Welp, here’s a new angle on things for ya’ll - I’m about to become a ‘cheater’.
I was ‘promoted’ or ‘cursed’ up a rank to B for the first time in over two years recently.
I worked my ass off to lose weight and gain power to move from the back of C to the front. I had been enjoying life at the pointy end in any race I entered, at 6’2" 90kg I was even enjoying pushing the skinny guys on hill climbing races and I felt like the zwift world was my competitive oyster!
Since the turn of the year I raced 3 or 4 times per week and had a great time. Never cheated, or sand bagged or whatever. Some races were easier and some were harder. I even discovered the KISS endurance races on a Sunday and had a blast just trying to finish them in the front group.
After one or two shorter races (like, 20 odd minutes) my performance put me over the wkg and zwift stuck me in B. Fair enough, I thought and proceeded to do as told, knowing I’d be at the back.
Unfortunately over my next handful of races I proceeded to utterly destroy myself just trying to stay in the middle groups - for the first time in maybe 80 races not even managing to complete the races before I pulled a hamstring or a calf or even just my heart rate going nuclear on me.
I spent less time racing and more time healing injuries caused during the races and before you know it I was utterly demoralised with nowhere to go, so I all but stopped altogether.
I’m a C rider you, er, see. We all have our limits, no matter what zwift’s ranking system tells us. I say I’m a C rider because after a lifetime’s worth of injuries, at 41, I know my limits. I know I’m a dad-body have-a-go hero who is operating at and even nudging his limits at the front end of C. I ask any more of my creaky legs and they break down and then my mental health suffers.
So tonight Matthew, for the first time ever I will be defying my zwiftpower overlords and be racing in C and anyone who wants to get try and give me a hard time for it can send me over a professional physiotherapist, cycling coach, nutritionist and a new set of reinforced calves and hamstrings and we’ll talk about me moving back to B.