Senior/Masters Zwifters

I’m pretty new to Zwifting (joined at the end of May) and currently at level 11. I’ve done a couple of Zwift races with disappointing results although I’ve never finished last. I’m a 77.5 year old with a power to weight ratio of 3.1. I have won numerous races in local and state level Senior Olympics Games in the USA and finished 12th in the National Senior Games in 2017, so I’m a pretty good racer. So are my results worse than expected because my bike and wheels are kind of crappy compared to others who might be at say level 20 or because I’m old? Are all 3.1 competitors about the same regardless of age? Are there any races on Zwift that are for Master or Senior Zwifters?
Terry

Many of the top finishers in many Zwift races are sandbagging. Zwift does not enforce the categories. Many who should be in the A or B category choose to enter C category races (if not D races).

A partial work-around is to register on https://www.zwiftpower.com. It’s a third party site that enforces categories when posting the results. It doesn’t eliminate the ways that sandbaggers distort the events while they’re in progress, but it does remove the sandbaggers from the results.

Hi Terry

Yes, Zwift races are mostly based on watts/kg categories, so you’d be racing against all ages.

There are some events based on age categories, e.g. ZHR Masters. In these events it would be against people broadly the same age, regardless of ability.

ZwiftPower lists all events and allows you to search and filter for suitable races.

As as footnote, Zwift racing is short and brutal. The races go very hard from the start to weed out weaker riders. One you’ve done a few events, you’ll have a better feel for things.

Ride On.

Hi Terry,

Definitely take a look at Zwift Masters - link to Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/zwiftmasters/?ref=direct

Well run events with results posted for the different age categories. Highly recommended.

I’m 66 and race in Northern California. Zwift is hard! I get hammered almost every race. Regardless of age we have to race against others in our Wkg group and since I am in the bottom of the B group I get creamed every race. PLUS there are lots of sandbaggers and ZwiftPower helps to weed some of them out a bit not alI. Zwifpower will calculate a FTP and assign you a category A-D. I am a 3.2-3.4wkg B racer and to race against a 27yr old 3.9-4.0wkg racer is just not realistic at our age.

The Zwift Masters is broken down by age group but not wkg so we race against 60+ who can put out 4.0wkg on Zwift (totally legit? who knows). But I haven’t seen many of the masters races listed lately for some reason.

So, my recommendation to you, and this is only my recommendation, is do Zwift for fun and a workout and don’t worry about results. I get a sense results are important since you list them in your post but Zwift is a different world, more a game than reality, so do it for the fun of racing. During a race fall in with a good group and duke it out, don’t worry about who’s winning or who’s up the road. Also, definitely join ZwiftPower and it will keep all your results so you can see improvements etc.

That was a really great response to my concerns/questions. I’ll be on the lookout for some senior/masters Zwift races and continue doing others as well. Honestly, I’m not really a “trophy hunter”. I was mostly just curious as to why my results were so poor. One thing I learned after my first race was that the races go off super fast.
Terry

Yes, the starts are also crazy unrealistic. In my opinion this is one factor that encourages sandbagging. No one likes to get dropped, especially right away at the start, so they fudge their numbers to give then a competitive advantage. Again, just my opinion from what I’ve seen.
I started Zwifting in March and have now done 100 races. Here is what I do to try and maximize my fun in Zwift races. At the start I keep my Watts reasonable, for me that is around 350W. I can go higher but I keep them lower so I don;t go into the red too soon. I use a high gear and lower cadence, stand out of the saddle for probably the first 1/2 mile letting my HR slowly come up. Then I settle into to about 250-275 W and usually within the first 1 miles the lead group on B’s have split and I find myself in the second group with many of the “better” Cs. That group usually is a good group for me, we tend to stay together and I have to push to stay in but not so much I am just trying to hang on to the back. Sometimes I have a little left for the sprint but often just try and keep up that last mile when the watts are flying.
Age is not in our favor but find a way to have fun. Let Zwiftpower determine your group and remember that is only for results. Once in the race you can ride with any group you find fun.

3 Likes