Zwift classics 2021 - trofeo bologna bologna giro d'italia tt course

The penultimate week of the 2021 Zwift Classics! 2 laps of Zwift’s version of the 2019 Giro d’Italia TT course. The race starts from the start pen and finishes at the top of the SECOND time up to San Luca for a total of 24.6km.

This week we are evaluating Bologna.

The route is flat until it is not.

What category were you assigned and how did you experience the race.

Well, here we are again with another episode of The Autocat Turns: Two Times up Bologna, Stage 7 of the Zwift Classics 2021.

We have lotsa questions:
Is everybody still in the same group like it’s been for nearly all of the events?
Or are the bruisers going to be moved to acknowledge their apparent difficulty with all that climbing?
Do we get to see the start list before the event to see who’s The Competition?
Or is it a closely guarded secret to keep us from complaining about our start group?

Stand by for answers to your questions!

As before, I’m in C3. It’s going to be interesting with the opening flat section, keeping it within my 20 minute power and not getting ahead of myself. When I’ve done it as a TT that’s been hard enough on my own. With the slathering mob of 40 or 50 Zwift boneheads, I’m going to have to keep a close eye on my power to have enough juice to finish the event in good form. Or even complete the first time up the hill.

I’m hopeful for a good competitive event as always. I’ll attempt to save the bitching for afterwards.

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Lol. Daz Carter in C1 again, having ridden off the front of the pack on the flat last week he’ll win this by as much as he wants to without breaking sweat.

Some of you guys are giving WTRL far too much credit in imagining there is any analysis and learning going on in this process. A basic sanity check would be a start, but even that seems too much to expect.


Yeah, obvious outliers again already. Why riders in the top 3-4% of racers on the platform, aren’t in the top category, I don’t understand.

You’d think even if their huge numbers aren’t enough, the fact they walk the race every week would be enough to recategorise them.

Ah well, C2 was fun last week. Look forward to getting absolutely smashed in C1 on a course much less suited to me than last week’s. :man_shrugging:

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This time around I’m in C1 (Western Europe). I couldn’t take part in all previous Zwift Classics Events, but was put in C2 (if I remember correctly). I was pretty happy with my groups. Had to work hard, sweated and suffered an awful lot, but that’s what I usually do in B-Races :slight_smile:
Not looking forward to Bologna/climbing but they say it’s flat until it isn’t.

Rider signups are available on ZwiftPower and in C3 Australia and we have a 150 ranked rider with 4.1w/kg @ 380W for 20 minutes. Guys like this are going to crush everyone on the flat (raw watts) and then smash them on the up hill (w/kg). Good luck to any of the poor C cat guys (such as the 3.2w/kg @ 210W guy) in that race.

I’m just ignoring the A cat signup, with 4.5w/kg @ 371W, as their power numbers are all over the place so they might have a very inaccurate or un-calibrated trainer.

I’ll skip this week. I find Bologna a boring course at the best of times and going up that climb twice isn’t something I look forward. Plus, I don’t see any point in testing this any further when it’s the same people and the same results week after week. There’s about a dozen guys around the 3.9w/kg @ 300W mark who are going to be the front group after the climb the first time. Everyone else is pack fodder.

On a completely unrelated note, anyone noticed how easy it is to sign up for a different cat? Just fiddle with the event id in the Zwift url and off you go.



You did make me laugh with that, Dave. Have you signed up this week, even if you’re not racing? I’m curious as to where you’d be categorised.

I’ve been put in C4 (as I have with every other classics race) and I’m looking forward to this one as in theory I’m more of a climber than a flat rider, and the stats of the other people on Zwiftpower don’t look too bad to me. I just have to hope I have better legs than last week!

Just checked. C3 (with nearly 70 cat Bs), like every other time apart from that one week where everyone was shuffled up a category.

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Looking at European Legs anyway I really cant see anything other than riders being put into a very strong correlation to w/kg in most cases split as zwiftpower would do it apart from the fact there is 1. More categorys so the split points are in a different place (^ cats) 2. There are a few complete outliers such as a C cat rider getting in C0 I think because they are around 35kg .

Once again C0 is extremely small field and I think I must be right on the cut there , there are some in C1 with better traditional Zwift racing stats e.g. higher w/kg averages and definately higher 15s vaues which as everyone knows normally is all that matters in Zwift racing . Given the small & class field I dont see being remotely able to get away on this one , think the climb while steep is not quite long enough to benefit me enough. but of course will give it a go :slight_smile: I think I will manage a top 10 finish though ( field of 10 including mentioned C cat rider ) :joy:

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There still seems to be outliers slipping through the auto cat system. Spot the probable winner here?

