Joining event late? How does zwift place you

Battery in PM died two miles into Tour Watopia this morning. Annoyed … Left event and changed battery then thought actually I may as well jump back in. It plonked me back in at about 100th. Random placement? How does zwift handle this. I thought I’d be at the back. Then made it to 45th by the end and was awarded the same time as the guys around me in ZP understandably. Just wondered really how zwift decides to place you when joining late.

You were lucky to be placed in the actual event! Happened to me a few weeks ago that I landed in the correct world (Watopia) but unfortunately on the wrong route. I saw the others in the riders list and sometimes even crossed their path but was absolutely unable to join them. Had to climb the Hilly KOM again and again while the others took the Flat Route. Funny enough there was another guy with the same fate. We did our little private race.

However, I´m also curious to find out more about late joining.

I can’t answer your question, but to confirm I’ve experienced something similar. Most recently, in the Tour of Watopia Stage 3 (A route), which took me longer than one hour to complete, I’ve been signing up for multiple events in each of 3-4 succeeding hours. As I’ll still be participating in any given event when the annoying “Join Event” notification pops up 30 minutes prior to the next event (and repeatedly until the “hour-2” event begins), I’ll just keep clicking “Not Now” on the Companion app and then finally “No Thanks”. When the first ride (“hour 1”) is completed, I end the ride, exit to the drop-in screen, grab a new towel, and then click “Ride”. The late-join “Join Event” notification again pops up immediately (because I’m starting prior to the end of the 30 minute late-join cut-off), which I now finally do accept, at which point I am transported with the “Finding Nearby Riders” message. In the multiple times I did this on TOW Stage 3 (among others), I was randomly placed in the top 100/### riders, with no apparent rhyme or reason that I could determine. I think I may even have been placed in the top 50 on one or more occasions. I suppose the calculus depends on the number of total riders participating. Sometimes I would spin with the top riders at my threshold+ levels for awhile, and then I would ease and pedal at my lower target power until a groupetto of like-minded cyclists began to overtake me, and join them. In the case of Stage 3, I was normally dropping in to the subsequent rides at about the +/- 10km mark, and my elapsed distance in the Nearby panel displayed correctly: the other Zwifters around me who had not joined late, showed the full distance, and mine displayed starting with 0. However, ZwiftPower inaccurately records and displays my result as finishing the route with my placement in the order of my actual, artificially enhanced, initial group placement. When I first attempted this method, it was merely to be able to ride the TOW for 3-4 hours straight (without having 50 minute gaps between starts), and fully expected to be starting off in an empty start pen. Naturally, I was glad (and it’s more efficient) to be riding in company, and I guess I should not have been surprised by this scenario, as it’s precisely what happens when late-joining other group rides. These are not racing “points” events, so I trust that this is not affecting my ZP metrics in any way (I hope not!), but it’s worth noting. The image below shows one such event and the ZP finishing time metrics. While my ZP result accurately reflects my actual finishing position in relation to the riders around me, it does not accurately reflect the amount of time I was peddling in that event, which IS captured by the ride detail uploaded to my connected third-party apps such as Strava and Training Peaks. Also, the Zwift website activity reports show the correct time elapsed.

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This hilarious thread, with a link to a YouTube video, may be related.
Search for this thread: “odd bug when joining an event late endless circling”

Here’s a similar complaint:
Search for this thread : “late joining new pack dynamics”

15 April 2021

ps: I was placed into “silent mode” for a fortnight by Zwift moderators without warning, notice or explanation… together with the removal of my previously granted link and image posting privileges – hence my delayed reply, for which I apologize.

ToW Stage 1 catchup ride. What happened?
Chose Shorter ride, ended up on long ride (probably my fault). Tried to sort it out but had to rejoin long ride and missed the start. Got dropped into the stage on the volcano about 15km in but got stuck in a never ending loop that meant I did the circuit about 8 times. No way off. Ended by quitting the event after doing more miles than the official stage distance. Confused!