Racing cheats

A better analogy for running might be the shorter middle distance races like the 800m which is very much a specialty and most 800m specialists don;t do longer 5000m or 10000m races (although they might do longer cross country races in the winter).

Track cycling is often sub 20.


I’m not against the concept of different categories of racing. What I do have a problem with is when the system is set up for 20min+ and riders who are clearly avoiding that length of race to protect / sandbag their category.

Maybe the best solution would be a rethink of categories but that feels miles off. Until then we need more honesty in the community and call out the category cheats.

The issue is the system based on a single-point climbing metric, which is plainly a ludicrous way to categorise people except in pure climbing races. Most people seem to agree that a results-based system would be better. It’s being Zworked on. :grinning:


Very often indeed, the only regular track disciplines that exceed 20 mins are the points race and the Madison. And there are plenty of sub-20 min events on the road as well, though mostly TTs.

1 Like

Depends how you define ‘feels miles off’.

1 Like

It’s also very different from road racing. The sub 20 road race is something different. And yes, road racing is also very different from TTs.

In general the number of people on ZP that have a true, up to date 20 min power will be very low. It’s basically only going to be the people who did a recent 20 min TT effort, or people who did the 20min FTP test recently. For most people the 20min power is simply not accurate anyhow, so just because someone does a 40-50 min race there really is no way to know how far off their 20min time is from what they could do on a 20 min TT.

So, in this regard CE is better. While there are many issues on the boundaries it does stop someone from completely avoiding a massive category imbalance and only takes one effort to upgrade someone. Lots of issues with it though, but it boggles my mind that ZP landed on 20min power as the thing to use given the power demands of most races don’t require anywhere close to a 20min best effort.

Edit: I forgot that the 20 min FTP test won’t even help with ZP because it’s not an event. So it’s basically only people who’ve done a 20min TT recently that would have an updated 20 min power in ZP that is close to max power.

Edit 2: Forgot it’s average of 3. So only people who have an updated 20 min time are folks who recently did 3 20 min TTs. I do feel a bit bad for folks who like to mix in weekly TTs into their racing and end up bottom of the next ZP cat because of it.


My IRL races are 30-45 seconds, depending on the track. I don’t know why you think Zwift has to mimic road racing. Very few people participate in road bike racing. I certainly have no interest in it. The risk seems significantly higher than my BMX racing and just not worth it.

For the purposes of this discussion that doesn’t matter.

I don’t know why you think I said Zwift has to mimic road racing.

My claim above is simple: a sub 20 min road race has not been a standard race format before. That’s it. Given that racing on Zwift does not allow for many track racing tactics, but does have drafting, sub 20 TTs and IRL track races are not the same category of race.

So my argument above is this:

  1. sub 20 road races have not been a standard bike race format.
  2. sub 20 min running races are standard.
  3. because 2, no one bats an eye if you point to a runner who only competes in very short races.
  4. but OP was indicating that there is something suspicious with people who only race sub 20 on Zwift.
  5. people would not be suspicious of that if 1 was not true.
  6. given this new format of road bike racing, people should not be suspicious of people who only race sub 20 races.

That TTs and track races exist–different kind of racing that what OP is talking about–doesn’t matter for what I’m saying. Neither am I saying anything about what racing on Zwift should be or should not be.

Don’t read anything else into what I’ve said.

For purposes of the point I was making, it very much does matter.

What is totally missed in this discussion is the intent of 95% of 20min was to have people race according to their FTP. So everyone would do a FTP test and then race in that category.

But it has become a sandbagger competition where racers avoid upgrades or FTP detection.

It was a lot more fun when honest racers would just join the pen according to their FTP.

Now we need all kinds of checks to try and detect the racer FTP.


Oh please… The assertion that sub 20 racing does not exist IRL was made… and is patently wrong.


Sandbagging and cruising have never been illegal practices IRL. It is normal to the highest levels of competition.
The assertion that the riders are somehow being dishonest is also wrong. It is the system, ie Zwift that is (still) broken.


That might be the initial intent, but from what I can see the way people actually use it is they look at the letter next to their name and go into that category regardless of FTP tests or not. Then they complain when CE puts them in a cat above. They don’t say “oh I should ignore this average of 3 because my FTP test put me at x w/kg” and then self select into B. The FTP test doesn’t even show up on average in ZP even if they did one in Zwift so I understand why folks just go by the letter on ZP.

1 Like

Why if a rider manipulate his power to stay at the top of the category then it’s unsporting and ruins it for everyone else.

Now they just race so they don’t get caught and get upgraded.

The good thing with CE is it use more than just just 20min power.


Yes I’m pointing out what the intent was.

If I know my FTP put me in B then I will enter B even if ZP doesn’t have enough data and think I am a C.


Now that is a prime example of dishonest behaviour. You cherry picked my post and changed the context of that statement. The reason was there in the original.

If using your FTP actually was the intent, why did they go for an average of 3, and not 95% of your best 20mins? Surely if you hit 20min PB in any race that wasn’t specifically an exactly 20min TT effort your FTP is likely more than 95% of that singular 20min effort anyhow.