Is rider category expected to change with race distance?

Hi everyone, first forum post so hopefully this is in the right place. I got back into cycling a few months ago and am relatively new to zwift racing. For the past couple of weeks I’ve been doing the “Aero Army Wynn TT Series”, which has usually been a short time-trial of 7-10 km. Based on my FTP, I’m currently near the high end of D category (~2.45 w/kg), so that’s what I’ve been entering. Since the races are so short, my w/kg has usually been between 2.8 and 3. I didn’t have any issues with the first three races, but I got a “wkg” on ZwiftPower for the most recent one - I’m assuming I probably got lucky and was just under the threshold for the first three. So, is it expected that your category would change for super-short (or super-long) races, and do you need to voluntarily adjust your category for these? In other words, is the category’s w/kg range based off of your expected w/kg in that race (which would be affected by distance), rather than your w/kg based off of your FTP value?


For <20min races, it uses an estimated w/kg derived from other metrics. In that particular race, ZP estimated you did 2.63w/kg

Because you are sitting under 200w, even though some of your events you are putting out > 2.5w/kg, the rules say you stay Cat D which is why you can stay in Cat D

if you are holding 2.8-3w/kg for 7-10km then you are probably not Cat D my friend (:

p.s. @Dean Cat D riders get promoted at >150w, not 200…!

2.8 w/kg for 15 minutes or less could well be within Cat D power, and is not inconsistent with OP’s statement that they’re at the high end of Cat D.

Not that it makes much of a difference, but as a former runner trying to get back into shape its cardio, not leg strength, holding me back currently (and why I’m hopeful I can get to up Cat C before too much longer). I can hold a pretty good pace for 10 minutes but will fall off quickly after that. So for most of the “standard” 20k+ events, I’ve been in the 2.3 w/kg range and not actually that close to the C/D threshold yet. So, I might have a bigger power difference between shorter and longer events than most riders right now.

Thanks Dean. Was the 2.63 w/kg number you refenced available on ZP anywhere? If so I’m not sure where to look for it.

I thought I had edited that … :+1:

Yep, check the last column in the Unfiltered tab.