I reported something similar with Coco the other day on Tick Tock (40.7 kmh @ 2.76 W/kg).
Found it to be one of the more challenging PP rides I’ve done in a long while (more Jacques-like than Coco). Certainly didn’t resemble any kind of steady-state ride in the slightest (for me, at least).
I have felt the paces are higher on the flat routes this week because lots of strong folks are joining whatever the flattest route is to knock off the Rapha 500km challenge as fast as possible. Yumi, Jacques, and Coco all on flattish routes in Watopia, but especially with Yumi on Tempest Fugit, the pace has been pretty high because probably fastest way to cover ground at a given effort at the moment.
Also it’s the speed that is fast, the pace partner is doing the same power, so in theory you shouldn’t have to work any harder regardless of the speed (of course if you got dropped, it would then be harder to get back on)
If the RP is on or near the front and setting tempo, you often find yourself doing 0.5W/kg less than the advertised pace in the draft, in fact this is my experience for most pace partner rides. However, in situations where the PP is being dragged along by stronger riders, then everybody in the group has to do the advertised pace (at minimum).
In any event, I feel like what this OP is complaining about is having to ride the advertised pace instead of hide out in the draft, which, while understandable if you’re used to hiding out in the draft, is nonetheless not exactly what you signed up for when you chose the “pace” and also I don’t think understanding the game physics is rocket science…it’s easy to see what’s going on and it makes sense.
would the speed of the front of that group of 40 not be affected by the 40 in front of them and that group the 40 in front of them and so on?
so if you have a group of 200, the ones at the front would make the people behind them quicker and so on all the way back to the RP, would this not result in a faster pace than if the RP was in their own little blob of 40 people without anyone in front of them?
The pace partners themselves may be behaving the same way (of course they are, constant watts are constant watts), but the way it looks from the perspective of other riders (those near or behind the pace partner, anyway) has changed quite a bit since the introduction of PD3, definitely for the worse.
Are there similar data available for different-shaped Zwift packs i.e. more of an overall blob-shape rather than the one depicted above (sorry, don’t know what the correct mathematical term is for a typical Zwift “blob”; ellipsoid?).
That is the perfect shape to have the least amount of people work.
I have not seen papers like that because having a flat line of riders will be very inefficient,
Once you have a flat front the drag reduction start even earlier since you don’t have those side effects.
I’d wager, if you ride just in front of the pace partner you might find it a bit more normalised…
I have no idea why, but riding in front of the pace partner feels like a bit more of a steady ride, whilst riding behind you seem to get the concertina effect of a peloton - perhaps it’s pack dynamics but you should get that in front of the PP