Today I participated in the pen enforcement test. Looking at the sign ups there were some very strong riders that were signed up in the A pen. Because of the current category boundaries, I was put into the A pen, with no option of B or C(My Zwift Power category).The route was 6 laps of Champs Elysees, a course that I had raced a few times before this race.
I was expecting the race to be hard, but not as hard as it ended up being. The race didn’t start as fast as I anticipated, but the pace ramped up on the climb. On the flats I was already holding around 150 watts just to dangle off the back of the group. I held onto the front of the group and only 2-3 riders dropped on the climb. As soon as I got my power ups, I had to use them in order to give myself some rest. I held on for one more lap, then on the third climb, I couldn’t hold on any longer. Dropped.
While saving my ride, I realized that I got a new 20 minute power, which means a new FTP. Pen-enforcement doesn’t seem to work for lightweight riders, as when I was pushing as hard as I could, I couldn’t hold onto the lead group.
Overall I think pen-enforcement has a lot of potential, it works, just not for riders like me. With some boundary adjustments, this feature could put an end to sand-bagging. I look forward to more Zwift making some changes to the feature, but for now I’m staying away from the test events.
I didn’t get a video recording of the race because it was going to be a long race(but of course I got dropped). Later on in the day I did another race in A, I think I am capable of racing A in some cases, but for now B seems to be the best category for me.
To learn more about the pen-enforcement tests, head over to this link: https://pursuitcyclingforkids.com/2022/02/15/zwift-to-test-pen-enforcement/