Race dynamics roadmap

Yesterday I raced for the first time on RGT. I was told by my teammates how the race dynamics are way more realistic compared to Zwift and I cannot emphasize how much of a difference it is.

I’ve been racing on Zwift in the high end of the B’s for 2 years now, won some, lost most, but I’ve never experienced this much fun in any Zwift race yet.

Main differences:

  • Groups are only faster if they push harder then you. There is no magic ‘amount of riders = speed x 2’
  • Drafting takes effort
  • You get dropped? You can get back on
  • You place an attack? You can stay away
  • Wanna try team tactics? It works just like you see on TV (I know because team ADR destroyed me with 3 guys in our group)

And tactics wise… You can see the relative effort the others are having to invest (by means of powerzone colored bar) in addition to the w/kg so you can think about a correct tactic/response and who to respond to.

I’ve never fought so hard for a top 30 spot in 2 years of Zwift races and simply because it was FUN fighting the other guys. (I got 31st so ADR beat me.)

RGT isn’t flawless but they sure nailed this imo.

In comparison Zwift feels like we’re just playing last man standing interval edition. You hang on push hard on segments and bunch sprint to the finish in 95% of the races.

Is there a roadmap available somewhere to see what the plans are around racing or changing the dynamics?

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Good post. I’m not so fussed about the RGT comparison, but fixing the most foundational aspect of the platform by default improves everything else. Zwift dont share roadmaps typically, but as the competition starts to evolve and there are more choices for customers, it would be wise to.

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i would tweak some stuff. probably descent speeds solo vs bunch would be the most important. it makes courses like yorkshire and new york really hard to enjoy because it’s so easy and there are so many places to get away but you will be caught on the next 200m long descent regardless. i lost a 15s gap going down pot bank wall once, which is like a 20s descent

i have been a part of small breaks on flat courses in B, and i see it fairly often in A, they’re doable if you can somehow get 3 or 4 strangers to take pulls for you

Fully agree with everything the OP wrote and I guess my race starts from the past year prove that, a dozen on Zwift and ~60 races (~120 starts but ~20 of those are 4-event omniums) on RGT.

Zwift races are just so predictable and pretty much all follow the race of attrition model. Sure, people can try to get creative with tactics, but the physics pretty much guarantee that none of them will work, in particular because of the automatic advantage the peloton has over an individual rider or two.

I would also say that the dynamics contribute to the categorization/cruising/sandbagging mess, if your choices are doing a harder race and probably getting dropped at some point or an easier race where you arrive fresh to contest the final sprint, I can understand that some people prefer the latter. (I personally don’t, but that’s a different matter.)

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Thinking out loud, the dynamics support a social setting (keep everyone together, blob fest) over race dynamics and the ability to create breakaways and/or drop riders.

Does there need to be a race dynamics / draft and then an open world draft?

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Yes, and… Doing things differently for races would also allow for other, fairness-oriented changes, such as eliminating sticky draft but only for races.

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Remember Zwift says racing is too niche to give it the focus that it deserves. :wink: I’d just be happy with the elevation profile reflecting the route that I’ve selected or that I’m on instead of some random nearby mountains.

I also found RGT racing to be a better model of RL racing; comparing normalized power for RGT, Zwift and RL racing is one way to see this. The only problem I found is both the number of races at convenient times and the number of people racing as they have not yet reached the critical mass in terms race entry sizes. From my perspective the length of the races is also a bit of an issue , as they have very few (public) races over 30km equivalent to say KISS 100 or ZHR masters weekender races on Zwift.

As you said the drafting model is much better and the visual feedback is also great - imagine being able to visually see the amount of draft and watts saved in a Zwift TTT.

Is that really what they say? I thought they said they have the ambition to become the #1 E-race platform?

The mixed messages have been real over the years but one of the official stance that match what we see is that racing is a niche and doesn’t deserve the resource dedication. I.e. TTT starts even though they are a massive part of both ZRL and WTRL.

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Talk is cheap, development work demands resources and skill.

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I’ve heard spaghetti code is cheapest.

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RGT seem to ignore rider weight and height in their algorithms - at least last time I checked.

I did a TTT on there a while back and it was an interesting experience, it would be an “in addition to” zwift for me just now rather than a replacement.

I don’t know about height but they use weight as in w/kg as you have to enter your weight in the settings and w/kg is displayed in the UI.

I’d mentioned the height issue somewhere else on here and a response mentioned that although you enter weight it isn’t used in the same way as on zwift in terms of drag, but they use it in power, or something to that effect.

The height issue annoyed one of our team enough that we haven’t done much since

Interesting take. From what I know height isn’t used to differentiate drag but weight is used and ofcourse there are some differences on how their algorithms handle power & drafting. (Which is kinda point of the OP, imo it’s much more enjoyable during races vs Zwift).

A 3R teammate did a fun test on RGT with the magic roads. He build a loop that he rides IRL as well and found that with about the same w/kg on an almost wind still day, RGT was a minute something slower then outdoors.

But actually all of that is besides the point. Racing is weird if the group gives you such a big advantage. The :man_shrugging::hugs: