Lightweight rider getting Anti-Sandbagging DQ? Here’s what to do

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     As a lightweight rider, around 32 kg, my WPK are really high yet my speed is not as high as the other riders around me doing less WPK. Ever since Zwift started testing anti sandbagging features, I have gotten DQ from every Crit city race in C. This is because my WPK are around 4 while the others are doing around 3. As a results Zwift forces me to race in B for the races that I do get DQ from. For awhile I let this frustrate me and I tried to contact Zwift numerous times but they assumed I was the one trying to flag people, that was not the case. After a few months of trying to do these races I gave up. Discovering more races that I didn’t get disqualified from was not too hard and some were more competitive than the ones that I had previously been racing in. This helped me develop a better sprint, strategy, and overall power. In the recent months I have been in the ZRL C division with my local cycling club. These Zwift Racing League races were far more competitive races with some of the best riders in C. Unfortunately riders under the age of 16 can now no longer participate in Zwift Racing League due to privacy and legal reasons according to Zwift. Zwift has also said that if any opportunities come up where they can allow kids in the series, then they will reconsider their decision.

    Here are some tips to keep up with the category above if you are facing the same issue that I am. If you are a B category rider who is trying to race A, then that is a tough one as the best esports cyclists in the world could be racing you. As a C cat trying to be a B, I learned how important sitting on the flats is. Especially on crit city. For my example of when to go hard and when to sit in is going to be on the Crit City course(downtown dolphin), where I have the most B category experience. 

    On Crit City at the start riders like to sprint at around 8wpk for the first 10 seconds or so. Then the group begins to settle down. I found that on the flats I was able to sit in around 3.7-8 watts per kilogram on the flat parts. On the KOM the grade reaches around 6%, that is where the riders usually bring the pace up to 7-8wpk. Staying near the front of the group during the KOM is very important because catching on the downhill will be hard. On the downhill don’t ease off too much, try to stay in the middle or near the back of the pack on the downhill to take advantage of the draft. Many riders assume that the others will go hard on the rollers, doing around 3wpk then 4.5 on the steep parts that are a slight uphill will keep you in the group. Then as soon as the rollers finish, you will make a right turn into the finishing strip. On the last lap try and stay near the middle of the group, it is normal for the group to be moving faster as it is the last lap. Coming into the finishing strip watch for orange numbers and power ups dropping. When the first two riders go and turn their power-ups on, that is when I typically go.

One huge thing to remember is to stay in the draft. If you are a light weight rider, once you’re out of the draft, you will need to put out tons more WPK than you normally would. Most of the times I don’t end up catching up because of how much faster the pack moves compared to me. The most I have averaged in a Crit City race is 4.5WPK, and I didn’t get disqualified. As you move up in the categories, it gets harder to be disqualified.

    I hope you found this post interesting and helpful! If you know anyone who is having this same issue, send them this link! I don’t expect Zwift to make any changes to this feature anytime soon, which means the only way to race in Anti-Sandbagging races is to just work hard and move up to the next category. Any other questions/comments, leave a comment below. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you in Crit City!

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