Race Categories Anomaly?

I’ve just completed Stage 5 Race Watopia (11:10 GMT) and am more than happy with my 5th place. However I’ve noticed that the person who came second has never averaged less than 3.1 - 3.9 W/Kg in their last 12 races and yet is still classed as D category! How on earth can this be right? Surely there’s a bug in the system somewhere.

There is a Watt floor for each category, so very light riders with a low zFTP will not be upgraded unless they cross that minimum Wattage boundary. That may be what you’re seeing here.


As Paul said, the rider is lightweight and due to the watts floor won’t get upgraded for a long time, zwift need to remove or adjust the watt floor as it happens across b C and d categories

It’s really annoying and makes any race in a lower category completely uninteresting. I recently participated in a category C race, and the winner had a higher average power (4W/kg) than the winner in category B.
His zFTP was set 198W while he did 273w over 25 minutes which implies that his real FTP is much higher than 250W. However, in his history this rider has been regularly in category A and B. Really incomprehensible to see so many issues of this type on Zwift.
It is imperative that this problem be resolved.

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This is because that person hasn’t ridden since spring.

That said, I’m a bit surprised that pushing 3.98w/kg at 273w average for 25 minutes didn’t force them back into B, that’s pretty far outside the limits (for C).
Not sure why that isn’t a DQ.

zFTP listing on ZP isn’t what “they” set; that is pulled from zwift data.

Keep in mind that the category you see on a rider’s ZwiftPower profile can be stale. He may already be in B now. Most organizers do not give DQ for being over the category limit - they just let CE do its work. (Which isn’t perfect but this is how Zwift wants to handle breakout performances.)

The broader question, of course, is why such a rider would enter a race way below their ability and spoil it for everyone else.

I know the answer to that question, btw. I’m just not posting it because my mum might read this and she’d disapprove.


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Actually, I think he must have ridden something; otherwise doesn’t CE force you either into A or E categories? This could easily be a case that the rider came back to Zwift from summer outdoors. Saw that he was going to be dumped in A (by default) since this event didn’t have an E cat, he logged a quick ride of some sort to get other Cat options to appear, and then chose C.

FWIW, the 2nd place finisher in the Cs shouldn’t have been a C either and has since been moved to B.

That is not quite true. Almost all those A and B cat rides you see are not races they are TDZ group rides where he chose to ride the longer routes.

I think there is one B cat race on his ZP record where he came 55th of 65 in Sept 2021 otherwise he has had 7 C cat races in three years.

This is his first race podium so I think congratulations are in order and hopefully his zFTP will update and he will be a B cat racer.

People don’t always know what their potential is when they go indoors after being off the trainer for a while. Many people don’t have a power meter on their outdoor bike and their first trainer race in the fall is their benchmark. I give people the benefit of the doubt even though it’s not always warranted. It could be as you say, or not.