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
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.