Put On Your Race Face

I’m turning into a fair weather cyclist. The rain was forecast to come today and it duly delivered, well over delivered really when you looked outside, so I scoured the Zwift schedule for any group rides, gran fondos or sportives that may take my fancy. What I decided was to participate in my first Zwift Cat D race.

Before that, I explored the new ‘Drops Garage’ feature that Zwift have introduced. Basically, you accumulate sweat drops as you ride in the virtual world which you can then redeem for better frames and wheels

drops
The ‘Drops’ counter accumulates as you pedal

I had c.500,000 drops when I looked so I traded them in for this rather sweet looking Specialized Tarmac frame to go with the Zipp wheels I already had and the gloriously retro Z Vetements kit

tarmac.png

I lined up for the 3R LaGuardia Flat Loop Race, a 12.1km race around Central Park on the New York circuit. The race catered for categories A through to D with the categories defined by the watts per kilo ratio that the riders are able to generate, I signed up for the Cat D race which allows for riders up to 2.5 W/KG (A = 3.7+ W/KG, B = 3.2 – 3.7 W/KG, C = 2.5 – 3.2 W/KG) and waited for the start. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, I had participated in the ‘Baby Fondo’ previously and found it to be quite a relaxed affair but anecdotally I’d heard the races were a completely different story.

From the drop of the flag it became pretty apparent that it was going to be the latter, everyone whooshed past me from the get go leaving me pootling away from the start line like Driving Miss Daisy. I didn’t panic though as this had happened in the Baby Fondo, there I started to regain places as the road pitched upwards and so it would prove today too. At 12.1km long I knew it would be ‘full gas’ for all of the riders, pushing their limits for 20 or so minutes, but people in the same category as me can’t do full gas for that long! It did maintain a good pace though, way above my training, which really got to me on the 3rd of 4 laps and I started to feel sick in the pit of my stomach. However, I persevered and took another couple of places, finishing 12th out of 27 just under 3 minutes down on the winner. I was pretty happy with that for a first attempt especially when 7 of the riders ahead of me pushed over the category W/KG definitions

Screenshot 2019-03-03 at 09.34.06.png

As always, I’d rather be outside on my bike but I enjoyed my first Zwift race experience and, with a better feeling in the legs, I’d hope that I could improve on my first showing

IAIN

2 Comments on “Put On Your Race Face

  1. Great work! Yes, Zwift races are a whole other beast! You need to wind up and be pushing WELL above your threshold power as the timer counts down to zero, then basically long range sprint from the gun. The trick is to beast yourself for the first minute or two and tag onto the fastest group you can to get a gap from anyone who missed the jump. #RideOn

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m just trying to find my place and get round at the moment! Haha. I don’t think anyone rides like me, both events I’ve done I’ve ended up riding on my own in the middle of the line up

      Liked by 1 person

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