Group Ride Sandbaggers: Rapha Rising

So for the heck of it, I thought I’d browse the starting list on ZP for the Rapha Rising Stage 1 tomorrow morning at 10am PST/6pm GMT with an eye to Cat C since that’s what I’d be riding if I was able to fit it into my schedule (can’t). There are over 1000 riders in C and another grand in D with 420 in B and 139 in A. The cats are divided by the standard w/kg numbers: A is +4.2, B is 3.2-4.2, C is 2.5-3.2 and D is <2.5.

I put them in 20 minute power order and it took halfway down the second page before I got to the real C power entrants; the C categorized riders started about 3/4’s the way down page one. Literally the first 150 riders were A+, A and B’s. I didn’t look at the D group because I just ate dinner and I don’t need to get my stomach even more fired up.

WTF? The course is the same for all cats. It’s not like there were too many riders in A or B. What is the point of doing this? Show the little kids how fast you are?

This might’ve been a good opportunity for ZHQ to test out Category Enforcement in a slightly different setting. It still has an impact on the slower riders; don’t ever think it doesn’t. There is a reason the organizer set up pens like this and it’s not to disperse the riders so we don’t get the system overloaded.

Jeez guys (it’s mostly dudes doing this) get a life. Your real group isn’t oversubscribed. Go ride with your own people and leave the others alone. Trust me: We won’t miss you.

I really cant wait till that lot encounter the new enforcement regime. Should be some really good popcorn moments around here based on what we are already seeing!


Good plan mate…BUT… if you upset subscribers you lose paying customers. Often the “newer” customers aren’t as flexible as the existing ones and may stop their subscription - reducing total game numbers.

I do want the system to be more honest and encouraging rather than full of over powered trophy hunters. Let’s see what happens over the next few ride series/events.

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Maybe they wanted to ride at C pace? I mean, that’s how group rides are usually classified, by the pace of the ride rather that potential ability of riders. . I’ve certainly ridden in plenty of 2-2.5w/kg rides before and I’m a solid B.


When I read the information what do I see.
Early reading - Yes it is definitely a race over three stages.
Later reading - Kit unlocks and chance to win £1500 or £500 (and we all love to win these things) encouraging a Group Ride frenzy.

So I would ask Zwift which is it - Race or Group Ride - One needs no rewards the other appreciates them.

Unfortunately the messaging is scrambled on that point, from the website description…

Yes and no. While this is meant to be a unique challenge that puts your legs and lungs to the test over three tough stages, you’re welcome to participate in the General Classification—just register on ZwiftPower prior to the challenge."

Zwift and large sponsors seem hesitant to make marquee events races lately (perhaps it results in lower participation or less inclusivity?), but trying to make one event both is just confusing. Seems like it would have made more sense to have two events, one which was explicitly a race and had cats and the other which was open cat E and was just a group ride.

Edit: The issue is that if it’s a group ride, there’s no such thing as sandbagging, it’s just sticking to the described pace and following the rules. It’s only sandbagging if it’s a race.

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In all honesty, I nearly signed up to this event in Category C, because a) it’s a group ride and b) I don’t want to push.

But I’ll just be all lonely and unloved in A instead :cry:

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@James_Zwift, how does the GC work, does it matter what cat you sign up for? Will everyone, regardless of what cat you ride in, be compared to everyone else or will each category have it’s own GC?

If the latter, then this will be a mess…

It’s currently set to DQ for out of category.

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I think it would be wise to communicate that more widely however, those who signed up below their ZP cat probably don’t realize they may get DQ’d for a “group ride”.


Reasonable feedback.

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a broken clock is still right twice a day :wink:


The GC thing makes it all a bit confusing, and the way the events are set up makes them look like races. But, they’re group rides - they come up in the Companion app if you filter for group rides. Call me a sandbagger if you must but I’m signing up for a lower category because I sure don’t want to (and can’t) ride at and above my FTP for ~4 hours over the next 3 days!


Be advised that you will be DQ’d from the GC for entering a lower cat. You don’t need to ride at threshold the entire time just because you sign up for your ZP race cat either, you can ride slower.

If there is a GC, then it is a race and should be setup as one, IMHO.


This is why we need cat enforcement. there won’t be any doubt if it is a race or not.


I’m fine with that, I just want to complete the rides and get the swag - not looking to be competitive.

Thank you. Yes information clearer on Zwift information. I read about event on ZwiftInsider but didn’t click link to Zwift event information. My failure and apologies to Zwift.

I may have to learn how to turn my email notifications back on and start getting information direct from Zwift rather than through a third party.

To those who have much more experience of Zwift event information have they always been promoting the sign up to ZwiftPower? Seems like a very good idea in regards future racing and results publication.

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It shouldn’t be possible to be DQ’d from a group ride. I think the way this event has been set up is fundamentally incorrect. If it’s a race, with rules, consequences, and placings, it needs to be set up as a race. If it’s a group ride, you can’t fairly use the results to DQ and categorize the results.

Like you, I do not think most folks will not notice that it’s GC competition and they will sign up for the pace the want to ride (not their race pace) because that’s historically and usually the way group rides work.


I don’t understand how these events aren’t races. There’s a GC. So it’s a race, surely?

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Yes. But also, no :joy:.