Lead In stage of Zwift events

Can someone please explain the purpose of the ‘Lead In’ in Zwift events. Today I did Tour de Zwift and from my knowledge of any race a lead in is exactly that, a warm up before event proper starts. I did ‘lead in’ at a sensible but conservative pace and found myself at 375th when the laps started. I then spent the laps working through the field but from a huge disadvantage. Surely a lead in should be a neutralized section or it shouldn’t be termed a lead in if its just supposed to be part of the race.

I think the idea was to have a moderately paced “Lead In”. But in my experience, it has never happened… The race starts at the drop of the barrier.

If a real “Lead In” is to happen, it will need to be enforced. Perhaps a Zwift pace car with mobile barrier attached could lead the pack from the pen to the official starting line…?

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Same experience as you, Bhaltair. It’s a race from the word go, regardless of Zwift’s intention.

It’s the case that Zwift can hold groups together irrespective of power being exerted as this happens on lots of the training programs so technically it’s possible. They just need to make it clear in race description what is happening as I see it ie either it’s a mass start after the lead in or they change terminology and it’s clear when the race starts.

“Lead in” is misleading. If I’ve got it correctly, it means the part of the course from the start pen to the beginning of the lap portion of the course. It’s part of the race or ride.

“Lead in” was different before Zwift added support for races. Races used to be organized as verbal instructions to “meet up at the start/finish line” followed by “start at time X” followed by “stay together at power Y until point Z (the end of the lead in/neutralized ride” and then “race to the designated finish line.” There were third parties using Strava records to identify race results.

Thanks Steve,

Makes sense based on the way people rode this morning. They just need to amend the terminology

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Unfortunate terminology-just assume event goes all out from the start. Based on where the starting pen is in relation to course, which sometimes can be significant. Zwift has made an effort to provide expanded total distance info of late in event calendar description which greatly helps.

In theory it should be a neutral start like the bigger races IRL have however its typically just an extra few KM of racing that can’t make the result but they can sure break it. It would be nice if Zwift made a rubber band effect to keep everyone today until the start line.

i.e. the Watopia jungle circuit has nearly a 13km lead in with a nice climb in it. Last night during stage one of Tour de Zwift we had almost 400 starters in the a’s but only 6 or 7 of us made it to the start line together.

The thing I don’t get is that people who started the race late still got to complete the stage but did so without the lead-in miles. So, they did the same stage but with less miles.

The Tour de Zwift isn’t a race. So the talk about ‘neutralising’ is bogus and unnecessary. With TdZ, you go as fast or slow as you like, you get the same prize for coming for first or last.

Very true Kevin but the principle / topic is the same for the races.


Thats another issue Amir. I rather thought that was happening too. That should be easy to resolve by Zwift I would have thought !

Whats that got to do with the price of tea in China?