One of the most crucial parts of Zwift racing is getting your finishing sprint down on Zwift. In most races on Zwift, it will almost always come down to a final sprint, so knowing exactly when to start sprinting is key to winning the sprint off, even if you don’t have the most powerful sprint in the group.
Practicing your sprint is the hardest of these(even though it actually isn’t hard). The best way to practice is by doing sprint intervals(30 seconds all out sprint x however many intervals you would like to do). Another great way is by join sprint group rides, there are lots of “spin and sprint” group rides available on Zwift, one popular choice is the DIRT Sprintapalooza ride.
This is very similar to practice, but requires a bit more dedication, and a lot more racing. One thing that I found helped me improve my sprint was racing consistantly. If you race often enough, you will soon learn when to hold your power ups, when to sprint, and more. I often race Crit City races as they offer some competition, but not too much that it’s impossible to contend in the finishing sprint.
Getting your timing right on the sprints is extremely important because if you are not able to catch the draft of the first few riders, it will be nearly impossible to win the race. Something that I like to do is start ramping my power up in the final half mile to get a good positioning in the group, then once 2 or more riders start sprinting, I start my sprint. I have found that sprinting earlier is definitely better than sprinting late. If you watch some of my videos on my YouTube channel, even sprinting half a second too late can really damage how well you do in the final sprint. Depending on your rider type, you might want to be that rider who sprints first, for some, you might not. It all depends on your 15-30 second power(can be found through Zwiftpower.com).
Power ups are a crucial aspect to Zwift racing. When you go through each banner, you will receive a power up, Featherweight, Draft, Aero, Steamroller, Burrito, Mini-plus, or Ghost. Some races have certain power ups enabled, so this might not always be the case. The best time to turn on a power up is around 3 seconds before you start sprinting with a draft boost. With an Aero or Lightweight, use it just after you start your sprint.
Zwift Race Analysis
Over the past few weeks I have been making a bunch of Zwift Race Analysis videos with tips for others, and what I could have done to win the race. Check out the videos using this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdfyQ6RCJt0&list=PL3J9-KZmX5NbgfrrxzIUJJSXJrutzsnhT.