Not happy, please educate me

Yesterday, March 3rd, I entered for the first time, a British Cycling Time Trial race being held on the Classique route in London.

ZP has me at Cat C so I entered the Cat C pen.

Now if you have not entered one of these before, they run slightly different to a normal TT.
It’s a mass start but a solo effort with no drafting.

Unlike a normal TT where you can’t catch the rider in front and dozens of Cat A riders fly past you, in this event, you are encouraged to push harder because you have lots of people around you.

I race on a small screen but can see the time differences on the leaderboard so I kept pushing hard trying to keep people behind me.

There was one rider matching my pace and I was worried he would get me towards the end or an incline (I’m a genuine fatty and always keep my weight accurate on my profile)

It was great being pushed as I knew I was working harder than I normally would have done going solo.

At the finish, I can see that the guy chasing me was a B and there had only been one C in front of me.
Yeehaw! A long time since I had had a podium so couldn’t wait to check ZP.


Kept refreshing and still nothing.
I clicked the ‘unfiltered’ button and there I appear in 2nd place, Cat C, with ‘WKG’ in the left column.
No points or anything.

My best effort for ages and nothing to show for it.
Not even moved up into the lower standings of Cat B.
I had managed 3.4 average and would have finished second from last in B.

To rub salt into the wound, ZP now has my minimum category as C, almost B.

So we get to my gripe, finally.

I entered the race correctly, felt strong and pushed my socks off which resulted in my best effort.
Why didn’t I earn my podium?
Should I just have sat at 3.09 for the whole race and not try harder?

If I had performed better than C, why couldn’t I be classified in the B group standings?

I don’t get anything in the results but ZP still registers it as an improvement so threatens to bump me up into B, how is any of that fair?

(Should I end up in B soon, I’ll just get dropped every race and end up being demoted back into C again…I’m too old and fat to cut it with them racing snakes but can sometimes have an enjoyable scrap with the Cs)

Not unfair really as we all play by the same rules. In this case, Cat C limit is 3.2wkg and you blew past that with a 20min performance of 3.5wkg hence the DQ.

You are still Cat C but clearly based on your history, you are very capable of Cat B performances so if you consistently perform as you did in this particular event, welcome to Cat B!


I think that’s been an issue for a long time.
I’m not sure.
Short answer, you went over cat limits and I think different race organizers can handle this in different ways.

Now I agree, if you entered the correct pen before the race, any points, trophies and virtual fair maidens that you would be entitled to should be granted and any upgrades to you cat occurs after that.

I’m sure, what ever solution you come up with, there will be cases where that solution will be equally as inappropriate as what you faced.

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What happens if you try to join one of the community category enforcement events, following on from the ZwiftHQ test events last week, such as ZwiftPower - Login ? Sounds like it will put you in B already.

Being excluded from results for a performance beyond your minimum category has been the way for a long time, I think I read something about WKG exclusions not happening if the in-progress category enforcement formula goes global.

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Cheers folks, I felt better just for getting it off my chest.

As I’m not the only one it has happened to, I’ll suck it up and try to race a bit more clever next time.

Will I enter the same type of event again?
Not sure.
The format is a great idea so may just enter for fun and not even look at ZP afterwards.

Cat enforcement?
I have entered some of the Chase Race series and they put me in C.

Thanks again, all.
Need to go away and psyche myself up for getting consistently dropped in B.


Phill, a category change is hard but your final point in this second post is key, go away and get yourself ready for B. I had the same challenge a year ago moving from B to A. Personally I wanted to be in A and my first A race I got dropped, gasping for air, and I quit the race midway as my FTP was only borderline (I actually moved up before ZP said I was an A after my own first minor incursion over the WKG boundary in a crit race).

Last night I was in your race and would probably have finished 2nd if I hadn’t been using it as a competitive 20 minute FTP test rather than a 22 minute race, I finished 3rd having now built my FTP to around 4.8wkg (I’m far more proud of ZP saying 5.0 for 20 mins than the colour of the trophy too :slight_smile: ). In a drafting race I no longer get dropped. It took [real world] weight loss, it took a big investment in training, but psyche yourself up for it and you’ll eventually make the leap to the tasty end of the B category. Until then, just remember that half the field HAS to finish in the back half of the race and somebody HAS to come last, regardless of the rules.


