Tag Archives: Racing

Here is my virtual passport

Okay, I started this idea way back when I was wanting to hold a race with a payout. Ultimately, I was encouraged by Zwift not to attempt such a race because it would be very hard to assure that the race was fair. Since those days we’ve seen all kinds of discussions going on about the way races and events are conducted. It makes me glad I never went through with my plan!

Before you read this… I’m definitely not saying that everyone should do what I propose. I am not advocating it as a standard for all races and events on Zwift. This was an idea for a particular race series in which people would choose to participate. Feel free to critique the idea, but, please, don’t go off on how you’re not going to let someone force you to do this or that. No one is!

I did mention in a previous blog that I would lay out what I thought would be an answer to making an attempt at fair racing. It would involve some sort of way to verify the abilities of those participating. So, this was my plan…

    1. Weight verification. Don’t diss me too much on this idea. It actually wasn’t mine. It was given to me by the folks at Zwift. The idea here is that you would go to your local bicycle shop — or maybe a notary public 😉 — and do a weigh in. You would then put that number on a paper with the signature of the “official” who witnessed your weigh in.
      Weigh in at the local bike shop

      Weigh in at the local bike shop

      Here is a problem I discovered. You can see that when I did this weigh in it shows me at 174 pounds. Well, with a little diet discipline and some exercise, I’ve gotten down to around 171 pounds. So, the consistency of this aspect of the “virtual passport” is a problem. What would be cool is a way to upload your weight from a scale just before the race, but then you would have the issue of verification.

    2. Visual verification

      Visual verification

      Visual verification. Okay, I admit this was the more harebrained of my ideas. My thought was that adding another component to the weigh in would be a photograph showing the physical makeup of the rider. I thought this would give more credence to the weight submitted, would give visual cues to the age, fitness, etc. of the rider.

      It would be a little like the way you do when you show up for a race. Everyone lines up at the start. Immediately, you recognize the usual suspects, but then you start evaluating the folks you don’t know. You can tell a lot about a racer by the way he dresses, holds himself on the bike, how lean he is, and his muscle tone. That was my thought…

      Well, it was pointed out that with no frame of reference, you couldn’t adequately verify weight, height, etc. from a photograph. Not only that, this was the aspect of my idea that got the most negative feedback! Frankly, the more I thought about it, the more creepy it did seem.

      But so you can see I’m practicing what I preach, I’ve included a photograph taken on the day I had my weigh in at the bicycle shop. The criticisms are valid. You can’t tell from the photograph whether 174 pounds was accurate or even confirm that my height is 6 feet.

    3. FTP report. Back when I originally had the idea there was no workout mode on Zwift. Now, it would be pretty easy to have a report for FTP because participants could conduct an FTP test right there in Zwift. My thought back when I was thinking of a race series was for people to go out and do their best 20 minute effort, take a screenshot of the ride data, and then post it with the other virtual passport data.
      The concept was to show the Zwift report of a solid 20 minute effort.

      The concept was to show the Zwift report of a solid 20 minute effort.

      Here is mine from the same period when I did the weigh in, etc. In this case, it put me at 295 watts.  I guess it is also of interest to see the other increments, though I don’t think the 5 seconds, 1 minute, and 5 minute records are my “best” efforts as I was doing a more sustained effort.

      Again, I believe that the FTP test in the workout mode would be a better standard, but I have not yet attempted one. I’ve been sick for the last week and am just now getting back on the bicycle. Actually, I don’t think I’m going to attempt the test until after Thanksgiving when I’ll start thinking of training again.

    4. Equipment. This primarily is the trainer used by the rider. For the particular series I was wanting to conduct, it would limit participants to those with smart trainers. Of course, you could also have different categories for zPower riders and smart trainers.For me, I would be racing with a Wahoo Kickr.
    5. Outside references. For this, I was thinking of some sort of record of performance outside of Zwift. Primarily I was thinking about riding in the “real world commander cialis discount.” This could be a link to a rider’s Strava profile and/or race results from a licensing body. Of course, that supposes that the participants track their information on Strava and hold a racing license with an organization such as USACycling.

