Racing Cats need some adjustments Cat A and B

Seems since PD 4.0 there has been an influx of Cat A riders who seem to have dropped back to Cat B but then at the same time PD4.0 seems to have lowered the overall wkg avg so these riders are just not hitting the mark to go back up.

At the moment there is a massive lack in riders in Cat A and so many races you see less than 5 in A sometimes 0.

Cat B races are getting smashed by these guys going 20mins at 4.3wkg

Perhaps it is time to move the posts a little and maybe make Cat A start at 4wkg instead of the current. This would boost the numbers in Cat A which desperately needs riders in their races. It will also narrow up Cat B a bit to bridge the gap so newer Cat B riders are not getting smashed by those pushing well over 4wkg avgs

This could really be just a Northern Spring/Summer requirement when numbers are down and then adjusted back for the colder period when more riders come back but at the moment I feel sorry for Cat A riders who are struggling to find a race with people in it.

Alot of Cat A races at the moment are slower than Cat B

Also this whole entire thing could be resolves if Zwift rolled out this new Zwift Racing Score as races I assume would then be setup better based on this score and would require no further adjustments. Can see a normal 4 cat system running at 250 ranking points per cat or a 5cat system running on 200 points. They should have already have this in place as a proper trial with the Zwift Racing League races as its been running a few months now so there is plenty of data and plenty of race points allocated to get people points wise where they belong.

Let’s go Zwift lets roll this out


Some of it is related to heat being summer for most, so numbers down a bit as people get back indoors.

Did a race last night actually, and while I was far from good condition (which I’m well aware of, this is not a complaint about where I personally finished). After reviewing the actual results on ZP I was kind of surprised to see that the top 10 racers were all formerly Cat A, and all seemingly riding that thin line between A and B for some time now.

Hopefully the Racing Score, whenever it goes “public” (in terms of use) should finally make it so these people that know what their limits are for Cat upgrades, can’t be allowed to have all of these podiums under their belts and continue to get them, when it’s very obvious to go into their profile and see they have Cat A power capabilities.
Meanwhile, poor Cat A in that race was only 5 people (at least on ZP), B had over 40 (which is a really big race to me in the US). So I completely agree and feel bad for the As in this case; it’s not uncommon to see races in my time zone have the As just not join because there are too few others to race against.

But to be frank for just a minute; does it not seem unusual that in this particular race I experienced that nearly all top 10 racers in B had far higher normalized powers than all but the winner in Cat A? I don’t mean a little, but the fact the highest NP in B in the top 10 was 372 watts at 4.1w/kg, and the person who took second in A was 308w NP at 4.1w/kg. And said highest NP in B also had the highest 5 minute w/kg even over the Cat As, and the winner of B had a significantly higher 1 minute w/kg over the As?

Is it that the A’s weren’t trying? Hard to say. They did have less competition at only 5 people vs 40+, so it is a possibility.

I believe Zwift just wanted to implement the Racing Score in the background, and run that “simulation” a bit to see how things would work out before rolling it out to events.

Personally, after that race last night I was just reminded once again of how large the gaps are within the cats, and what I love about ZRL… tighter competition.

I don’t really have much of an answer for this, I don’t know what the solution is other than upgrading people for winning races, which is all we can assume the Racing Score is for when it does go live; but I also don’t know how it works either. The person that won B has a higher racing score than all but the person who won A, so I’m not even entirely sure how it works.

But it is kind of silly to go into ZP after a race, and see someone with an absolute massive stack of wins over the past month in a Cat. (Winner of B, last 8 events listed on ZP are all races, and won each one, with plenty more prior to that through the year).

Personally I just don’t care and mostly why I rarely do those “public” races on Zwift unless a friend wants to.
There’s just too many sandbaggers who know how to work the system.

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Hey Andrew

You pretty much backed up what I was saying with some good data there.

What is crazy was to see a Youtube video today of Mark Cavendish riding in Cat B in the Stage 2: Race the Worlds—Loch Loop. Like seriously how does a Pro Cyclist show as a Cat B. This is where you can tell that Zwift Cats are not right.

Hopefully they address this and make adjustments and move riders into correct Cats to bring back some fair competition.


The new & improved CE model is a sandbaggers paradise if they have slight awareness of what they are doing.
Only zMAP is likely to get a sandbagger promoted these days as everyone can manage their zFTP downwards when they like - then add in zMAP boundaries are very generous and you have seen a massive uptake in riders being moved down and being successful.

This is from someone who got moved down a category and now see how easy it is to both sandbag and win without the fear of getting upgraded. Im very competitive in C races, and I dont even need to watch my power as I wont get upgraded.

Plus racing in C, im stronger than I have been in ages as im racing for 30-40mins at 90% effort level rather than 5-10mins at 110% effort and then rolling around for 20 odd minutes when in B.


This does not really have anything to do with PD4.0 more so zwift adjusting cat enforcement limits upwards which allows for a higher power ouput in each cat compared to the old zp 20 min days.

