Group ride pacing is a mess - Zwift glitch?

I do 2 - 3 group rides each week and I’ve noticed that recently there are some horrible glitches with pacing.

I did a ride today and maintained a constant 2.8 w/kg pace on the flat Watopia routes (starting Out and Back).

One minute, the yellow beacon would be next to me…15 seconds later it would surge ahead and be 100m down the road with a massive gap to the main blob.

One minute, my w/kg keeps me comfortably at the front of the group, the next minute I’m having to pump out 3.5 w/kg just to hang on the back. The other riders are not surging and are saying that they are riding at a constant power also.

Further to this, I’ve noticed a really weird glitch where if I’m riding ahead of the yellow beacon, close to the fence, the required w/kg to maintain pace with the group is much LESS than if I’m in the main blob.

As an example, I was averaging 1.8 w/kg and coasting at the front, but then if I slip back I’ll need to hit 3.0+ to stay with the group.

This makes no sense at all - if I’m in the blob then I’ve got the draft; if I’m ahead of the group I have no draft and should find it more difficult.

During events, the ride leader/yellow beacon will frequently be asking ‘flyers’ to slow down, but we ARE slowing down - literally not even getting a decent workout - but the group behind pushing 3.0 aren’t catching riders by the fence riding at 1.8.

It’s all just really chaotic and I’m sure it didn’t use to be this bad a few months back.

Everything you describe sounds normal to me.

Flyers never really slow down and the pack effect just means that the pace stays constant.

There are differing drafts dependant on where you are in the group and if as you say you are sat at 1.8 at the front then unless it’s a Cat D pace you will find yourself drifting back and thus putting out 3+ to stay in.

There is a fine art to group riding and if you are close to your limit then you’ll bounce back and forth.

I don’t believe there have been any changes of late that has affected this.

Just to clarify, we had other comments in the group citing similar issues - this appears to be worse today than in previous rides.

I was sat at 1.8 at the front and NOT drifting back, that’s the point. I could have stayed there comfortably all day - I was able to keep pace with 160w easy; I had to deliberately let myself slip back into the group to try and get a proper workout. It was very strange.

Similarly, the group leader kept surging from next to us to 100m off the front of the group - with a massive gap between them and the next rider - in the space of 10 seconds, without changing their power output.