So, there you go. I’ve exposed myself! You now know that I am a 47-year old bald dude at 6 feet (shrunk down from 6′ 1″), at between 171 — 174 pounds (with a little too much of that around the middle), who hasn’t raced competitively in the real world for several years, and struggles to get his FTP up near 300 watts. Keep that in mind when you are leaving me as we climb the Watopia KOM!

The UZI

Zwifters are cyclists, but there is no classification for them under the governance of the Union Cycliste Internationale. The landscape of team racing on Zwift looks more like the wild wild west than the sweeping paved turns of the Alps. This means that the Zwfit community needs to work through some things.

Now, I’m not proposing a Union Zwift Internationale. Fact is, the UCI — or rather the long established etiquette and rules of the road — has given us a framework for racing in our virtual, but oh so real, cycling world. However, while the rules of the road are pretty set, the organization of races and rides and the formulation and maintenance of clubs and teams are not.

Several weeks ago I started the Unofficial Zwift Team and Club Listing. I thought a couple of teams would form and we’d have fun racing against the few of us. I figured someone with more time and a better idea would come along and the List would fade away.

Well, the List is still here. There are multiple teams and clubs formed and some of them are getting larger. In some cases the teams have split into different levels of riders. So, A class riders going under one banner and B class riders under another. This was done in part to meet the 15 rider limit for the competitive teams.

I set this limit arbitrarily in order to match “real world” scenarios. Most local teams I’ve been associated with have a limit of team members. Obviously, professional races always have a limit on how many riders can be in a particular race.

However, another reason I set the limit was because a mass of riders from one team could definitely have a bearing on a race in Zwift simply due to their huge numbers. With the way drafting works in the game, numbers is power! That concerned me.

There are several counter arguments. Isn’t it true that several teams riding under different names, but representing the same banner still a single team? Even though a team may have a large number of riders, do you really think they will all show up at the same time? And, of course, “Hey, who do you think you are to say how many riders can be on a team!?!”

I guess that final argument is the one that bothers me the most. While setting up the List, I tried to involve the Zwift community in what shape it would take. I want it to be useful, and not a burden. I want it to be a structure that can help us move toward better racing on Zwift, but not a restriction that keeps our community from enjoying the fun and camaraderie that comes from racing on a team.

So, I’m coming to you all to get your feedback. I’ll be checking out any conversations this post might generate in the forums, here on the site, and with any direct messages to me. Then I’ll put out a poll and we’ll all vote on it.

If we are to organize into teams, how do you think we should handle it? Should there be a limit to the number of riders? If so, how many should that be? If we have no limit to how many can be on a team roster, do we limit the number of riders who can participate in a given event?

Granted, all of this is hardly enforceable. It would have to be carried out under an honor system. We don’t have the UZI after all.

Now, about that those flyers…

It’s an international affair

The Unofficial Zwift Team and Club Listing is continuing to grow. It’s turning into an international affair. “National teams” are popping up every few hours. Pretty soon and we’ll be able to stage another World Championships in Richmond!

Here are the countries represented so far. Some have only just been established without any team members. Others are starting to build quickly to their 15 man roster. A couple of countries have take the Club approach which will not limit members.

Zwift Brazil
  • Zwift tag: BRA
  • Manager: Gabriel Matzenbacher
  • Open (Brazilian Only)
  • Current members: 4
  • Team page
GoZwift Portugal
  • Zwift tag: PT
  • Manager: Braulio Afonso
  • Open (Portuguese Only)
  • Current members: 5
  • Team page
Team Kiwi
  • Zwift tag: TeamKIWI
  • Manager: Craig Hoskin
  • Open (New Zealand)
  • Current members: 1
  • Team page
Cycling South Africa
Belgian Zwift Riders

Do you want to add your country to the mix? You can do so by using the Create a Team form. Give your team a name that easily identifies your country. Yes, there can be more than one country specific team, but they would need to have different names. Designate in your description what types of riders for which you are looking.

What about the USA? Well, I have to give a shout out to the Left Coast Cycling Team. Anybody out there want to start the Right Coast Cycling Team? 😉 There could be a couple in between!

