ZwiftPower Update [September 2020]

There are maintenance windows that happen in what are the early hours of the US so we can have as little impact as possible.

It would be great to have some more masters/handicapped/women’s races. As a light rider when riding in B grade for mixed it’s really hard to compete with strong males,particularly on the many flat rides. If there were more masters events ( like there are IRL ) it would encourage more people to race. As you get older it’s harder to do regular smashfests! :wink:


@Matt, assuming that riders who aren’t trying don’t finish in the top 10 (or top 5 when the field is small), they won’t influence the points that get distributed. It also seems difficult to define what constitutes “trying”, or to deprive someone of points when his competitor that is usually stronger happens to have a bad day.

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Thanks for the info, good to hear you are planning to use this invaluable source of data to improve upon the system.

My 2 cents:

*Most importantly, the categorization system needs to get rid of the FTP based threshold, and needs to introduce a point based classification system. It makes no sense to define categories based on 1 of many characteristics needed to win races. It leads to perverse incentives wrt training/diet, and sandbagging. An intelligent point based classification system, with a pre-defined period after which riders promote/demote, will improve the dynamics in all race categories.

*The A cat is too broad as it stands now, with FTP ranges from 4.0 to 6.0… that’s an insane difference in ability (ie, PRO vs full time job people who train 5-6 hours per week). It’s fun to race a pro, once… it gets annoying if you constantly have to race pros (or people who race with pro-level wkg, virtually :slight_smile: )

*Race organisers should have the option to exclude riders to enter into a category different than the one assigned by ZP.

Fix these three things and you’d have a vastly improved racing system.


Oh yes… hire and pay Sticky for what he has been doing on the forum, priceless expertise, and endless patience, imo :joy:

  • The FTP/M power system predicts how riders do long climbs. It’s good for L’Alpe races, VenTop, and La Reine. It can be revised to better represent ability over a range of courses and effort durations. It’s also preferential to heavy and, to a lesser extent, very light riders, but unfair to moderately light riders. I proposed some ideas here. (Actually I think most riders don’t even understand there’s a minimum maximum power for each category, as an alternative to W/kg)
  • to enter a race, you should need to be on Zwift Power (or whatever it’s called). It’s nuts when there’s multiple results, even multiply entry lists, for the same event. “I finished 4th” – “Was that on the companion app or ZP, and filtered or unfiltered results?” – “WTF???”
  • the rider ranking score is cool, but implementation is obscure (I have a hard time understanding the UI and am normally good at this sort of thing)… For example, I only just realized that I’m not getting points for races where there were < 5 finishers on ZP in my category. I wonder what fraction of Zwifter racers understand results points. In fact, it’s really hard even finding where points are described: it’s here, then click FAQ.

Working well I see.


lots of great input, highlighting James and W’s contribution. I’d be interested to learn more about product management for Zwift and if there is a roadmap specific to racing functionality. Some of the systemic problems have existed for years and getting this person connected with the community and taking advantage of this solid input would be very valuable. I’d like to add a request for the conveyor belt function for TTT. WTRL has built a great event which would be complimented by a registration function allowing for use of the conveyor.


Also, why have a meet up with race results if we don’t strat like in a race?


Fantastic input James. Agree with all points.

I want to reiterate the importance of Sticky and the role he plays in the forums. It would be hard to understate what an impact losing that responsiveness, no-nonsense approach and in-depth understanding of racing (IRL and eRacing) would have.

What about setting up a user group to represent the interests of racers across various skill levels, geographic locations and racing preferences? We’d be happy to contribute a representative from Team AHDR - we race across all grades right up to the elite level (men and women), all over the world, host our own events, compete in regular races, series, major events and the TTTs. A few members from major teams like this could represent a vast range of opinions to help guide this development.


To me, this is a reason why the Live view is a bad idea. It gives a potential advantage to racers who can run a second screen.

Yes I see your point but if you are serious about racing this is at least a band-aid.


So any advantage is a Band Aid for serious racers? Hrm, I should get my Vortex back! :smiley:

Removing transparency by moving everything to email is not great. Especially if the turnaround is the same as support@, which seems to be about 3 weeks.

I second the notion that having a couple knowledgeable folks arbitrating discussions out in the open would be ideal. Sticky has been doing a great job.

Other than that, racing improvement suggestions should be well-known at this point…


One other thing to add to this list, based on recent experience. I’ve been disqualified (or at least, appear to have been disqualified) from a race on ZP because “UPG” - apparently that might mean I entered at the wrong category. Difficult one to police I guess, as I definitely see the point mentioned about A graders cruising in the lower cats and then dominating the end. For me, I ride Cat C as it’s right for my capability. That said, I guess I’ve been improving (marginally) and on the ride in question, evidently put out enough to be a lower Cat B, hence the DQ. Sooo, is this a hard and fast rule where UPG = permanent DQ, or can it be appealed? What happens if subsequent rides / races are at Cat B, will that lift the UPG and reinstate the results?

ZwiftPower determines your ‘minimum category’ using the average of your three best performances (based on 95% of 20 min power) over the last 90 days. You could receive an UPG tag in a race and still be eligible to race in that category, especially if it was something like a time trial, a race very close to 20 mins in length or with a long climb where your power could be close to your absolute max 20 min output.

Your DQ for that race will be permanent, however, as you exceeded the limits. This isn’t something to stress about, if anything it’s a positive if you out-performed what you thought you were capable of, but should be taken as a suggestion to race in B if you think there’s a chance you’ll exceed C Cat numbers.

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So what, you going to F this up the same way you do zwift? Hey great idea, remove the GUI so that it matches the crap user experience you deliver on zwift!

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It’s an easy one to police. If you’re capable of entering category B, you should enter category B and not seek to dominate a category where you are more able or capable than those in it.

People entering lower categories are ruining the experience for people that are rightfully in those categories. I’m D but an improvement of 0.1w/kg would make me a cat C - I will step up as soon as that is confirmed on Zwiftpower.


UPG is applied automatically when you race in a category below your ‘Minimum’; your subsequent performance is irrelevant.

WKG is the tag used when you enter an appropriate category but exceed the category limits.


Yes it’s a hard and fast rule if you are cat b you should be entering cat b or you will rightly be disqualified for sandbagging and entering a cat c race.

You need to average category requirements over 3 races. what would your grounds be for appeal being seeing that you can average cat b pace for 3 rides?

I’d really like to see zwift step up and start enforcing category at sign up but they don’t seem interested in eracing even though this is by far the biggest problem to effect racing on zwift.