The rider was top end cat b/a last zrl and although has not done much racing since they have done a couple maap stages at mid/high cat B power. He will smash C5.

I assuming group rides are not taken in the calculation?

If we can’t remove the outliers might as well just enforce based on ZP cats would do a better job.



The West Oz C3 has three A riders in the starting field. One of them has a time up Baloney over five minutes faster than my PR. One of them has a race ranking of 125. If the top 7 were moved to C2 we might actually have a decent race. This is going to be just like all of the other “Zwift Classic” events I’ve participated in. I’ll ride it and ride it as hard as I can but when you’re over 1w/kg in 20 minute power behind several riders, it’s just not fun.

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Does look like that, for my C3 (Central Europe) as well majority are B’s and a couple high C’s thrown in.

Looking at the 20min power this shows quite a range 400w down to 198w (I am 289w) and for those that have a TT lap shown it is more staggering 14:55 @5.2w/kg down to 23:20 @3.2w/kg (Mine is 17:59 @3.6w/kg).

For me looking at my field, it looks just like a controlled ZP entry Cat B race. Does not appear to have that further level of sophistication being filtered by power or speeds as well.

No chance for me to make it near the top 10, however I might have a good race at the mid/lower end of the pack. Not what I thought this Autocat Classics was going to be about.

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To be fair Bologna is always going to blow apart especially with prime points for the first lap. But with 6 categories it should be straightforward to have tighter race fields than with the traditional 4 of A-D. So when you see a race encompassing an exceptionally strong A+ down to some reasonably strong (but not exceptional) Bs, something is going badly wrong.

As predicted, Daz Carter won by a comfortable distance in C1.

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I was placed in C3 lower than last week. there was a few in the group that I knew would be over the top first.

For me it was a good race, That climb was not kind to me.

I was able to finish in the second group.

With the auto cat I don’t know if I did well or if it placed me lower because of my climbing abilities. I don’t want to have it easier because I can’t climb.

I did the NZ race this morning and, looking at your data from other races, you might have won C4 easily, so I could understand why you’d be put in C3 there.
I can see why the European C3 races wouldn’t be fun for you, where you’re likely to be near the back of a much bigger field.

I seem to do better on climbs than flats and finished better than I ever have done, as I hoped. My aim was to keep as near to the front as I could up the first climb and then hang onto a pack, which seemed to work well but I had nothing left when we hit the second climb. Finishing 11th out of 26 feels much better than finishing 44th out of 104.

Decent week for me in the C3 W AUS race. Race started slow till the climb when the big players moved away, was going well up the climb till I noticed quite a few 90kg guys behind me so I dropped into that group knowing I’d be caught on descent regardless.
Started to struggle on lap two till we had a massive slow down which allowed me to regroup for the second climb, passed most my group for 8th.
First time I have tried Bologna and I actually enjoyed it, low numbers and easy start made my experiance more enjoyable than other weeks.
Usual guys dominated but it’s not there fault WTRL doesn’t move them up


Dear Zwift,

My deepest condolences regarding the untimely loss of your sweet kitten, “Auto”, whom I heard passed tonight after a period of ill health. As I understand it, he died from heart failure due to the 50% time overlap between cats in Bologna. How terrible! What a shock it must have been to you! I know how much “Auto” meant to you. Now you must take your time and mourn him of course, but let me just mention that there are many other kittens out there needing a home. Perhaps one of them could lighten up your day once your days are not quite so blackened by shock and grief as they must be right now.

Perhaps I can cheer you up with a little game, a challenge, if you are up to it. I call it the Refute Game. It goes like this: I present a number of statements and your job is to refute them scientifically. Let’s begin right away!

  1. A 50% time overlap between cats in races is not tenable. (Hint: Bonus points for creative answers.)

  2. Women show a higher relative HR and have HR distribution diagrams skewed to the right and not because of physiological differences but because they cruise less and work harder than men. (Hint: Either failure to refute the null hypothesis or, if it is indeed refuted, a broad review of sports physiology studies showing otherwise would suffice here.)

  3. You can replicate the studies toward the end of this blog post on rider weight using the WTRL Classics race results for all the lower categories, but the pattern will break down in C1.

  4. You can also replicate the studies on effort levels in this other blog post on all the lower WTRL Classics cats, and like with cat A in the study the pattern will break down in C1.

(Hint: As for 3-4, there should be enough data for a variety of statistical methods, especially after the Classics season is finished.)

Good luck!

Oh, and I share your loss and send you my deepest sympathy.