I have been a keen Zwift racer, after some success I got moved up into B Cat. After a number of years getting stronger I now can mixed it on a flat course which can be exciting. However, I personally get great frustration with power ups,
My issue is, what is the point? if you win a sprint cos you are the only one with an Aero or blast over a punchy climbs as you have the feather then your winning feeling is slightly lost as you “lucked in” and visa versa.
I personally, would love to have a race series with no power ups, and slightly better dynamics to allow a breakway, and to give heavier riders an advantage on the flat and down hills akin to what lighter riders get on the hills.
I ask that you look at it another way however… IF you have a powerup then it would be up to you to use it in the most effective way possible, not just at the end of the race. There are many different ways to make the powerups as effective as possible. It adds a level of strategic racing that we miss by not having wind or cornering or the threat of collision.
it’s supposed to introduce an element of “randomness” to match IRL racing, and so that you’re not 100% guaranteed that the biggest engine wins every single time, otherwise that would be “boring”.
also Zwift at it’s heart is a “game” and this is part of the “gameification” of it - it adds an extra element of rider strategy & gameplan knowing when & where is the most effective place to deploy each powerup on each route/race based on the circumstances.
personally I have a love/hate relationship with them, depending on which I get
Maybe with steering on by default they can introduce some new randomness things – like potholes or broken glass that if you ride thru gives you virtual flats that put you on the side of the road for 30 seconds.