Ride On! Race On!

Why the portal? An interview.

I spent the weekend building the Unofficial Zwift Team and Club Listing. I have no idea if it will work. I do know that since it is not automated, it does take work on my part to manage it. Who knows? If the concept works, I may rewrite it and that would create more options for the users.

The process started a discussion on the Zwift Riders Facebook group. Seems not everyone could see the reason for the project. I also learned that I wasn’t the only one with similar ideas. At times, I felt I was having to defend myself. So, in the format of an interview, I want to explain.

zwiftclubteamportal

Why did you decide to build the listing?

It started because I had a great time participating in the first-ever team race on Zwift. It brought back memories of my days team racing on real roads. It got me to wondering who else was on my Zwift team and how could I find out who they were. For that matter, I was curious who all was on the other teams as well. There was no centralized place to find out. I saw a need and tried to meet it.

Do you really think it was a need?

Maybe “need” is too strong of a word. Here we are riding expensive bikes on expensive trainers connected to expensive computers over high bandwidth connections. I’ll call it a “want.” I wanted to know this information and I figured others would as well. Could Zwift survive without it? Sure. However, the teams would form and they would find ways to connect with each other. Why not build a place where a system for this was already in place.

Are you trying to control the team space on Zwift?

Nope. Zwift is a huge community. I am beyond certain that the majority of Zwift users don’t even know the listing exists. It is most likely only known within my sphere of contacts on the Zwift Riders Facebook group. Also, this system doesn’t do anything other than list for common knowledge what others are doing. I’m not building the teams. I’m not telling them where or when they can race. That is all up to the teams and clubs.

Why are you doing this when there are other people building team sites?

First. When I started building it, I didn’t realize there were other initiatives started. When I saw Tam Burns’ Zwift Team Worlds Event project, I was like, “Ahhhh, I don’t have to do this! Someone else is doing the work.” However, when I took at look at what Tam was doing, I realized we’re doing something very different.

Tam’s site and another one by John Greig allow users to register and then the software groups them into teams for specific events. Actually, it is a pretty cool concept and I imagine it will work quite well. It isn’t what I was looking for. I wanted something that was 1) driven by the users, and 2) allowed for continuity for the teams.

So, do you think you have the better plan?

No. I have A plan. Also, from the very beginning I took this concept to the Zwift Riders Facebook group. Behind the scenes I communicated with team mates and other users who gave valuable feedback. I kept putting out iterations of the concept and made adjustments based on the questions users had interacting with the interface.

I think this site is just one of several that could serve the Zwift community. It isn’t in conflict with other sites. For now, it is the only site that does what it does. Frankly, if a better site does what I’m doing (I’d love for it to be integrated in the Zwift software!), I’m more than willing to hand over the data.

How does it work?

If no one uses it, it won’t! Even if there are multiple teams and clubs listed in the portal, but none of them race and ride as teams… it still won’t work. However, it is a good tool that gives Zwift riders opportunities to enjoy team racing.

The way I envision this is that a group of Zwift riders who regularly hangout together online decide to form a team. They choose a team manager and he or she signs onto the portal to create a team. I receive that submission and list the team on the team listing.

If the team is an Invitation Only team, I give the team manager a link to be sent to each member they wish to join. As those entries come in, I add them to the team roster that appears on the team page. That team page is then viewable by anyone.

So, if you are out riding in a race and you see a bunch of people riding with say… Team CCG out beside their names, you can go to the portal and find it stands for the Childwall Chain Gang, an elite group of Road Race specialists, est. 2008 and located in Liverpool, UK.

Unattached riders also can sign up. My plan with this is to create a listing of these riders and then allow team managers to approach those riders to join their groups. At some point, it might workout to form teams based on these lists… However, that doesn’t fit with my desire to have the teams driven entirely by the users. This will be something on which I’ll seek community feedback.

Where do you find this site?

Let me say, first, that I still want feedback. I can’t incorporate every idea, but I definitely consider  them and much of what I’m doing now came from user feedback. Thank you!

