Racing Score updates [July 8 2024]

Clear winner in your race but not very surprising he won when you look at his stats. Outperforms everyone on longer efforts.

Not if you plan a few races into zone 2, or just let yourself drop a few kilometers from the finish and finish 30th.

Every system can be played or manipulated. Certainly when you just look at one value (current CE system) or only two values (ZRS system) and not all values that matter in a race.

Think he was the only Old cat A in our race. Think he also rode on the front on the last KOM

What you’re suggesting would turn all races into handicap races. OK if that’s your preference but I don’t share it. If I enter a short sprinty race I expect to get destroyed, and I think I should. I either enter the race knowing that and do my best (or do something crazy to experiment with tactics) or I pick a race that plays to my strengths.

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Why handicap races? Just add 20m power or zFTP to the Racing Score for races longer than 10km to prevent mixing people with 2.8W/kg through 4.5W/kg in the same aerobic race. It’s that easy.

people are not full gas for 20 mins that the probable I think

Cant remember the time I went 10 minutes full gas in a race also. The hills chosen in almost every race arent long enough. it is perhaps not the best value to work with, but to totally neglect it is also a mistake since it is still important to be competative.

Except the Hilly KOM races and perhaps the Tiny Races which are just a slug fest. But for those we could very well take VO2 as a cat system. That worked pretty well imho in the Tiny Tests we had with that a few weeks ago.

At the bottom, are we still talking about results-based ranking or power-based ranking? This is a serious question, not a troll. It appears from what I’ve been seeing that it’s power-based. I may be missing something, but at least some people see race results as a screen and that cp30 and cp600 are the real source of RS.

Having tracked the racing forums for years, the argument was always that power-based rankings are unusable, really. The drumbeat was for results-based rankings. Tim Hanson at answered the call but Zwift stuck to tinkering with CE until now.

In the runup to the first version of Category Enforcement when Zwift was proposing its versions of Critical Power and MAP, the forums turned into a true troll party. I said at the time it was a question of how many exercise physiologists could dance on the head of a pin. The answer was more than I could stomach.

So, are we going to let this thing go through beta or stop it now to tinker to our own particular strengths? I really have no horse in this race because I’m 75 and on beta blockers; I just race at the back in D, Mocha or 0-200/225.

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I really think you cant have one without the other to come to the best solution.

I’m in the US, so I can either race my category (5/Novice, 4,3,2,1,P) or masters category if it’s a USA Cycling race (crit, road, cross). I often prefer to race my category (4) since my masters 55+ is filled with “retired” cat 1/2/3 guys with significant remaining fitness. At least there I can still find a group to work with to the finish. And the guys that earn enough upgrade points to be moved to the next cat don’t get to come back to the lower cat.

That said, I tend to do more gravel races than road, which means no official/enforced categories at all. There’s usually a masters category, but that tends to split the field at 40+ or even 35+.

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Glad to see folks so motivated to provide feedback in the test period. As I’ve followed the discussion I think some interesting ideas have been raised but there also seems to be some arguments being raised which seem to be based on a few premises that I would personally call in to question and ask that folks give a second thought. (Sorry in advance for the length of this post.)

Questionable Idea #1 - If a system is fair, winning should be within everyone’s reach.

To my mind, winning requires exceptionalism and should be thought of as the exception not the rule. There’s only three places in the podium. Most of us are average no matter how you organize the boundaries and we should expect to race extremely hard and still come mid pack or lower in a fair racing system. Occasionally, we may come closer to or even podium when a course particularly suits our strengths or the tactics work in our favor. Unless you’re in the upper most category, sitting at the top of a category and dominating endlessly with no chance of upgrade is not fair racing (or even interesting racing to my mind). The joy of racing even you don’t place highly is to either find your race within the race among those nearest you and/or to improve your own performance.

Questionable Idea #2 - Seeding can and needs to be perfected.

I believe seeding will always be imperfect. For the myriad of reasons people have noted here (i.e. some folks don’t have much data, some people’s data doesn’t reflect their max potential, etc), regardless of which metrics you pick, power based seeding is going to be a rough guesstimate (minor adjustments can improve it, but can’t make it perfect). The point of moving to ranking system is to rely on real race results and not to have to rely on power based metrics as the primary driver of categorization. Folks racing regularly and in good faith is the best way to shake off the limitations and adverse impacts of power based metrics.

Questionable Idea #3 - Comparing w/kg is always a useful way for evaluating fairness in category allocations.

Many seem concerned that folks in the same ZRS pen have a wide spread in watts per kilogram and immediately think this is a sign of unfairness. Without looking at the terrain and length of the course, looking at w/kg is almost meaningless. Pure watts matter most on flat courses (period). Given that most popular races on Zwift are relatively flat and short, w/kg almost is rarely a good indicator of how evenly matched the competition is. As has been explained by many including Zwift Insider, “Watts per kilogram is a good pace metric for climbs, where gravity is the main thing slowing you down. But pure wattage is a better metric for flat roads because once you get moving on the flat your speed is mostly determined by wind resistance and your wattage.”


I’m probably most concerned with current Racing Score seeding is that just like Category Enforcement, two very different power durations are being used to create the base level “seeding score” and most routes won’t force us to do a true 10min max effort.

Plus how much weighting is being given to W/Kg ability, possibly not enough so far.

If your phenotype “strength” is a sprinter, albeit a relatively weak/mediocre one, it is not much use if you can’t keep up with the peleton even on a route with a climb that will take 1-2mins+ full gas.

It doesn’t help that the Racing Score event schedule so far is infrequent and easy to optionally avoid, but two things stand out to me so far from the weakest pen…
Almost every race has at least one racer who is way above pen E ability, quite possibly because their actual power ability has dropped outside the 90 day window. For example, the rider “Team Ramrod,” who won all four Tiny Races in zone 1 last weekend.
A lot of podiums or even top tens for Racing Score events seem to be lightweight racers putting out relatively high W/Kg on routes that aren’t terribly hilly (or even flat) and so far a lot of them aren’t getting close to the 225 Racing Score boundary for a promotion. Yet some heavier racers finishing lower than them are getting significant Racing Score increases.

Good post. There’s a calculator for IRL power-> speed calculations that opened my eyes to many things. Drop the coefficient of drag by draft and your speed increases quite a bit at the same power. For that reason alone, comparing the size of our … w/kg … is kind of fruitless except in hill climbs and iTTs. Thanks

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Will my 12:10 race this I way it was hard Z4/5 right up to the climb

I think Jamie was talking about W’ (prime) bal like this. It’s a estimate of your reserves in kilojoules.

Sorry Paul how do you add that?

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In Activity on the bottom you click on Charts and add W’Bal

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I THOUGHT it was in the Fields dropdown under the window but I can’t find it now. (&)*)&)^

think I know why not W J in the top right not set

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You came 12th out of 94 but think you should be in a lower cat? Righto…