Watopia Friday Training Race

Enjoyed participating in the Watopia Friday Training Race that takes place each Friday afternoon at 1:30 PM EST. In this post I am going to tell you how to participate and then provide you with both text and video recaps of the event. This race I titled, “Attack of the Schumm.”

People often ask how they can participate. It is quite simple if you have the Zwift software and an account. If you find what you see here interesting, but you are not on Zwift; I would point you to their website at Zwift.com. It is in open beta. So no waiting line to play!

Once you have the software installed, your account set up, and your trainer configured; you are ready to race! I would suggest you follow the steps below in the order I give. It will keep you from freaking out at the last second realizing you are set up correctly.

  1. Go to your account and click on the Edit Profile button. Where you see your last name, add the following FTR-A, FTR-B, or FTR-C. Those letters represent the level at which you think you could be competitive. “A” racers typically are pretty fast. They are finishing a lap of Watopia in under 14 minutes. Of course, you can move up or down once you get in there and find how you match up with the pace.
  2. By the way, if you do not have an account on Strava. It is a great help to the race organizers to have you link your Zwift profile to Strava. This allows them to watch the race virtually and determine the finishing order.
  3. Hopefully, you do the above well before it is time to prepare for the actual race. I’d suggest you do it the morning of or at least an hour before the event. You’ll then be ready to warm up. I will log in about 25 to 30 minutes before the ride and do a lap at a reasonable pace. As time moves toward the start… say five minutes before, I then end my warmup.
  4. Ending your warmup will take you completely out of the program and you will need to start it again. When you do, you will notice the list pops up that asks if you want to “Just Ride” or “Join” someone on the list. I always look for C. Wiedmann and “Join” with him. If I don’t see him on the list, I click “Just Ride” which should put you in the general vicinity of all the other competitors.
  5. Watch the chatter and you’ll find out if Wiedmann is leading the ride or if someone else is heading up the race for the day. They will announce when to start rolling. You will see a bunch of FTR riders amassing. All you have to do is get in that group and follow the instructions given.
  6. Remember, the race does not start immediately. There is plenty of time for everyone to group before the race leader calls the GO! once the riders reach the weird looking statues of cyclist dudes (aliens?) and everyone goes from a rolling start. Take a look at this video… it shows how it works:

Of course, the video only covers the A race. Chris Wiedmann does an awesome job putting together reports following each race that covers all the categories. This is where the Strava account and proper use of the FTR abbreviation in the name you give the Strava activity becomes important. Be sure you name your Strava activity a name that includes FTR.

So, with no further ado… here is Chris’ report from the May 29, 2015 race.

20 riders showed up for the start of this week’s Friday Training Race. The A race was won in an exciting three-up sprint by F. Coppex with C. Schumm and M. Wardle rounding out the podium spots. The B race was taken by a small margin by N. Koenigstein (who was given a field promotion from the C category since he finished in front of all the B riders) over I. Munro with Mike Brew on the third step of the podium. R. Butler won the C race with S. Carter and W. Elvin following over the line.

The A race started with the usual contest of strength up the first climb. Six riders made it past the first selection: Coppex, Schumm, Wardle, F. Garcia, J. Pait and C. Wiedmann. In an effort to change the usual script, Schumm attempted an attack on the roller before the bicycle statues that held for a short time but was closed down by the sprint banner. The second climb took Garcia off the back, with the third climb claiming Wiedmann and Pait.

The three leaders worked together, quickly distancing Pait and Wiedmann who were riding solo in front of Garcia and Law who had combined efforts to chase. This situation held to the finish with the exception of Pait who sat up in the final lap to record video of the final sprint.

Wardle seemed content to lead out the sprint for the leaders. He left it late and jumped from the 100m sign. Coppex reacted quickly and managed to jump by with a strong acceleration with Schumm on his wheel. Schumm ran out road to come around giving Coppex the win.

The B race broke up in the early stages when the pace was pushed. Koenigstein was able to close the gap to the A group and ride with them for 1 1/2 laps. I. Munro and N. Law (from the A group) managed to work together for a lap before Law joined Garcia and Munro lost touch. Brew, J. Gill, G. Christopher and J. Denny chased solo further back.

The early effort took it’s toll on Koenigstein who drifted back behind Munro. He managed to find a second wind in the last lap to make up the deficit and take the win by 7 seconds over Munro. Brew followed less than a minute later to take the final podium spot.


A Group
1. F. Coppex 1:00:14 (41.6 km/h)
2. C. Schumm s.t.
3. M. Wardle s.t.
4. C. Wiedmann 0:02:57
5. F. Garcia 0:03:35
6. N. Law s.t.
7. J. Pait 0:08:10

B Group
1. N. Koenigstein 1:05:35 (38.1 km/h)
2. I. Munro 0:00:07
3. M. Brew 0:00:54
4. J. Gill 0:00:59
5. G. Christopher 0:02:04
6. J. Denny 0:04:37
DNF L. Ranicar (network problems)

C Group
1. R. Butler 1:06:32 (37.6 km/h)
2. S. Carter 0:07:03
3. W. Elvin 0:08:56
4. N. Pedersen 0:11:58

Note: Time gaps for entertainment purposes only. Corrections to placings and race narrative are welcome. I have skipped listing anybody whose Strava activity I could not find. If you wish to be included, let me know.

Event Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1451758121803123/
Strava fly-by: http://labs.strava.com/flyby/viewer/…

Make your plans to participate next week!