Last, this is all about you. If it falls flat and no one uses it, then that is a sign that it isn’t needed or that someone else has something better. I’m fine with both those outcomes! However, if you do sign up, don’t do it on a lark. Use it as a way to build your team — and then RIDE ON as a team. That part is all on you.

Now, go continue making Zwift the awesome online cycling community that it is!

Teams have landed on Watopia

All the news is about hurricane Joaquin landing (or maybe not landing) on the east of coast of the U.S. While most people’s attention was turned to that landing, there was another landing taking place in the Pacific. Team racing has landed on Zwift’s Watopia.

I was excited to have an opportunity to participate in the historic event. Looking back it was really cool… even if I did make a fool of myself in the process. It was fun enough that I’ll be looking to get back to it whenever I can.

It was Frank “vEveresting” Garcia that put the idea out there. He suggested that we turn the Thursday Zwift Training Race Early Bird into a race featuring teams. Team dZi was already making itself noticed. Frank put out a call for other racers to counter dZi’s growing number of riders.

I figured I would jump in and give it a go. So, Frank connected with the team to give us our race instructions before the start. Here is what I was handed, “How do you feel about going hard at the gun and having them have to chase you?” I figured I could do that since that would mean I could be helpful early in the race when I was fresher.

Pre-race went something like this…

“JP is going to try and establish a bit of break at the start and try to hold to make dZi chase. When they come back one of us (I am willing can put in an attack and make them chase again) then standard tactics from there.”

“JP – make them work – We will enjoy the draft. :)”

Photos by James Gill

Photos by James Gill

And so we began. Frank Garcia, Casey Schumn, Neil Law, and Jamie Jj Alldridge were guys I recognized. James Gill was supposed to be on our team as well, but he was not able to make it because of work (not to mention he is riding injured.)

We were mixing it up with the dZi guys as well as Francois Coppex as a pirate. There were several other racers with no team affiliation and various categories of racers within each team. You could tell the difference between the teams by the kits they wore as well as the letters signifying their teams out to right of their names. dZi had… well… dZi. Our team was X1.

I was determined to do my part. So, I tried to stay near the front of the group as we did the warmup. However, Christian Wiedmann had some issues with we lost him as our marshall. He said for us to wait. So, I slowed down and somehow got gapped off the back. I guess Chris logged back in because suddenly he was in front of me in the lead group.

Once again I found myself sprinting to get back to the front group before the start line. I made it, but was already a bit winded from trying to get back on. As we hit the bridge to mark the start, I attacked down the left side of the group. Right away I started building a several second gap.

However, that is where things started going downhill… or I should say… uphill! The start of this race took us immediately into the 3 to 4 minute climb. In order to create a gap, I was having to lay down around 500 watts. Then I had to hold over 325 watts to maintain the distance.

I’m afraid that the plan didn’t work. Yes, I got a gap and riders had to work a bit to come up to me. However, in no way was I hurting any of them. It really was an exercise in futility and I ended up knocking up against 180 bpm within the first 5 minutes of the race!

Suddenly, I wasn’t the one creating a gap. I was trying to hang on for dear life! I did get across the KOM line and descend with the lead of the pack. Then a group of about 15 riders rode on as a group with no real attacks. Each team was using tactics to keep the other under control.

I continued with the group to the next lap. It was about halfway up the climb that I realized that I was not going to be able to keep it up. So, I eased up and decided to finish my ride and then go set up some sandbags to help control some of the expected 12 to 25 inches of rain this weekend.

It gave me an opportunity to see how I compared with some of the other riders. The guys who always kick my butt on these rides are weighing in between 120 and 155 pounds. At 174 pounds, I have to work even harder on the climbs. So when I’m killing myself at 600 watts, they are heading up the incline without having to put out nearly the same effort.

Then when it comes to the end of the race and they are throwing down 500 watts, I’m having to put out that much more. I’m not complaining. On the flats I can use that weight and power to my advantage. It is just on this hilly course my weight does not work in my favor.

Still, it was great fun! I want to try it again, but next time I’ll be a little more judicious in my efforts! I think I would be of more use working to just stay in contact with the group on the climb and then use my power to create a draft for a teammate on the flats or the rolling section.

