Poor Sprint Timing // Zwift Race Report

Today, before getting the Covid booster, I joined a highly competitive B category race. The best rider signed ups rank was in the low 100’s, which is better than most A category riders! Going into the race, I was pretty sure I would get a gain on Zwift Power. The race was three laps of Sprinters Playground in Neokyo, and had no power ups.

Lap 1

The start of the race was not too hard, and the race was surprisingly slow and calm. On the first incline, I followed an attack with around 10 riders, we were caught almost instantly. The rest of the lap was calm, and the group was still around 60 riders.

Lap 2

The second lap had points for FTS and FAL, and the sprint was right after the incline. About a minute before the incline, I had to blow my nose, and nearly lost of the group. I was able to rejoin the group right before we hit the inclines, not ideal, but there was nothing I could do about it at that point. The group, as expected, surged on the incline, but then settled down slightly. I started sprinting slightly before the sprint started to see if I could grab onto the stronger riders wheels. I held on for the most part, but my sprint quickly faded as I had forgotten how long of a sprint it was. I came 19th for the sprint time wise, and around 20th place wise. The group slightly behind me flew by and I wasn’t able to grab on, my HR was very near my max. I grabbed onto some other riders wheels who were also off the back. I barely caught the group in time for the decent.

Final lap

My main focus was to finish the lap with the front group, and bring my HR down for the final sprint. I dangled off the back of the group for around half of the lap, then moved up before the final incline. I expected there to be a ton of attacks on the incline, but surprisingly, no one attacked. There were a few here and there, but no one chased. The race blew up on the flats when a few riders attacked, the group was coming into the arcade very fast, and for some reason, I always get dropped in the arcade. I started my sprint just after we left the arcade, but I couldn’t get up to speed in time.

Results

Zwift Power results

I got 29th on the regular Zwift results, and 30th on Zwift Power after the points were added up, meaning all of the riders who raced ahead of me were on Zwift Power.

Takeaways

Knowing the strong B cat riders, they have insanely strong sprints. I think something I will be doing more often is starting my sprint earlier, and I can just catch onto the draft of the first few riders and still come in at a decent place. Overall this was a fun and hard race, and I am happy with my result. Although it is disappointing that I didn’t get a gain, I had fun and placed well against a strong field of riders.

Video recording

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