Racing is boring now

I’ll start by saying that this doesn’t mean results or complaining about finishing position - I still finish around where I’d expect.
This is about the fast start, then settle to 60% FTP until a hill or a sprint finish.
There’s no jeopardy to not jumping on a breakaway attempt, and there’s no reward for trying a breakaway since nobody will take the chance with you.
So, a 25 minute warm up, then a sprint. Every time.

I know some people love that, and I get that, but surely this isn’t making training fun?

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a lot of people do find that fun. but the easiest way to stick a break is to just suss out who seems strong, or have a friend/zwift teammate or two in the race already, and arrange something through direct messages. well, there’s all sorts of ways, you can be a bit proactive about it. something i do if i am interested in starting a break is to sit maybe 4 seconds in front of the group, see if anyone can make a clean bridge, then i will maybe take on a bit extra for the first 10 minutes or so to show that i plan to ride with whoever it is with me. you can do little things like that to get the kind of race you want

but pinning your enjoyment on the balance of what other people might do or might not do is just asking for a bad time, so enjoy the opportunity if it comes, but don’t count on it

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The previous version of group dynamics was great fun and made things enjoyable.

But, it got rolled back to the current version as people’s virtual mileage was more important…

So now, it’s sit, wait and sprint pretty much every race.

I’d hazard a guess there is a fair ol correlation between those who like that racing and the want to not improve CE to a system based on results.

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Yeah, I’ve done the same in some races. The number of times someone bridges then sits in without doing any work makes me shake my head.
It probably works better in a big race with teammates as you say, since you can push the pace and people have to go with it.
The number of times I’ve just ended up a domestique for the pack… although it does mean I get a workout.

Which races are you doing? There are many like that but not all. Share you ZwiftPower ID if you want suggestions that might be less dull.

i did like the previous dynamics more but you can stick a break now. i was in one promising but failed attempt yesterday and then a successful 5 man break in the 2nd event i did yesterday. maybe 9/10 people want the sprint, me too most days, but 1/10 people are probably up for it in any given race

all numbers are pulled directly out of my ■■■■ as usual, but there are definitely people willing to try out there

You’re probably right.
My motivation with this post was to see if there was a non-vocal contingent that felt the same way about the lack of mid-race interest. If it’s just me then fine, such is life.

nah, it’s a common feeling. you’re not alone

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I have been in races and either been dropped or managed to go with a breakaway, but they’re few and far between. Even those are about hitting a hill hard as a pack and that’s kinda fair enough, but then it’s back to feathering and relying on the trailing pack doing the same. (the number of times I’ve been caught in a trailing pack where they still won’t do any work is amazing too).

I’ve been on Zwift for a while, so pretty familiar with them.
Having tried a good few different types, and tested out different tactics since the new PD finalised, I’m presuming it’s the experience of a low/mid cat rider who is decent at keeping in the draft and avoiding getting caught out by a burst.
All we need is for drafting to be switched off when the pack speed drops below an acceptable value, that would sort it :wink:

you never really know how a race is gonna go, just depends who shows up, but i’m gonna generalise then i personally recommend riding with scandanavian guys. so, DBR, DZR, maybe SZR, FUSION if the series is still running. someone is always trying to make something happen in those races, it’s always a good time. in my experience anyway. plus everyone from that part of the world is 7ft tall and 90kg lean

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Have you tried the 5v5 Club Ladder team events? Breakaways galore, and you get to analyze and strategize about the enemy in advance. Tactics are quite interesting and personal, the categorization isn’t based on power, and every rider on the team gets points at the finish so you only have to beat one rider to contribute to the score, or you can finish DFL but help others to a team win. Challengers pick the routes. I wish they were longer but it’s a really fun format in my opinion.

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I have noticed a bit of a change recently. I’m in cat B, so it may be different in others, but 3 of my last 6 races have been won with a solo breakaway in the last 2 to 3k. Having said that they have all been very close by the end.

Maybe have a separate racing pace dynamics that gives a pack a much bigger penalty in speed so breaks can happen all the time?

It gets tiring listening to the jibes on virtual mileage. Hence I stay on the steepest mountains only. No pace dynamics messing up things there.

The effort in large groups in Zwift feels much higher than in IRL in fast groups for same speed.

The whole feeling isn’t realistic to real world bunches. I’ve ridden in enough fast bunches and real world races to know that in a big draft you don’t suddenly drop 3km/h immediately because you coast or soft pedal.

Or just give everyone no drafting so it becomes who can suffer for longest until the rest blow up? :wink:

Nobody can complain then about packs sitting in and bunch sprints.

IRL that happens as well, so it’s realistic. Are you wanting a pace dynamics modification to prevent that?

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As someone who is a mid-B category racer I am often in that situation (group 2 with a few riders up the road) where I am being encouraged to work to catch the group. But the reality is that if I was able to pick up the pace I would not be in the second group. Basically, I am at threshold and if I take a couple of pulls I will get dropped. It isn’t that I don’t want to work, it is that I can’t work.

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Yeah, not everyone is at Zone 2 most of the race. The folks at the bottom of the cat might be maxing out until being dropped. Most races I spend very little time at Zone 2, but some sandbaggers vocally complain about how slow the pace is even though they could simply race up a cat to avoid that problem.

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My racing these days is basically only the ZRacing Monthly Series, I’d like to support other events but the only time I have available isn’t very well populated in the event schedule.

The racing in that series very much follows the pattern in the OP, and the series structure doesn’t help. Almost always pancake flat routes, nothing that pushes the stronger riders to put in the sort of effort that would impact their zFTP and barely even anything long enough for zMAP. So the stronger riders stay in lower categories, meaning that they have plenty of reserves to cover any breakaway attempts, the pack rolls unrealistically quickly so most breaks are doomed unless it’s the top few riders there anyway. The weaker riders might get whittled away by some surges, and the race comes down to a bunch sprint including about a third of the field.

The other issue with that series is the time based GC, so people targeting GC just want the group to roll as quickly as possible. If the GC ranking could be based on the zwiftpower race ranking score it might improve things.

The most interesting races tend to be ones where the powerups on offer are ones that don’t help in the finale. Ghost and Feather on a course with a flat finish works really well, particularly if there are lots of banners to get them.

Something needs to change to liven things up. Putting in some more hills, maybe even a time trial every so often. Dynamic category boundaries, reverting to the previous pack dynamics where breaks could actually stay away, braking on corners based on the radius and the draft so the break can take faster lines and the pack stretches out. Everyone getting assigned to a team for the race. Just something to change the meta.

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blah blah blah attacks

blah blah blah pack dynamics

blah blah blah category system

blah blah blah group ride then sprint

You guys know what the real answer is so why isn’t anyone saying it? Bicycle racing is, by it’s very nature, boring.

That’s why they invented things like points and elimination races.

You want exciting races? You need exciting race formats.

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I run away from points races, and elimination is something Zwift won’t do for us plebes. I love an attritional slugfest scratch race on a route with a bunch of moderate hills, like 75-90 minutes is ideal so we can jettison the baggage and fight it out at the end without any gym rat sprinters.

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But it’s always possible to tailor things to whatever group makes the most noise. So on that note, you can forget about more hills, or for that matter, anything that resembles “HC” because that will get shouted down by those who have the most to lose from more hills.

Some HC climbs would sort out the sit-in and sprint types, because they’d have to work hard on the climbs before getting to the kind of roads that suit them better.

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