Why do fast riders crash the D group rides?

Fairly new to Zwift and really enjoying it.  But the group rides have mostly been a bust for me thus far.  Same problem every time.  The posted plan for the ride will state an intended speed range.  The ride starts and things look promising but within a minute or two the peloton takes off, completely ignoring the advertised pace.  Usually the group ride leader will make some pleas for the folks in front to slow down, reminding everybody of the intended pace/power-range, but it falls on deaf ears.  Eventually the leader gives up and just does the best they can to ride the pace they planned on.  Hats off to them for trying.

It’s slightly comical - adults unable to restrain themselves :-)  It can also be a tad annoying to see a group ride hijacked like that.  What up with this ?



I AGREE and here’s the fix.  Each rider should have a level based on their performance. Not a optional level, and actual level. If they pick a slower group ride and blast away - their level goes up to the next faster group and they should not be allowed to ride in that slower level group ride again.  That is - until their user level has decreased over a course of several weeks of lower performance.  Another option would be  “to far ahead of the pack leader or to far behind” - you loose your group ride jersy and get dropped out of the group ride.  Say (.5 mile ahead or more - or 1 mile behind). 


Agreed.  I should also add that, when I do weight based rides, I see a good number of skinny avatars. Yes, the avatar reflects your size. 


I no longer do races for this reason. 

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Ya know, It may be a top-down issue. Due to my size I can roll at 400w on the flats for few miles. Races start out hard, I get that, but why are people walking away from me at 400-500w in a D race? I feel like I HAVE to sandbag to finish at the back of a D race. My FTP is 301. 

i think ppl crash slower group rides because they’re not strong enough to be competitive in races so they join group rides and treated them like races where they feel like they are strong riders.

I have never understood the plea for the faster riders to slow down.  Ignore them!!!  I ride the correct pace and hang out with the leader beacon.

Let’s say you could BAN fast riders from crashing slower races and prevent them from participating.  What would that look like?  A group of riders around the leader riding the advertised pace.

Let’s look at the current state where faster riders crash the group rides and then sprint off way ahead of the pack.  What does that look like?  The same group of riders around the leader riding the advertised pace with the crashers are long gone out of the picture.

The bottom line is that if you are riding the advertised pace, then what you see during the ride is the same whether there are fast crashers or not.  Either you don’t see the crashers because they have ridden off the front of the pack or you don’t see them because they don’t join a ride that is too slow for them.  The core group of correct paced riders is the same either way.  IMHO, crashers should be ignored.

the problem with that is that theres a tendancy by at least some to chase including the leader (some leaders at least) which quickens the pace and ppl who didnt anticipate the faster pace to get dropped.

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When the leader doesn’t follow the pace, then there is a problem and that person should not lead again.

It does matter. If the lead guys are running at 2.2W/Kg then they are pulling any ride leader going at 2.0W/Kg and the group goes faster than if everyone stuck at 2.0W/Kg. This makes it much more difficult for people to catch up if they get dropped – and people do often lose drafts due to hills and sharp turns. Everyone knows how difficult it is to get back on a group once you’ve lost the draft.

High wattage people should be allowed to join in, by all means. They need those active rest days. But they should mind not to go off the front. The low wattage rides are meant to be a nice social event and welcoming to people who may be quite new to Zwift. If you can’t be nice or social to them then you shouldn’t be on the ride.

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Did my first race today…i have read about how the start would be…and sure enough in 10 seconds I was pretty much cycling alone. This is in a D group. My average watts are approx. 170 but i’m dropped like a stone in the D group. I did hang in there with another rider for a few km but he rode away eventually. The majority of the group just pretty much motored away…totally disappeared into the horizon.

Yes - in real life i am quite a weak rider in comparison to other riders i come across so maybe i shouldn’t be surprised with the results of being last but I thought with an average of 170watts I was hoping to be decent in Group D. 

Zwift should come up with some scheme to control these rides…i forsee that i might as well do my own rides (so that i can see other riders around me) rather than do the races and end up riding alone.


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unfortunately, zwift races are superfast at the start. basically everyone goes full gas at the start for about 5 min or so. i would say for a D race you need to do something like 3.0 wkg for the first several min to hang on with the front group. of course i blew up enough times going all out lol.

The same thing happens IRL on easier paced rides. There always seems to be someone who can’t hang with the A or B riders and wants to dominate “the race” even on a “social” ride so they join a ride that they know they can “win”. Let them go, stay with the ride leader and have a good time…

I registered with Zwiftpower and was able to see my stats…it wasn’t as bad as i thought. There were 3 Group D riders and I came in 2nd. Not sure whether the 3rd rider was still in the race at the end - i don’t he was…he seemed awfully far behind - maybe he lost connection or something.

So i realised now that all the groups ride together - which can be misleading cause you don’t know who you’re riding with. While it can be inspiring to have ridden with a higher category rider it can be a disheartening experience too as he/she pulls away from you rapidly.

I thought I only rode with the group D riders. I was wrong. The bulk of the riders were the faster groups. So maybe that’s where the frustration is…other riders are in the faster group and we all start off together.

Another reason for these explosive starts in Zwift could be that some riders would drop off the game after a few minutes? that’s why they can afford to go ballistic?

The reason they start so fast is to create breaks in the pack that make it difficult for the riders behind them to catch up because the lead rider of the rear group will be out of a draft and the whole group will have to work harder to catch up. If they catch up, they are tired and the front group can attack and drop them again.

It is vicious.

In Zwift races, everyone tries to get in the break away.

In real life only a few riders tend to get in a break away and they get tired and the peleton catches them.

But , races where there is a large break away group, they tend to not get caught.

I’m never near the front so I have not seen if the leaders get caught but I don’t think they do. It is probably because Zwift races a fairly short and do not last 3 or more hours like a stage of a grand tour.

I agree that there will  be plenty of breakaways in a race, that is expected. But, when a group ride states 2.0 and the group leader rides 2.6 then what’s the point… half the group gets dropped.   I have not seen a way in Zwift  to report a bad group leader. If you look at zwift power the evidence is there.  I rode one today that should have been 2.0 - 2.5,  when I looked it up in zwiftpower the  leader averaged 2.6!

I’m "fast "for D but slow for C, the final results put me in the “right” category.

Occasionally when i’ve been riding alone, ( ie not drafting ) iv’e put out more watts than someone in front of but have been “relegated” as my average Watts takes me into the higher category.

A race leader may be averaging more Watts because they’re in front!

One hint for newbies, at T-15 start winding your speed up on the virtual rollers, so at the off your putting out near your max Watts, or by the time you get up to speed, every one will have gone and there will be few left to draft.