Masters Racing - Conflict with Zwift Ranking System

I recently discovered that in age grouped races, in terms of ranking riders are losing out for being
a) in an older category.
b) in a popular age category.

Rankings are independent of age and therefore you should not lose out badly for being in an older age group. In last weeks (5/2/21) Asia Masters Race I was given a race result ranking of 567.86 for coming second in the 70+age group. No complaint with that, but if I had put my age group as 30-40 I would have come third in that group and would have been given 419.06 which is obviously inconsistent.

The ranking is independent of age groups so it makes far more sense for the ranking calculation to also ignore age groups (within a single group race of course). The position within age group could still be shown and would still be important. Perhaps the entry should be in a single category provided that the results could later be split into the ten Zwift Power Age Groups afterwards.

Below I have given examples of the many glaring anomalies taken from the same Asia Masters Race results shown in Zwift Power:

 30-40 Age group 

189.94 points for a time of 56:59
484.52 points for a time of 1:28:01
40-50 Age group
251.71 points for a time of 56:59
577.41 points for a time of 1:23:02
50-60 Age group (the most popular)
244.52 for a time of 57:00
599:29 for a time of 1:10:17
Many riders slower than 1:10:17 received no points
60-70 Age group (fairly popular)
280.25 for a time of 57:00
587:34 for a time of 1:11:00
70+ Age group (Only five riders)
500:41 for a time of 1:09:31
567:86 for a time of 1:10:19

So that:
a 60-70 year old with a time of 57:00 had race points of 280.25
a 30-40 year old with exactly the same time had race points of 255.40

a 30-40 year old with a time of 1:28:01 had race points of 484.52
a 40-50 year old with a time of 1:23:02 had race points of 577.41
but coming in 17+ and 12+ minutes faster were:
a 50-60 year old with a time 1:10:17 but only had race points of 599.29
a 60-70 year old with a time of 1:11:00 but only had race points of 587:34
a 70+ rider with a time of 1:10:19 but only had race points of 567.86
Nobody in the 50-60 60-70 and 70+ years old got any race points with a time slower than 1:11:00

These anomalies would have been even worse had it not been for two exceptional riders in the 50+ and three in the 60+ age groups making it look less ridiculous than it would have done otherwise.

This is because Zwift is calculating each category as if it were a separate race or perhaps power category so that if you are an average rider in a less popular age category to enter Masters events (eg 30-40 years) with a few decent young riders in your age group you will be sucked up the rankings by their performance/ranking results.

This is of course only one aspect of the problems with “race quality” calculations where it matters more how good the first few riders are in that race and how many riders entered than how well you actually ride.

I’ve checked some other aged based category races and the rankings have been applied correctly for those I looked at. So they do normally work and as I mentioned in the other post, I suggest these events likely need a reset due to probably being processed as traditional Cat rankings.

Note that the issues may well be that the result of the issues Zwiftpower has with event data at the moment - its been around a few weeks and no sorted yet.

Can you be more specific with non-age based examples? As mentioned in the other post, I focus on entering races and my competition based on race rankings and have never had cause to question results (or when I have, I was corrected in my understanding).

It depends on what you mean by “normally work”. I didn’t say that the calculations were incorrect merely unfair.
You cannot possibly argue that there is any fairness in a situation where
a 30-40 year old with a time of 1:28:01 had race points of 484.52
but a 50-60 year old with a time 1:10:17 but only had race points of 599.29

With respect to non age group races, since I guess that these calculations would be the same had these been five different small races A B C D E rather than one race with five age categories then you would get the same results i.e.
a rider in race A with a time of 1:28:01 would probably still get race points of 484.52
whereas a rider in race C with a time 1:10:17 would still only get race points of 599.29

This appears to be a well accepted and well known issue since many riders choose races with some high quality riders but not many entrants purely to boost their race ranking. Of course this isn’t cheating but it does make the rankings fairly meaningless, since to some extent your ranking becomes, at least partly, a reflexion of your ability to pick the right races, not how good you are.
The problem is just worse in age category races. It is unfortunate that if these were run as an ordinary race not an age category race many of the 50+ year old riders would probably achieve a better ranking. Not to say it is not nice to get a podium in your age category it is just sad that it comes at the cost of damaging your overall ranking!
Of course if you are 30-40 and want to boost your ranking enter a Masters Race!

I think you are trolling - as I have said now for the 3rd time, its simple request to get the race results reset. Its not a “situation”, its common for events to have configuration issues.

The FAQ I linked you to clearly describes how ranking works, yet you are guessing?

You make this assumptiom based on your your 20 days / 2 races playing on Zwift?


Nothing unusual about this. There are plenty of “normal” races with all the categories racing together where for instance the winner of B category gets a significantly worse ranking than if they had signed up for A instead and finished in the exact same place. You can always race up a category (or however many you feel like).

Thanks Anna, you are quite right it is not unusual and riders can and do choose races (or categories) to boost their rankings for that reason. Of course upgrading a cat does not work in Age Cat races.

My comments were meant to be constructive and I am saddened that you have obviously taken them the wrong way. I still think that the suggestion to ignore age categories when calculating overall race ranking is a good one and should not be too difficult to implement. I did not realise suggesting change was absolutely taboo, nor that there was a minimum number of races you had to complete before you were allowed to comment. I am also quite sure that you fully appreciate that some riders pick specific races (or categories) in order to boost their ranking. I was not criticising them for doing that but if you pretend otherwise you are being disingenuous…