Of course, Richmond is a whole different ball game! It is a course that better suits me. The climbs there sting, but they are not as long. I can power over them and take advantage of the flats and downhill. It is more of a sprinter’s course than Watopia.

Did I mention that Team X1 won? Still waiting for the official finish report, but we had two guys in the finish sprint (which was pretty cool!) and the first finisher wasn’t really a valid racer — best I could tell. Neil Law took the win for us with Casey Schumn finishing close behind. UPDATE: Race report is not out. If you want to see a very good blow-by-blow account of the race, check out Nathan Guerra’s Twitch.

So, team racing has come to Zwift. It works. It is loads of fun! I can see a day when Zwift will incorporate this structure into the game.

Now that I’ve helped make history, I’m looking forward to that future!

Virtual Power Passport

Earlier this fall, I started thinking of how I could pull off an event for the I Do It For Foundation. I have conducted a Ride For Mike ride each year since 2007. Normally, I get hit with some epic type ride early in the year and carry it out around this time of year. This year, I wanted to incorporate Zwift.

Of course, each ride has a fund raising component. As I have been trying to move the foundation forward, I have been raising money for the operational expenses of the organization. Since we give the service to our Doers to raise funds for someone they love, we have no way of covering our expenses. This has held us back to a degree.

My thought was to stage a race. We would have people sign an entry fee and get a number. They would then append that number to their names on the Zwift leader board. We’d have a race and then a portion of the money raised would go as a payout to the various places.

I approached Zwift with my idea and as usual they were very quick in responding and gave me some great honest feedback. That feedback was basically that until there was a way to physically proctor a race you would be inviting cheating — 100% for certain. I did also get some insight into where Zwift would like to go in this regard.

It got me to thinking. “Okay, so maybe I can’t have a race with a payout. However, if I were to do such a thing, how would I go about doing it?” So, I created this form as a basis for discussion and possible implementation. After posting it in the Zwift Riders group on Facebook (closed group), I definitely got some feedback!

Over the next couple of days, I’d like to lay out what I was thinking. I want to point out right now that I’m not trying to set up some “virtual power passport clearinghouse” for all of Zwift. I was only wanting to conduct this experiment for this particular race series.

Also, let me point out that the feedback is good. While I will go forward to explain my original intent in each component, I’ve already determined that a couple of things will change. Some things will be taken away and some others added.

I still hope to have an I Do It For Foundation event on Zwift. Unfortunately, it won’t involve a payout.

Richmond motivation

Looking back over the years of my blogging, I’ve noticed that around July I seem to disappear. I think it is because I start off the season all excited with lots to write about. Then I get into the the rhythm and things begin repeating. I start repeating myself and lose my imagination.

Enter Zwift and Richmond Worlds.

Zwift launched a new course. It was a major change because this virtual course was a drop dead ringer for the UCI World Championships course in Richmond, VA. As usual, Zwift threw out some “virtual swag” — and some real stuff as well. It was enough to get me back on a regular schedule.

A surprising 6th place finish in the riding with real power group.

A surprising 6th place finish in the riding with real power group.

It just so happened that one of my scheduled rides coincided with the Zwift Race with GCN. GCN stands for Global Cycling Network. It is kind of like Top Gear (BBC edition, of course) for bicycles. For this particular episode, Simon Richardson would be competing with racers on Zwift while Daniel Lloyd and Matt Stephens would call the live race being webcast on YouTube.

So, I decided to hang out with the group and give it a go. It would be only two laps. That would be twenty miles. That would be doable. I could give it all I had for the first lap and maybe get some camera time! Then I could just hang on for the finish.

We rolled off and I tried to stay up front. For the most part I was able to set in the top ten or so. I kept my eye on Nathan Guerra, Francois Coppex, Simon Richardson, and Scottie Weiss. My goal was to stay close to them for the first lap.

Nathan and Francois I have raced with multiple times on Zwift. I KNEW I could not beat them. Simon Richardson is a former pro and presenter on GCN. I obviously figured he would be hard to beat. Finally, Scottie is a recent podium finisher in masters world championships.

