The first race of the “Race London” series takes riders through the urban streets of London. Contrasting to last week, this course is going to be much more complex. Traditionally, this course is used for the Zwift Classics series in the summer. However, Zwift has decided to spice things up with a finish atop the Box Hill KOM.
Just like the first race, the race starts at the London pens, and riders will complete the long-ish lead-in. The lead-in is mostly downhill, but make sure you have a solid position as you enter the tunnel. If you find yourself off the back, it can be extremely hard to catch back up—not the way you want to start a race! There is a small kicker around 2.3 miles (3.7 kilometers) into the course. Last race, this was a huge split point for the race. However, that likely will not be the case this time because there is a much larger climb coming up.
This race will likely be pretty painful for racers—especially for the sprinters out there. Because Zwift is using a finish atop the Box Hill climb, riders actually complete ~1.5 laps of the course. As a result, riders actually have to climb Box Hill twice. This is where the biggest split will occur. Expect riders to be pushing the pace on the front the entire climb. After the climb, riders will take a fast and steep descent. If you do find yourself off the back, using your power up(unless it is a feather boost), will be very beneficial.
Riders will then repeat the start of the course, eventually making their way to the Box Hill KOM. Based off of my racing experience, the finish could go a few different ways depending on the field.
- It becomes an all-out time trial to the top of the climb, no group remaining whatsoever. If this is the case and you have a draft boost, use it at the start when there is still a rider to draft. Feather: save until the top for a big final surge. Aero: save until top flat section.
- There is a small group of around 5 riders throughout the entire climb. At the top, riders play a game of cat and mouse. If this is the case, save your power up for the finish.
The best bike for this course is going to be a lighter/all-arounder set up. This is because the flat section is pretty obsolete in this race. Most of the action will occur on the climbs, so a lighter bike will be beneficial. Consider pairing a lightweight bike with some all-arounder wheels.
This race is going to be very tough. Especially in those final few miles. However, if you play your cards correcting, you could do much better than you would imagine.
Tip: race in the afternoons European time to get the best time result. This often happens because of the amount of riders racing at that time.