I have been trying to improve my drafting technique in a big blob to help in races with lots of robopacer practice as well as racing, and have seen some improvements. I can now usually avoid the <off-the-front/rapid speed loss out of draft/dropped through the blob/sprint to get back on> cycle that I struggled with when I started racing and my average power for the race is a bit lower. However, I still have a problem that I haven’t figured out and am looking for advice please.
Occasionally I move from near the middle of the road and front half (but not the very front) of the blob to the side of the blob where I am usually shown off the side of the road itself and without anyone directly in front, this sideways move takes maybe 3 or 4 seconds to complete but at first is hard to notice vs normal small sideways movements. Once I am off the side it appears I lose all draft as I start to slow down and the blob quickly passes me. I have to sprint hard to get back on and avoid being dropped by the blob.
I have tried both sprinting and have tried easing-off the power as soon as I notice the move to the side but neither seem to prevent the sideways movement. I do not use steering.
Does anyone have any ideas on how to avoid this, or is this just one of those things I need to anticipate (i.e. sprint hard earlier)?
If there’s a way, I don’t know it.
I’ve just come to see it as one of the annoying quirks of Zwift blobs. We have no control over where we are, and the draft algorithm pushes us around as it sees fit. It’s a pain to be in a great position only to be pushed off it by someone else.
Sometimes I feel like I wish Zwift had collision detection in some instances, so once I’m in the midst of a pack I can’t be pushed out (since that usually means passing through someone else to some extent). But I’m sure that would come with its own set of annoyances (such as never being able to get in to the middle of the pack as there are already other riders there).
I also find this annoying because it happens out of my control. I think I have seen that it does not happen that often if I’m close to the front. It is caused by the continuous flow of riders coming from the back, who punches you to the side. Sometimes it helps to try to equalize your speed with theirs.
It could be that it will be easier to control our own position in the pack with the new pack dynamics that are being worked on.
stay last wheel. other benefits include being able to see what everyone else is doing, other people not being able to see what you’re doing, and also getting a ludicrous slingshot whenever you launch a sprint
The only problem with staying at the back is that you might be slower to react to changes at the front. The pack stretches out and if you are not on alert, you could be gapped/dropped.
In smaller fields, it is my go-to place also.
Nice Sprint - are you riding a new trainer and if so has it added 100+ W at top end?
nah, that’s from my old direto x, which does tend to read maybe 3-5% higher than my secondary in the sprints but i am still not hitting any numbers i can’t hit outdoors. i just replaced it with a saris h3 this morning but i haven’t had a chance to ride yet
true, you need to pay attention. but if there is less than 100 people in the race (render limit) you’re pretty safe as long as you don’t space out completely
Thanks for the suggestions. I am unable to see the front of the pack if I ride near the back of a pack larger than around 30 riders, and would definitely miss the splits that often happen on short ramps. I try and stay in the 3rd or 4th row. I use an iPhone for Zwift as even with a Tacx Neo my neighbours complained if I rode in the apartment, so that might cause a limitation on the view.
You don’t worry about it. As long as you stay in the blob you are in the draft. It doesn’t matter if you in the center of the blob or the outside. If you’re there, you’re drafting.
Unfortunately that’s not the case.
The sauce add on with the draft gauge clearly highlights this. You can be on row 3 or 4 of 10. Pushed out to the side and draft can drop to zero. Might not be for long, sometimes the avatar won’t change. But your speed will drop and then you are going backwards.