Too fast for D Grade at age 74

Hi. When I started zwifting, I entered D grade, frequently being dropped and coming last. After several months, I registered with zwiftpower and was rated as a D grade rider. But after several races, I was rated by zwiftpower as a C grade rider. I had mixed feelings. It was good to know that I was improving, but, in C grade, I was being dropped and coming in last again. Since then, my performance has improved but I am never going to get any higher than the bottom third in C grade.

But, I am not the only one with this dilemma. Looking at a number of and performance of riders who enter into D and C grade, it would appear that C grade contains relatively large numbers of riders, with power ratings from 2.5 to 3.1, whilst D grade contains just a handful of riders with power ratings from about 2.0 to 2.5. The latter (2.5) are likely to be sent up to C grade.

So why so many in C grade and so few in D grade?

One issue in D is that it has a relatively huge range, 0-2.5W/Kg, unless your Critical Power or FTP is ~2W/Kg+, you aren’t likely to feature at the pointy end of the race. Some with lower power will enter anyway, but not that many.

I don’t know the stats, but after cycling regularly and fairly frequently for a few months, I’d guess that a vast majority of riders have a Critical Power and/or FTP of 2W/Kg. Consequently, a lot more riders get promoted to C or above.

I’ve questioned the qualification for D before. Is this actually correct (pulled from the CE FAQ chart) for D? <2.5W/kg and <150W
IOW, an 80kg rider with a 160w ftp would be in C since he doesn’t satisfy the “and” portion on total watts?

that’s not how it works…you have to be over both values to be promoted.

A lightweight rider (let’s say 40Kg) with a Critical Power of 3W/Kg (120W) would currently be in Category Enforcement D, because they don’t satisfy the >150W criteria to be in C.

Which in my opinion is absolute nonsense in a hilly race up Ven Top or Road To Sky. Even on pretty flat routes, at least some short lightweight riders are easily keeping in the draft of heavier and more normal height riders putting out ~250W+ at the pointy end of races to podium. I’ve pointed out handfuls of them since Feb.
The raw Watt threshold in CE per level needs ditching, using W/Kg Critical Power only until we get results based separation.

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Makes sense, though I think the guidance wording starts with:
If any of your maximum values are equal to or above the minimums shown in the following tables, you’ll only be able to race in that category or higher

Should the D qualification therefore then really read
<2.5W/kg OR <150W


Please read: Category Enforcement - How is my category calculated? [February 2022]

This is what it says:
CP Category Boundaries

A: 4w/kg and 250w CP
B: 3.2w/kg and 200w CP
C: 2.5w/kg and 150w CP

D isn’t mentioned, but isn’t it correct that one would qualify for D if their w/kg is either <2.5kg OR <150w ?

D does not need to be mentioned.

D is anybody that is not yet a C. Therefore any rider that is below C: 2.5w/kg and 150w CP

Once the D rider is 2.5w/kg and 150w CP the rider will be a C

Also one does not need to qualify to be a D rider as it is the lowest category.


it says AND not OR that is the catch…any rider no matter the W/kg that is under:
150W is D
200W is C
250W is B

I get it, just think the wording is confusing.
If a specific rider looks up their stats and is 2wkg AND 160 watts, they can enter D, correct?

is 2wkg AND 160 watts higher than 2.5w/kg and 150w CP?

2w/kg is lower than 2.5w/kg therefore it is not higher than 2.5w/kg therefore the rider is not higher than the minimum C requirements so the rider is lower than C and therefore still a D

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I agree D does not need to be mentioned. But if you are going to mention it as Zwift CE FAQ does

Open Races VO2max and Watts MAP value and Watts FTP and Watts
Category A ≥60 and ≥250W ≥5.4W/kg and ≥250W ≥4.1W/kg and ≥250W
Category B ≥50 and ≥200W ≥4.1W/kg and ≥200W ≥3.2W/kg and ≥200W
Category C ≥45 and ≥150W ≥3.9W/kg and ≥150W ≥2.5W/kg and ≥150W
Category D <45 and <150W <3.9W/kg and <150W <2.5W/kg and <150W
Category E N/A N/A N/A

Then best to have correct use of AND or OR. To avoid being put in C category you only need to be under 2.5w/kg OR under 150w

Under current wording, and using John’s example above, an 80kg rider able to put out 160w they are not Cat C because they are not greater than 2.5w/kg and they are not Cat D because they are not less than 150w.

IMO The use of the AND on the definition of Cat D line should be an OR on each of the three columns.

(Edit - I’m sure in reality the Zwift system places you in D unless you meet the category criteria of A, B or C so assume the D category line is not being used to calculate CE category anyway)

If its any help I wouldn’t get too bothered with your own category and calculations etc. far better to focus on incremental w/kg improvement if thats what you’re after.

At least with cat enforcement we now get far more balanced races, just completed one today after a break and some nice little groups our D cat zooming around innsbruck.


^^ 100% ^^

And I think as time goes on we will see more people in the lower levels because there won’t be those riders that “are not strong enough to upgrade” and then blow up the race.


Not true. You yourself do not qualify to enter a D CE race. OTOH, everybody I think is qualified to enter an A race (unless perhaps the racing leagues won’t let you do this even if you wanted to for some curious reason).

You are not following, There are no qualifications to be a D rider except you need to be lower than a C

So any rider lower that a C will be a D rider.

Or can enter C, B or A. D is the most restricted category with the smallest eligible universe of potential entrants. This is quite obvious.

I don’t even know why I engaged. :scream: :upside_down_face:

So what you say is any rider lower than a C will be a D rider or can enter C,B or A ??? :face_with_open_eyes_and_hand_over_mouth:

What I am saying is you don’t need to state the qualifications to be a D rider since the minimum C requirements is defined then all that is left over is D

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Hi All,
Thanks for your input following my post. Let’s pretend, for sake of argument, that the persons who designated the power rating requirements for the various grades knew what they were doing. That means that D grade is probably intended mainly for beginners. Thus, most beginners improve and go into C grade. This boosts the numbers in C grade so that proper racing can take place; (that is, there are enough riders to form a number of pelotons. This boosts the overall performance of C grade and leads to improvement.
Meanwhile, very few riders stay in D grade. The numbers are low. Pelotons rarely form. The quality/enjoyment of racing is low compared to in C grade. So the best thing is to improve and get promoted into C grade.

Is that how it is intended?

Cheers Graham