Zwift race category, what's the point?

We had better add groups E,F,G and H then. LOL :grinning:

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Seriously, this is getting ridiculous. The racing categories are a complete farce.

Zwift needs to step up and enforce category entry classification based on prior rider performance. Or implement a completely different system.

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It’s a great motivator to race…but so true, when you’re in the race many of those people will get filtered out by ZP. Different system would be worth trying. Did a race yesterday and our grupetto got caught by a whole group of “C” riders (only 2 that caught us showed in results near me) but in ZP results how does the C winner have the same time as me 14th in the B with a 3.1 w/kg, while I’m pushing 3.7 w/kg? Is that a function of how much someone weighs?

Weight could be part of it, particularly if it was a flat course.

More likely the difference would be a result of race strategy. Perhaps the C winner managed to sit in a large pack and get the benefit of the draft for most of the race. And this is also the reason that ZP filtering after the race is an inadequate solution – those riders racing in C or D who should be in A or B are unfairly affecting the race.

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Funny thing is that the second one averaging +4 watts/kg was an 11 year old that pushes over 200 watts :joy:.

Daddy probably has done his son a favor I guess.

I don’t know why we even have cats in Zwift. There are good reasons for having them in the real world but in Zwift none of those reasons apply.

Races tend to end up with little groups of riders forming of similar abilities and you end up racing the people in your group. The race I did yesterday I finished with the C group but it had B and D riders in that group as well. I’m not sitting there looking at the rider list seeing who is in what cat, all I know is there are a bunch of people on the road with me and I am racing them all regardless of what cat they are in.

So I finished 6th out of 20 in my cat. About 30th out of 62 overall. The overall position means more to me than my cat position. I really don’t care if I’m the fastest of the third fastest group.

Get rid of categories and you’d get rid of 90% of the whining and complaining about Zwift racing and then people can just complain about the weight doping.

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There are already mass start events and that is good, because some people like your self like them. But others like to complete against similar ability riders to get the sense of real racing with tactics and strategy. Others like to complete in age groups others in weight groups.

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That’s my point, in any race where everyone starts together (which is most of them) then you will end up racing against similar ability riders anyway. In my race yesterday they happened to be B,C and D riders. Why do these arbitrary categories matter?

A bottom ranked B rider who puts out 3.2 w/kg should be competing against a top ranked C rider with 3.1 w/kg instead of trying to compete against a top ranked B rider who puts out 4.0 w/kg.

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That’s also a thing… You can do those things in a massive event like the castelli Giro, zwift gran fonds,…

A race shouldn’t be that you ride with all the groups together. But only with the group your in. I had fun in a little group also yesterday that I left behind me on a short climb and gave it all to the finish but that’s not the point of racing.

If I race I want a fair possibility to cross the finish line as first one.

By the rules, once you race as an A for three races, you are expected to stay in that cat. Your daily weight doesn’t change your cat.

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Which rules?

Surely due to Zwift essentially being a game then using a points and level up system to rank your race category is the best solution.

Win a race - get X points towards the next level.
Placing 2nd to 30th - get graduated lower points.

As you progress the levels the races get harder as there are more competent riders within that level. Naturally the cream will rise to the top and the best riders on a sliding scale duke it out against each other.

Zwift already has a useless XP system so the coding is pretty much in place.

The only potential problem is some riders taking a break over the ‘summer season’ so perhaps an points reduction equation would need to be in place over a period of time (maybe points reduce by 10% each month of no results).

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@eric_bednarz.bike - I think @Zee_Kryder is referring to the Rules on Zwift power, they take your best performance over 3 months. So if you have A performance in 3 races you will stay in A for 3 months if you don’t exceed the B limits in that 3 months you will drop back to B.

Amen. Having to log into a 3rd party website to see who really won the race is not the way to go.

Sounds more like an algorithm than rules :slight_smile: I can never find anything on that site, and many races have homegrown rules.

Anyway, I think this thread already established that there are folks who care (more, or even only) about the category choice before a particular race, and its impact on the experience.

When I first thought I’d try a race and looked at categories, I thought “I’ll figure that out another time”. That was about three years ago.

LOL, there should be a Rookie category maybe. Zwift is adding an “Elite” level race starting Monday. I tried that once with three top racers and I had a great two kilometer race. Too bad the rest of the A racers rode for 25 kilometers further at that pace. I died in other words.
Actually, I realized the ‘rules’ I referred to were only for KISS races, but are supported in some measure by ZwiftPower. I agree, some further clarity would be helpful. I think it is generally agreed that once you qualify for a level, that you stay there. I’m a B but usually race as an A except real long efforts I race in B. I’ve never hit that 4.0 ftp level, although I have hit 3.8 a few times. I would do anything to hit that number even just once.
There are still a few KISS races being held. I hope they continue. Try one.

The bigger issue IMO is combining of categories. Setting aside the issue related to whether someone is an A-B-C-D based on w/kg, what I don’t understand is why they combine A-B-C-D in races. It completely changes the race and tactics. I want to race against the Bs, not the As. Sure, some B racer might be able to hold on to the wheel of an A longer than me, but if the A rider/s weren’t there would he/she be able to do that? I can see why Zwift might want to do this when there’s a small turnout for an A race (say less than 5-10), but I just did a race today with 40+ Bs and 25+ As and we all started at the same time. just separate all groups by 1-2min.

Hi @pjrabice,

There is some races that has staggered starts and I agree those are a lot more fun. In my opinion al races should have staggered start pens. This is actually and option that the race organiser has.

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IRL, there are no power categories, just age and upgrades based on results. Some people never win races, some win a lot. Maybe Zwift could make a couple different types of race categories, one based on FTP, one based on age, one based on wins that give upgrade points. The membership is probably big enough to support it.

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agreed that all races should have staggered start. and I have seen the few that day. much better for sure. interesting to know its the race organizers who choose.