Sandbagging an 8 year old in his first race

My kids first ever race today. Cat D, one lap of the Champs. He’s 8 but you kicked him out after a few kms because he exceeded the cat D w/kg. But he’s 8, and 8 year old kids don’t keep w/kg discipline like adults. He goes crazy for a minute, then slows right back down again - that’s just how many little kids ride. He’s now in tears, hates Zwift and doesn’t want to ride again. Not great. Can you look at the anti-sandbagging rules for children?

The rules for children are complicated.

There certainly needs to be an adjustment.

I’m glad your son enjoyed Zwift but which adjustment is the proper one?
Are you saying your son only wants to ride a bike if he can beat other people?
I think most 8 year olds just like to ride a bike.
Zwift is not Mario cart.
Perhaps by encouraging racing at such a young age, you are setting him up to hate bike riding - a life long activity.

In real life, your 8 year old son would never really keep up with adults in the Cat D category, would he?
When he was zooming around exhibiting fun super powers for an 8 year old on a bike, this was at the expense of the adults.

The program does not accurately calculate the game speed for children so small.
Your son can ride around on Zwift all day but probably shouldn’t race since it will not be fair, one way or another.
He can upgrade to Cat C.

There are no sandbagging rules for children.
There are no races for children.
There are no rules for children.
There are only races and sandbagging rules for everyone.
My opinion is people under 45 kg should either not race or have their speed capped at 15 mph.

Your right, 8 year olds don’t monitor W/KG but then 8 year olds don’t typically race bikes.

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Was that a anti sandbagging race on Champs?

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Maybe taking the average w/kg at the end of the race is a fairer way to do it? Then that’s more forgiving of the bursts of speed (and subsequent collapse of speed) more typical of a child’s riding style. I take your point about them not being kids races - but he love bikes, he loves riding and he just wanted to try it out. It certainly wasn’t at the expense of any adult - he was more or less half way in the pack when he was sandbagged.

Yep - it was the ZHQ Futureworks race. Ironically I thought an anti-sandbagging race would be better for him to start with. In retrospect I should have warned him to slow down when he was putting in his burst of speed that led to him being pinged - but he’d seen a Tron bike and wanted to try and catch it!

Just avoid those anti-sandbagging races and he should be ok.


This is the right answer. They shouldn’t even exist now ZwiftPower is in-house and the de facto method of categorisation for racing.

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I think you’re right - that’s what we’ll do. :+1: