I have done a few races and found that the self reported categories are ridiculous. In the TTW race this am a © rider had the fastest KOM. Even as a (D) rider, I get blown away shortly after the start and it usually end up as a lonely ride around the island or pacing off guys in workout mode. If the © riders were throttled at 3 w/g and (D) riders at 2.5 w/kg it would be a big incentive for faster riders to not sandbag. It would really help keep the © and (D) groups together. Guys who sandbag can still get a good workout when they throwdown massive power but it just won’t be reflected as an increase in speed over the throttled w/kg
I’m not following quite what you propose here. Do you mean by “throttling” that the C rider would never exceed 3 w/kg? If so, how would it work for someone to attack or handle the finishing section where it most certainly will be faster?
If somebody wants to avoid the throttle they would register as an (A) or (B). I think he throttle could be dropped at arbitrary points that don’t have to be officially listed. The whole purpose is to have a © and (D) packs which are pretty much non-existent now. I have noticed that at least one race has dropped the categories since they are meaningless. I think it would make the races a lot more interesting for the real © and (D) riders. Parity may be a good thing.
I don’t agree that throttling will work, the faster “sandbagging” riders will then just stay at say 3w/kg the whole race and still win.
I have done a lot of road racing and there will always be those that will sandbag the ting is they can only sandbag once or twice then they need to move to the next level. Race organizers need to look at previous results and let people know that they need to move up or just move them.
At this stage there a a lot of first time “racers” that still need to learn how it works.
This is a tool to get fitter and stronger so that when you go on the road your are at your best and you can race your friends.
Gerrie, I agree that there will always be cheaters and sandbagger. I also agree that the most important aspect is to get stronger for real life rides. Unfortunately for slower riders, the current race model isn’t working well IMHO. I really think the throttle will lead to a good © and (D) pack. I also think a rider who consistantly puts out >3 w/kg will get fustrated by the throttle and move up a group.
The way KISS and ZTR races are handling this is probably the best “solution” we have right now, in lieu of any actual code to enforce categories and classifications. You can see the sandbaggers when you look at the race results on ZwiftNation and GrappleMonkey’s Race Results.
A better compromise would be to let users register where they will, but if they decide to sandbag, when their results post, they’re re-balanced among riders of like capabilities.
IOW, if you’re sandbagging the C ride and really fit squarely in the middle of the B group, then when the results are posted, your results go in the list of B riders, not at the top of the C riders where you intended to sandbag.
Honestly, the results don’t really matter to me but it is really the game-play that gets messed up by the “sandbaggers” If it was 1 or 2 it wouldn’t be an issue but when a group of 5-10 guys listed as ©s go blasting along at 4 w/kg in a peloton if breaks up the “real” © groups and even worse with the (D)s. A common response from first time Zwift Racers is “never again”
I like the way that the Zwift Handicap Race handles this. Slower riders get earlier start times, so a SUB2 can compete against a CAT A. The more you ride, the more accurate the handicap times become.
I am a C rider who rarely wins, most of the time I am round 5-10th. However, one of the only ways I can stay with the group is attacking the climbs. Even as a mediocre rider, I can pretty easily produce 5-6.5 watts per kilo on the early portions of the climbs. This is as true on Zwift as it is in real life. NO governing watts. I still only average about 2.7.