Interesting new strategy

It’s not a big deal but I have been noticing a new trend by a few riders: they will join C races, hit huge watts for about 5 minutes in the middle of the race, watts that no C rider should be able to maintain and pull away from the group a significant distance and then at the end of the race, with no one around them, lower watts considerably and come in at 3.2 or below so they can stay in C cat. Out of curiosity, I checked their Zwift Power profile, and this particular rider has 20 victories in a row. Not worried about this too much, just found it to an odd way to beat the system and wondered if anyone else has seen this?

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This kind of behavior has existed for a while unfortunately and in all categories (I’m in A) We have sent several alerts on this subject to Zwift but as usual they turn a deaf ear when we talk about cheating. I know it’s frustrating to see this, but as long as Zwift doesn’t clean up this issue, the situation risks getting worse…and that risks impacting the motivation to ride on this application ( especially in racing)

The guy who beat you recently just has mental power - He can hold 400w for sustained periods and has a 380w effort for 20+min.

He is a big unit so doesn’t really get close to breaking category boundaries.

I’m presuming it’s all legit and he is a track rider.

To be honest, 380w for 20mins+ clearly isn’t Cat C. And I highly doubt his weight is around 144kg for staying in Cat Enforcement Limitations.

I’m kind of in agreement - but we have a poor wkg system along with the magical zmap & zftp… Based on that he is not breaking limits as there isn’t a max limit and moves riders to the next category.

Though the guy I was looking at is close to 110kg rather than 140.

Results base ranking would be great - but it’s only been asked for since the start of time and we are no closer to getting an actual working useful system.

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If the guy was doing 5 minute power that was beyond anything a C cat rider could do then he’d have been moved up into B cat based on his zMAP score. That’s the reason I am in B cat because my zMAP is 4.3w/kg which is above the 4.1w/kg limit for C cat while my zFTP would put me in C cat.

The guy in question has 5 minute power of 4w/kg so is probably still within the zMAP limit for C category (Zwift never let’s us see anyone else’s actual zMAP, only zFTP).

Sounds like the guy is riding a smart race and taking advantage of the new 4.1 pack dynamics. He puts in a sprint to separate from the bunch and then just time trials to the finish solo. It also sounds like the rest of the race is somehow magically expecting the race to all come back together without anyone actually putting in any effort to chase him down.

That may have worked in PD3 but it’s not going to work in PD4.1. If you see someone attack, follow them. A big rider near the zFTP limit in Zwift is going to be able to make solo breakaways work in PD4.1.

Of course, the idea that someone with a zFTP of 338W is a C cat rider is a whole other discussion but it’s not like the flaws of the w/kg category system haven’t already been pointed out.

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I’d think in lower cat races where that rider is less likely to have a teammate to 1-2 you, this is even more important.

Even if the guy was 80kg (which is a fairly big unit in real life), going by someone I knew in real life who was 80kg and did 380-400w FTP, he was in A grade in real life racing.

No way he would he have been allowed in C grade.

If the Zwifter in question is 120kg then it’s maybe a bit different but still I wonder.

A track rider I know (who is a multiple world champion) is mid 90kkg and FTP probably not up near 400w. Certainly he has a massive 2000w+ max power, but longer duration not as impressive.

I also agree that categorisation based on results as well as existing methods would be good. If people get plenty of victories, they get moved up.

Wow, 80kg a fair big unit!1!!! Hold the presses.

Not everyone is an unhealthy lightweight climber.

If I was 80kg I will be on the below border of an healthy bmi. And my length is average.


Iirc the “new improved” Racing Score replacement is due to be announced by ZwiftHQ in November 2023, as another attempt to allocate pens not solely on W/Kg.

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Easy with the sarcasm. It’s not a fight.

The real life rider I’m thinking of was indeed pretty big, fit yes, but definitely big and sometimes heavier than 80kg.

But absolutely nothing less than A grade.

Based on your response, I’m wondering if you are the racer the OP was referring to?

And by the way, the unhealthy lightweight climber remark is actually very offensive - I was very unhealthy before I got lighter and fitter and became your “unhealthy lightweight climber”.

I was 90kg at 174cm.

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Nope I’m a degraded A and now proudly racing in B. But yeah I could happily (neah not really happily, it hurts!) 400+ watts for 20 minutes

But calling 80kg a big unit by default, makes no sense at all.
Just unfounded arguments and putting people in bad daylight just because you believe 80kg is a lot.

And I was not sarcastic at all

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I was 115kg, and I’m not going to do a competition with who had the heighest BMI (I win by miles)

And I said “unhealthy light climbers” not light climbers are unhealthy

Point is (and especially you should know) you can’t call people big units just by weight!

dunno about what he thinks, but “unit” is a term of admiration from me… i wasn’t born big, didnt grow up big, i’m still not big… for me, who wasnt born strong and needs to work really hard to improve on the small amount of physical strength i do have, i think being strong is especially cool.

anyway, this argument is kind of stupid. there are 49kg women in the world who can clean and jerk 120kg, i don’t think any of us can do that. people in endurance sports can have some strange perceptions about size and strength, what’s healthy, and what isnt.

@S_A_Cestria_CC is this Person your talking about God damn, that big lift. 49Kg at there is only 1 i thnk.

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More the need for results based category enforcement to avoid these disputes over power and weight.


yea, a few are getting up close though brother. just wanted to put things in perspective haha.

Was it a climb? I don’t understand why you couldn’t hold his wheel? And if it was climb then it is natural they go hard.

If it isn’t a climb, then even if they are pushing 4.5 w/kg you should be able to hold their draft.

Agree with a few other comments here - I find the suggestion that 80kg is ‘big’ to be, well…not offensive…just potentially quite harmful to some people. And demoralising to someone who’s 85kg and in good shape; it’s not something I’d personally post on a public forum, as it has the potential to encourage an unhealthy mindset.