Why so many 'A' and 'B' riders race in C category rides?

Newbeeeee here. I rode a ride today in the C category ( Americas HDR p/b GIANT) and noticed a bunch of A and B riders finished in front of me.1) Why are A & B riders in a C ride and 2) Why does ZwiftPower indicate C next to the rider’s name on the list of riders after the ride? Shouldn’t it say what their rating is? I am still not understanding why anyone but C riders show up on a C ride in ZwiftPower.



Hi Guy … that was a group ride, not a race, so the pace should have been approx Cat C pace and anyone is free to join and ride at the leader’s nominated pace.

Group rides you should join the cat that has a pce you are comfortable with (if they have multiple cats) but races you must enter the Cat that ZP has you defined as. A lot of of the group rides also finish with informal races as well, as this particular one does (according to the description) but they dont count for ranking points.

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So a quick look at the ride in ZP, I see that the first 40 or riders were well above 3.2 wkg for 95% 20min power that usually defines C. Certainly above the 2.3-2.8wkg that I think the ride was actually rated for. A lot of these off-the-front riders were AHDR team members themselves, so the leader of that ride (who did finish at the listed pace).could take it up with them.

For the OP, on general rides, you’re supposed to ignore the folks who speed off and stick with the leader banner and not worry about it.

I would hope the first group is well above the C limit. The ride description state that the last 20 minutes is a race so it will be a full out effort for all riders that feel like racing.

From the ride description:
Are you ready to join one of the largest and fastest-growing group rides on Zwift? The Americas Hump Day Ride (AHDR) is two events in one, starting with a moderate effort of 2.3 - 2.8 w/kg. Use this time to warm-up, chat with fellow Zwifters, and maybe decide on a wheel or two you’re ready to get on.

Because the AHDR gets spicy after the leader announces the start of the After Party: a 20-minute race. Be sure to listen to the ride leader’s instructions, before digging deep. Or not. If you want to keep it casual, it’s all good.

During the After Party the ride leader acts as a sweep, riding with the After Party cruisers, so everyone finishes together.

Well, that’s the OP’s question. It’s a C-listed event, that A-riders signed up for. Wouldn’t the normal interpretation of an event listed like this be that it’s for C-category Zwifters, and the race portion should also be C-category Zwifters who switch from cruising to racing?

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This is why it is important to read the description of the ride you are signing up for. If 2.3 - 2.8 is your “warm up” then you are most likely an A or B racer.


No not with group rides, for a group ride you sign up for the pace you want to ride. Many A and B riders do C pace for recovery.

That is probably the biggest mistake most riders make they are C riders and then pick C rides for recovery. If you are a C rider you should pick a D ride or recovery.


Makes sense. I think though that the OP was not necessarily looking for a recovery ride, but rather expected a C-ride that he’d get a decent workout riding. Indeed he finished at 2.6wkg (2.8wkg 95%) – right in the heart of the listed range. Can’t blame him for being a bit confused as to why there were 4wkg (95%) finishers.

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No one is blaming him, he asked a good question and Dean gave him a good answer.


Sort of… the leader was left in the dust, and still unclear why A riders would choose to join a C-level ride/race? Wouldn’t an event like this be better listed as “E”, so that it’s evident that it’s for any level rider?

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I know that, I was pointing out that this wasn’t part of Dean’s explanation to the OP.

It was a Group ride at C pace and any body can join a group ride of any pace. Group rides follow different rules than races. It is important to read the instructions/description. Labeling a Group ride as C indicate the pace of the ride not the rider’s Racing category.

Racing categories is for Racing.


Got it. The other unanswered question, which is a good one but I imagine it’s been discussed before, is why ZP doesn’t provide a column that includes each participants ZP minimum category? If there are ranked results, wouldn’t this make sense? I can imagine the OP would perhaps like to see how he did within his own category, but unless I’m missing something, the only way to see this info is to click on every individual name to view each profile.

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Probably because ZP was setup for racing and not group rides. In races everyone should be in the allocated category so there’s no need for a second column.

I suppose, maybe another thread to ask this question. Events even such as the TdZ coming up, I think it’s well known that many treat these stages as races – I can see appeal of evaluating how you do against others in your own category, even if these aren’t technically races. (TdZ categories are all distance-based and nothing to do with wkg ability).

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Just to clarify. It’s a C rated main ride with 3 options for the last 3rd (After Party). Either an “open” race, B-C grade “chase” that the Leader leads, or a C-D “cruise” that the red beacon leads. This is explained in the pen, at the start of the event & just before the 3rd part (After Party). For the 1st 2/3 of the event (Main Ride) people are very responsive & polite, and generally stay with the group (at C Grade pace), whether it is easy or hard for them. The high averages would include the racers. Anyone ahead of the yellow beacon at the start of the After Party section is excluded from Zwift Power results.
This event is one of the very oldest on Zwift & we have always run it this way.


Thanks for all the replies. I am still puzzled why, when I do one of the rides I have an example about and I log into Zwiftpower after, all the riders have a C next to their name instead of their ZwiftPower rating. It just seems odd that everyone has a rating of C when many were not C’s in their actual label rating nor did many people average C level power. I thought the rating for the ride would show at the end or their actual rating would.

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Zwiftpower results show the category you completed the event in whether its a race or group event. I’m a Cat B rider but I can enter Cat A in a race for example. At the conclusion of the race, I would have A next to my result because thats the cat I entered. If you looked at my profile, you would see my actual Cat. Same applies to group rides. I did a group D ride this evening and I have a D next to my result because I entered Cat D.

Zwiftpower entry lists will show what the rider’s ZP cat is vs the Cat they have entered. Handy for races but meaningless for group rides given group ride cats can mean anything (like different route, an age band etc). Here’s an example of an entry list for a Cat D group ride…


Probably the other thing to note is that Zwiftpower was developed for racers so the fact that it captures group ride data and uses that data to help assess riders race capability is a bonus.

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Because it was a C grade group ride It was not a race so in reality it should not even be on the same page as the races. ZP ratings are for races not group rides.

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