I’m not sure where zwift are with racing score but their first interation looked awful so hopefully they do a lot more work on it before it gets used as if you think current racing was bad racing score would be terrible. But yeah would be good if zwift gave us some more details on what is happening with it.

I’m sure the likes of zrl will be as sandbagger heavy as previous rounds i had hopped that a new system would be in place by now but i guess we’ll all have to wait.


I don’t think that’s a good example.

Many pros are just on Zwift to do publicity-type rides. If you look at some of Cav’s recent Zwift rides you can see that he was typically riding at a pace where he was probably not even breaking a sweat. So his category might well be accurate for his pace.

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It just seems the top tier of Cats are, if not actively sandbagging, of heavier weight, but higher power.

ZRL may be sandbag heavy, but at least it splits up the races further into divisions which for the most part keeps things tighter… if it isn’t tight, then it’s pretty obvious they are sandbagging (which was my introduction to ZRL, where a team destroyed everyone in the division and upgraded to Cat A at the end… and of course one of the people in that team was in my race last night again in B… in the top 10 lol)

For the fun of it, just spat the numbers into a spreadsheet to kind of show this.

Top 5 A (because it is only 5 racers), versus top 10 B (of 40+)

A: 4.38w/kg, 292.6w, NP 309.2w, 20m 4.46w/kg, 5m 4.96w/kg, 1m 6.26w/kg
B: 3.77w/kg, 285.5w, NP 333.4w, 20m 3.8w/kg, 5m 4.89w/kg, 1m 6.59w/kg

A averaged weight: 66.62kg
B averaged weight: 75.86kg

So what can we take from this?

The obvious is the difference in w/kg averaged for the 22 minute race, where B finished 1 minute ahead of the As. My guess is the average w/kg and watts is as low as it is, due to the larger blob (which was ~20 people until the sprint finish). Which allowed for significantly more draft resting; where the A’s were having to fend the whole time due to the lack of a peloton.

Is it possible the top Bs specifically in this race are able to remain in Cat B because they can rest so much?.. perhaps!

But to see the 5 minute power that close in w/kg, and then to see the 1 minute power above the As kind of proves there there is a bit of a flaw with the system.

And be mindful this was on Scotland; which is a hilly route… but the heavies still dominated.

Just consider this fact:
Both podiums had an averaged 5 minute power of 5.1w/kg
A’s averaged power was 357w
B’s averaged power was 382w

If Zwift wants some stats, take these…
It shouldn’t be possible that a lower Cat is seeing equal w/kg at VO2/MAP, and higher watts.

Oh, and for a general public reminder; the CE zMAP limit for Cat A is 5.1 w/kg, how convenient.

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Sorry for repeating myself repeatedly, but everyone recognized as a pro in zwift should just be put in A regardless of power. Perhaps a few of the women belong in B (?) but surely none of the men. If they can’t compete in A they should just lose. They’re all familiar with losing - it’s part of the job.


this guy won the C cat race I was in yesterday… how?

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So the official answer is, new rider, limited data and can only ruin 1 race before promotion.

What this answer fails to recognise is there are a boat load of new or returning riders at this time of the year so lots of races get ruined by single riders - Its not like it only happens once, there are hundreds of races having this happen with single retuning riders.

But whilst Zwift continue to value inclusion over fairness in racing this will keep happening.

There must be a better solution available.


Yes, this individual has no race or event history since 2020, but they have been doing multiple workouts on Zwift over the past year. Are workouts not used in calculating CE?

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All rides are used by CE

Realistically workouts aren’t like to trigger a zFTP improvement unless the zFTP is massively low or the workout is off the scales in terms of brutality.

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Well hopefully this guy got upgraded after yesterday’s performance.

“You can kill me but two more will take my place”



glad to hear that. firstly because you’re getting stronger while enjoying zwift races more in the process, and secondly because it’s exactly why the top of each category is so crowded and to a lesser extent why A is so empty

if i were to speculate

I just posted on another thread, it’s a broken system and I’m just highlighting it as I’ve been at the bottom of cat for a good few years and now I’m at the top of cat and it’s easy to see how & where the system is broke.

Things like zwift staff justifying the system by saying people keep winning as they have a sprinters profile - strange I had a TT profile at the bottom of cat and now I’m a sprinter when at the top of category - almost like the category your in leads to how you race. Easy race means plenty of energy left to sprint at the end of the race…

Edit - I should also add, the stronger I get and more successful in races the more my zFTP goes down…


totally agree, honestly… it’s really up to the users to make the best of it. i don’t even mind power based categories on principle, since they do make for consistent training when you know roughly what you’re signing up for ahead of time, but i’ve never been a fan of CE

i like customisable pens and pen enforcement and i’m a fan of the concept behind but even a broken system like 3x20 is better than CE because it’s at least transparent

Yes - on Race Scoring, which we are going to get, do away with the 90 day rule. If you used to have the ability - race badly to prove you no longer have that ability. Ruin your own races if you want to downgrade don’t ruin others whilst you come back with no 90 day data.


i think race organizer , need to add back in the 0.2 rule, if you go over the cat limit by 0.2 you DQ. you knew better. then to go into that group.