For the majority of the first lap I simply tried to stay in position up front while keeping my nose out of the wind as much as possible. What a difference the ability to stay in the draft made. It allowed me to ride at speeds that made the first lap a 21 minute effort.

As we neared Libby Hill, I moved closer to the front. I wanted to be one of the first into the climb so that I could fall back into the clutches of the lighter riders. I measured my effort and came through the climb in good shape.

It hurt though. I can’t imagine racing up that climb as many times as the women’s and men’s elite fields. For me it was clearly a “match” I burned. I was just wanting to find somewhere to hide to let the flames cool down.

Up the second cobble climb I was still feeling the earlier effort. It was at this point that I started paying more attention to keeping my effort up instead of the riders around me. I was able to catch glimpses of my marked riders. However, I knew that there were a number of riders in there I did not know.

I had spent the first lap at 3.5 to 4.5 wkg. That means I was at my functional threshold power for that 20 plus minutes. At the start of the second lap I just knew that wouldn’t continue. The other riders started putting out over 400 watts and I could not maintain that. So, I began to drop back.

I slipped into that “Well, I guess I’ll just turn this into a cookie ride” mode. I eased up and recovered a bit. That allowed me to take another look at the leader board. Yes, there was a sizable gap between the front riders and myself.

However, I noticed I had a real chance at getting a top ten finish. I also noticed that Scottie was surprisingly back with me. I hooked up with him and another rider and we worked together to bring down the gap between us and some of the riders dropping back from the leading group.

Then we hit the climbs at the end of the course. Unsurprisingly, Scottie dropped me. However, I was in a battle now for position with R. Sines. He was making it tough, but I determined I would get him over the last three climbs to the finish.

Scottie was leaving me in the dust with a lead over a couple dozen seconds. I was able to keep Sines at about a four seconds gap. While the gaps were growing between the riders, I was still right in line with the guys I had started out the race marking. Now I started to think if I could hold off Sines, I might even get a top five!

And so we finished our second and final lap.

It was somewhat confusing because we were not the only riders on the course. We were all supposed to have GCN out beside our names. Some of the racers didn’t. It was hard to know what your finish actually was.

Then there is the matter of “real power” versus “virtual power”. Some of us were being measured by power meters. Others were being measured by software generated power numbers. The virtual power numbers can often be a bit gracious.

So, I was excited to see the Official Leaderboard Top Ten. This was the real power list and I managed a top six. Granted, it was a big gap, but it was way better than I anticipated.

Most of all I was thankful for the motivation I received. As you can see, there is a post here on LowCadence.com. It also gave me some motivation not just to ride, but to start organizing my own race.

Stay tuned for an I Do It For Foundation race once “trainer season” starts in earnest here in the Northern Hemisphere. I’ll be sharing my ideas and asking for your feed back here on the blog. Zwift has let me know they aren’t excited about a payout race, but I’m sure I can think of something to hold onto for bragging rights!

Friday Training Race on Zwift’s Watopia Island

Not much to the written blog today. All last night I was uploading a 10 GB file to YouTube. It is a video of the Friday Training Race on Zwift’s Watopia Island. This one is different from others because I did not do a voice over after the face. I did live in-race, real-time commentary. Not sure how well it worked, but you can be the judge.

The Friday races are going to be moving to Thursday which means I will not be able to participate in as many of them. However, I do hope to join the guys on occasion. Also, there are a growing number of other races springing up on Zwift’s virtual world. You can find a time to race — or create your own race. A good place to start is on the Zwift Riders Facebook group.

Ride On!

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.

Results:

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!

Play-by-play of Friday Training Race

This will be a short blog post. I’m letting the video do the talking. After last Friday’s Zwift Training Race on Watopia, I wrote a post about it. This time, I figured it would be fun to let everyone see it. Of course, this isn’t like a Tour De France production! It is told completely from my point-of-view.

Won’t be able to join the guys next week. Have to travel on business. I’ve come to enjoy these competitions and though I’ve never met the guys with whom I’m racing, I’ve come to consider them riding buddies. It would be cool to someday have a Zwift Live Meetup.

Until then… I’ll see you guys on the island. Ride On!