Racing at the bottom of your cat is rubbish

We post the links to Mad Monday on discord. The link you can find on our facebook page (as I can’t paste links here…) . No need to join TFC! It is a team competition, so you stay in your own team. We work out team points based by the team you are on in Zwiftpower.

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Your entire post looks like something I’d write. Been forced into A cat for a very long time.

Yesterday’s race was especially weird and annoying.

I guess I’m a climber. Unfortunately, there are relatively few climbing races and even fewer people that join them.

The TTT stuff is interesting, but I assume that means you have to join at specific times, which feels awkward especially given that I’m in an odd time zone.

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I certainly sympathize—looks similar to my sprint numbers!

That’s what happens in “real” outdoor sanctioned races. Before signing up, I knew in advance how I’d fare.
I wish Zwift would also use placing performance to determine classifications. If a person wins or places too high too often, boot 'em up.

Zwift are working on a race ranking system based on results but this may be a few months away yet.

You might want to look at where they have started a results based system. They also organise some Zwift races based on 5 min power. I think you might find you can race in the lowest group in most of their races.

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No, they aren’t. Or did something change in the last month or so?

Meh. Screw it. I’m just going to enter B because I’m allowed to based on cat enforcement. I’ll just accept the DQ in Zpower. It’s broken anyway. You can’t even sort results on age group.

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Until all the people above you are Catted up, and you start winning a lot, and then get Catted up to join them, and you’re right back where you started :smiley:

Hi Mike,

This post has some info on the results-based scoring and ranking system that they are working on.

Competition & AI Tech Update: December 2022 - Racing - Zwift Forums

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I see the answer has just been posted. Zwift is calling it Scoring.

I don’t think you have been a ZwiftPower A Cat since middle of last year. I suggest you check this link and see if you need to amend your settings and refresh your profile.

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That is simply not true! Neither on the flat, nor (certainly) on the climb.

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Whereabouts in my original post did I relate his power up the Epic KOM to his speed on the flats? I didn’t.

And yes, if you are a lightweight rider you will need to come reasonably close to his raw power numbers to outperform him on the climb (assuming zero drafting). The OP’s (Alex) 3.4 W/kg power (equating to 228 W @ 67 kg) won’t do him much good against this guy’s 3.4 W/kg (328 W @ 97.6 kg) up the Epic KOM.

As a “real-world example”, my PB up the Epic KOM (in the “same” race last season) at 3.0 W/kg (I’m 57 kg) was 4 mins 20 secs slower than this guy’s time at 3.4 W/kg (he’s 97.6 kg). OK, it would have been nice to have data at exactly the same W/kg, but that wouldn’t alter the fact (much) that being lightweight won’t necessarily help you going uphill (with no draft) against someone who can generate significantly more watts.

I believe you may have this around the wrong way.

Raw watts much more important on the flat.
W/kg more important on climbing.

A heavy and a light rider climbing at the same w/kg will climb at almost exactly the same speed. ( the heavier rider will in fact go very slightly faster - we are talking very small speed differences, 0.1, 0.2 mph)

Your example of 4 minutes slower at only 0.4w/kg isn’t IMO really proof. Over the length of climb I might expect a drop of 0.4w/kg to lose this much time, no matter the rider’s weight.

Have a look at the segment times in ZwiftPower. On climbs you will notice there is a fairly close correlation between climb time and w/kg. Weight is ‘fairly’ irrelevant to this correlation. You might also see that riding Epic KOM at 3.4 takes around 25 minutes and at 3.0 around 29 minutes. Probably also have to bear in mind bike being used and how much draft there might have been in the group.


You didn’t - I was simply pointing out that what you said about Alex needing to put of 4.9W/kg on the climb to compete with a heavier rider putting out 3.4W/kg was egregiously wrong, and extending this to point out that (because physics), he doesn’t even need to match the heavier rider’s raw watts on the flat (therefore needing nowhere near 4.9W/kg) to compete with him.

A little bit of the advantage of greater raw watts (at same W/kg) is lost in CdA for larger riders on the medium-steepness climbs, but you’re right that you’d need a superior W/kg than the heavy guy for the same speed - suggests around 3.75W/kg (215W) for you at 57kg, 3.65W/kg (245W) for Alex at 67kg).

Honestly, if Alex were putting out 4.9W/kg, he’d be leaving the big fella for dust!


@Tim_Melville @Ian_Attoe Thanks for your input and clarification guys.

Think I was suffering from brain fog first thing (coffee not kicked-in). Hope I’ve not confused the issue too much? I’m quite happy to delete my post if it’s misleading and inaccurate?


Thanks for this insightful info Tim. I think those power values (if they translate well to Zwift) shed some light on the shortcomings of the current cat systems.

Since this was a C-cat race, neither myself or Alex would have (theoretically) been able to match the heavy guy’s speed at those suggested W/kg values without being DQd.

Personally, I wouldn’t be able to hold 3.75 W/kg for 20+ mins full stop (without being hospitalized) :grin:

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Week 2 of the F365 Racing League is 19.30 tonight and it’s very much a climby one, 2 x Box Hill. Certainly won’t suit me anyway…

We’ve tried to mix up our course selection with flats, crits, rolling, mixed and climbs ong and short). Season 1 was a great success and season 2 takes us up to when the clocks change in the UK.

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