riders … new riders. And oh boy has sandbagging gotten ugly lately! In the last few weeks, it has not been uncommon for me to finish 20th or so on Zwift and be in the top 5 on Zwift Power! SOme of this is just riders not knowing what ZwiftPower is and not having accounts, but a chunk are the sandbaggers. Example: Yesterday, I finished 18th on Zwift (B). I then counted all the riders ahead of me with 4.2 w/kg or higher. I counted 11 or 12. And sure enough, ZwiftPower had me ranked in 4th or 5th or 6th (I forget). It was discouraging because I didn’t know who I was racing against. Let’s not even get into HR monitors (or lack therof).

That being said, it seems to me that the easiest way to stop this business is to nip it from the start. If you race, you eventually get assigned a category (maybe after 5-10 races) based on your average w/kg for 20 minutes. Uncategorized riders (NOOBS) can still race, but wont get into the results until they earn the “categorization achievement”. After that, Zwift assigns you a category based on an average of your last 5 races (Maybe the highest and lowest averages are thrown out? As are DNFs? To catch riders who give up after being dropped [thus resulting in a lower than average w/kg] only resuults that are within say 15-20% of your average are counted.) I dunno, just some thoughts.

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Hey fritz I have been having a problem as my ftp is 200w but I weigh 43 kg but zwift only allows 45 this to me is not that much of a problem but the thing is that on flat races I have to avg a higher WKG to keep up with some doing 300w weighing 70kg. As a result of this I am being put into the A cat but can’t even keep up with the B because my power output is so low but I weigh nothing

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ZwiftPower has you down as a C (due to your FTP being below the requirement for higher cats). As per Zwiftpower you need to hit BOTH of the requirements below and therefore you class as C on ZP (FTP=199) but if you raise that to FTP=200 you will be a B. Don’t know why you think you are being classified as an A?

|A+|4.6 wkg and 300 w FTP
|A|4.0 wkg and 250 w FTP
|B|3.2 wkg and 200 w FTP
|C|2.5 wkg and 150 w FTP

He’s being “classified” as an A in Zwift and I suppose he would be “coned” rather quickly in a “ZHQ Beta Crit City Race” ! I’m not sure why Zwift can’t just use the proven formulas of ZP to avoid silly situations like this.

I just did a “ZHQ Beta Crit City Race (B)” (I am a B in ZP with) but got coned in the last lap while I’d been hanging on for dear life for pretty much the entire race, had been dropped by the second group and was about 25th. So yeah I ended with 4.1/313 but certainly didn’t spoil anyone’s race. I’m 76kg so neither light not heavy.

In any case looked at the B results on ZP shows “inconsistent data”…https://www.zwiftpower.com/events.php?zid=577479 - it seems the cheating happens more on size/weight than on what Zwift is enforcing !

Anyway, has anyone figured out where the throttling happens, on watts, on speed ?

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My son (10years, 3Xkg, 145cm, zwift kids account) tried a beta race today in D category and immediately got a green cone. He needs to push 2-3 wkg to follow normal weight D racers so C would not really work for him because of the low weight.

I know I’m a bit late to the party here, but I only just got a chance to join a Beta Crit City race today and I’ve got to say I’m a fan. And not just because I won the race either (first time I’ve ever done that BTW)!

For 95% of the race, I felt like I was actually racing against my peers - I knew that all of those around me were people who I was actually competing against and I wasn’t worrying about which riders to chase or not because I wasn’t sure if they were really the same category as me, like I usually have to.

For the record, we had four green cones handed out - one on lap 2 of 12 for someone who went out the pen at ridiculous speeds (that happened at about the 3:30 mark of the race, so way before the 5 minute power would be calculated) and his 8 second lead at that point disappeared within 30 seconds. He then quit the race as soon as the pack overtook him when I think he realised that going round 10 more laps with the disadvantage wasn’t to his taste.

Then two riders who were in the leading pack for most of the ride were coned on laps 10 and 11 respectively when they tried to break away from the leading pack - I’m assuming they’d been right on the cusp of being coned for much of the race and this effort was what tipped them over. The first guy had actually gapped us back on lap 9 and got as far as 16 seconds in front before he got hit (about a lap and a half later). Once again, it didn’t take long to wipe out that lead, probably only a minute or so; and once caught he dropped back behind the pack, but stayed in the race and I think finished 4th.

The last one only happened in the final few meters before the line and would not have had time to take effect - literally the cone came out and the race was over half a second later, so I don’t know if this one really counts!

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So is this still in beta testing? Getting frustrated seeing A/B class riders in C races taking top 5 to top 10 positions and nothing being done about it…

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This response is mostly about Zwiftpower (now owned by Zwift entirely)
I got “upgraded” and taken out of results. My wattage was 253 for 18 minutes and the 20 minute cutoff for B would be 252 watts. So now my ftp is based on 18 minutes? (Bologna time trial) I’m not upset, it is laughable because I coasted the first 8 minutes and only raced the hill. I would have been last placed A rider instead of B win. So, I guess I was sandbagging according to Zwiftpower I wound up in the A pack because nobody was pushing hard on the flat but I didn’t expect to be as fast as I was on the hill. (B’s started one minute behind and caught the A group ahead)
My takeaway? Just stay with A and place last…

Not sure if there is anything new on this topic. I have always been a middle C rider and lately have trained up to be a borderline B rider. I have never won a C race but on Zwiftpower have hit podium. When I ride in B group I am usually riding alone at back or maybe leading a small group. I find it more annoying that people sit on my wheel the whole Time and pass me at the finish than worrying about
Someone participating in the wrong Cat. You might say this is smart racing and maybe I should move to a time trial but I don’t want to do a short race like Crit City at 75% playing games. Anyway I had a warning come up when I tried to enter a C race tonight so I could ride with my friends. Despite similar issues watts/Kg I was 3.4 and they were 3.5 and 3.2 they finished in C group with times 2 minutes ahead of me presumably because they rode in a pack and I rode alone. Maybe we need more categories… I don’t know but bumping me up takes the fun out because I am getting crushed in B!!!

I haven’t been racing on Zwift recently, so I can’t say if anything has changed. I suspect not…

Your case is a perfect example of why a results based system would be better.

If we’re sticking with w/kg based categories, I agree with you that more categories are needed. The current ranges are too wide. Another option might be to take the entry list and divide it into equal categories (four? five? six? more?) at the start of the race depending on the number of entrants.

As for riders sitting on your wheel… well, that’s just racing. Sucking wheels isn’t usually the best way to earn popularity points in the peloton but it’s a valid tactic. Find a way to shake them or ease off until someone else takes point.

Would be great if the green coned riders where getting invisible to the riders that is not coned that way you would atleast know wich riders still where in the race. And ofcourse would get an annoying message all over the screen that tells them to leave the race and try a higher cat next time.

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Eric Min himself said first week of May. Didn’t specify a year though…

To be fair this is a waste of time anyway. Riders need to be racing other riders of similar ability (ranking points) determined automatically by the system. Categories don’t work initially, and then dealing with them during the race is too late.