Numbers I can but only dream of, Ian!

Training…yes. Currently on an FTP builder program and obviously it is having results as that race was my best effort so far.

Real life weight loss…I’m at 93kgs right now, 6ft 3in in height. I will struggle to lose much more.

Lantern Rouge! Here I come!

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Looking at your stats you are hovering around that C/B threshold… unfortunately that type of short race you will tend to go over or be very close to your max.
Race organisers can help with this type of race, when I run a series with all very short courses I use Wkg Upgrade so if you do drift over you get auto upgraded. The negative side is that if you end up racing with other C’s you will be bottom of the B’s as you will not have their draft to hang on to…
In your situation I would definitely race B in shorter races.

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As long as we have categories we do need enforcement of those. We all agree that people entering lower categories to win is horrible. Currently that enforcement is mostly done on the finishing side of things. Which imho sucks as well because it hits those races who have a solid track record of say Cat C (like the OP) and then make the race of their life.

I really hope that the new Cat enforcement that Zwift is testing is gonna be good enough so that all results of the riders that where allowed to enter can stand. Id be totally ok with a Cat C race being won by a rider with 3.6w/kg if that rider hasnt been in that range before and will not race Cat C in the next race.

But for now it is what it is and yes it does suck to get DQed for your best race ever.


Very valid responses and points of view from everyone, thank you.

Honestly, I expected to get flamed.

Whilst I fully agree with the Cat enforcement that seems to be prevalent now, I’m not happy with how it is affecting me.
Even though ZP still has me at C, almost B…I can’t enter as a C, it has to be B or higher.

I’m 53 years old, tall and fat and my avatar is a true reflection of this.
I will get spat out the back of the Bs like I’m pedalling in reverse…and that isn’t fun at all.

Although I’m trying a training plan now, I don’t expect enough improvement to hold on to the group.

Therefore, it is back to my first love and individual TTs it is (next level up and I can get some disc wheels!)

It’s all moot anyway as the current update makes my laptop obselete.

Just so we don’t get lost, my initial gripe was the fact that I’m a solid C, ZP determines me as a C, entered as a C, raced my best race ever putting in a B effort which would have got me second from last in the Cat Bs but got me DQ’ed instead…no points, no bump up, nothing.
Not happy.

Cheers folks, see you in Watopia.

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You are a very good C by one set of rules , but you are a B by the other set of rules. Easy as that.


I’ve been a bottom of the barrel B racer for a while now. I got disillusioned with it quickly and didn’t race much for a long time. I tried a training plan which did boost my ftp a bit, but unfortunately I’ve also gained a bit of weight to keep my w/kg ftp about the same :frowning:. My experience of B racing was generally get spat out the back in the first 5 minutes (on a good day) and ride the rest of the race solo.

2 things have made a difference for me, I now only enter mass start races (either an E only category or ones where all cats are released at the same time and can see each other) or the new category enforcement races. I’m not in danger of winning any races, but I do find a bunch of people within the race that I can race with.

With the category enforcement races I’ve found I can usually stay in the lead blob off the line, then get dropped on the first significant climb, but then usually end up in the 2nd or 3rd blob on the road and can race within that for the remainder of the race. I think the enforcement has got rid of some of the sandbaggers and cruisers and now there aren’t enough really strong Bs (slash cruisers/sandbaggers) to force a high enough pace for a long time on the flats to drop the lower level Bs plus there are now more weaker Bs that can no longer cruise/sandbag in C and D.


Gerrie, you missed out the word ‘poor’ before the B :wink:

David, that’s an interesting insight from your experience with the Cat enforcement and sandbaggers.
Thank you.

Once I have bought a new PC (damn the latest Zwift upgrade) I’ll be back and give a flat race a go.