How do Race Categories Work?


I’m new to zwift, how do race categories work ?

I signed up for Ventoux today (I hate climbing :slight_smile: ), I’m fairly sure all the categories were 1.5 to 5.0 w/kg or at least they were for D and E

Why are they the same ?

Hi @Gary_Constable, for the large Haute Route events they made all the categories the same because of the large numbers of participants.

Earlier this year, the first Haute Route event had the standard categories and the huge number of riders caused all sorts of crashes, so they just made all of them the same to avoid that.

Usually races and group rides are broken down by watt/kg. Your FTP will give you the correct category to ride in. So if your FTP is 200 watts and you weight 100kg then you are 2.0 w/kg. And that would be D category.

A is 4.0 and above
B is 3.2 -4.0
C is 2.5 - 3.2
D is under 2.5

With the large tours and events they sometimes will change up the categories so you need to pay attention. However, for everyday races and group rides it should follow the table above.


Thanks @Mike_Rowe_PBR :slight_smile:

What Mike said is right, but the problem is that many like to race in categories below where they should be. I think it makes them feel superior to be able to beat people in a lower group, they are quite sad really. I’m in my late 60’s so there’s no way I’m going to reach the next higher category, but it would be nice to compete on a level playing field.


This is why I asked the question, all the of the Cat A people were in the Cat D race.

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This wasn’t technically a race, however ZwiftPower was running a GC to track your progress across the 3 stages. It didn’t matter what category you chose for this event.


Categories for the Virtual Haute Route Ventoux events are set up differently than what we typically see. Every event has A-E categories, but they are all for the same ability level and route. Basically, it appears Zwift has set it up this way so ride groups are smaller, since Zwifters on low-powered/older devices sometimes suffer from bugs or crashes in busy rides.

If your system bogs down when you’re in large group rides, join the category with the least number of riders. On the other hand, if you want to ride with the largest group possible, sign up for the category with the most riders!

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They don’t work, that’s how they work

Hahahaha :rofl:


I was going to chime in with: “Poorly” but you beat me to it.

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