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Win the right to wear your country's jersey on the virtual cycling platform for the next 12 months...

Zwift users in more than a dozen countries across the world, including the United Kingdom, will this month have the chance to wear their national colours on the virtual cycling platform for the next 12 months as the company launches its inaugural national championships.

The countries where riders will be vying to become national champion on Saturday 24 February – or later this year for Australia to coincide with the Southern Hemisphere winter – are the 15 biggest on Zwift in terms of user numbers.

Billed as the biggest one-day event yet hosted on Zwift, the men’s race will comprise three laps of the 14.2-mile Watopia Volcano Climb Course for a total distance of 42.6 miles and 2,007 feet of climbing. The women’s course, meanwhile, will cover 28.4 miles over two laps, with 1,338 feet of ascending.

Besides the UK, cyclists from the USA, Canada, Australia, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands Norway, Belgium, Sweden, South Korea, Denmark, Switzerland, France and Poland will participate.

As with real-life national championships, riders are required to participate in the one matching their registered nationality rather than country of residence.

So, if you’re an Italian, Spaniard or New Zealander living in the UK, for example, you can’t take part unfortunately – although Zwift says that more countries will be added for 2019.

Here is a summary of the rules stipulated by Zwift:

Riders are required to wear a heart rate monitor to be eligible for the win.

Riders will have to use a power meter or smart trainer to be considered for the win; ZPower on traditional trainers or rollers will not be eligible

Riders producing over 5w/kg average will be automatically disqualified. These riders can be reinstated after providing similar real-life matching performances verified by ZADA.

Strava data for the Zwift National Championship races must be open (not private or hidden).

Riders must register at www.zwiftpower.com before the race.  By entering this event, riders agree to the terms and conditions at www.zwiftpower.com.

Eligibility is based on a rider’s Zwift account country/flag, not the rider’s place of residence.

You can find more information on the Zwift National Championships here.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

20 comments

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ChickenWing [7 posts] 1 week ago
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They need a junior one.

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DaveE128 [981 posts] 1 week ago
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Can't believe that this will be won by a person who's honest about their weight  2

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CXR94Di2 [1960 posts] 1 week ago
1 like
DaveE128 wrote:

Can't believe that this will be won by a person who's honest about their weight  2

Zwiftpower police the results pretty thoroughly. if you're outside recognised parameters, you will be asked to prove your abilities. There will be very few newcomers to the event, it will be regular racers who already have proven stats. In the end it's only yourself you're cheating.

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dislocatedMTB [3 posts] 1 week ago
1 like
DaveE128 wrote:

Can't believe that this will be won by a person who's honest about their weight  2

That's where ZADA comes in - the winners will most likely already be verified with real-world results, or they will have to provide real-world performance files/race results.

 

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fluffed [69 posts] 1 week ago
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This will eventually won by a genuine rider I'm sure, the on the day results though will be silly.

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Rapha Nadal [744 posts] 1 week ago
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CXR94Di2 wrote:
DaveE128 wrote:

Can't believe that this will be won by a person who's honest about their weight  2

Zwiftpower police the results pretty thoroughly. if you're outside recognised parameters, you will be asked to prove your abilities. There will be very few newcomers to the event, it will be regular racers who already have proven stats. In the end it's only yourself you're cheating.

Just out of interest; how do you prove it?

I ask as I have an FTP of 290 which I'll take with a pinch of salt as it's a Wahoo trainer & Trainer Road generated.  I was on Zwift last night for an hour and generated, on average, roughly 350w for the entire ride which made me chuckle. The numbers that are displayed on Zwift are a bit of a laugh.

Love the new iPhone interface/app though. 

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alansmurphy [1663 posts] 1 week ago
2 likes

My FTP is 291

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fukawitribe [2136 posts] 1 week ago
0 likes
Rapha Nadal wrote:
CXR94Di2 wrote:
DaveE128 wrote:

Can't believe that this will be won by a person who's honest about their weight  2

Zwiftpower police the results pretty thoroughly. if you're outside recognised parameters, you will be asked to prove your abilities. There will be very few newcomers to the event, it will be regular racers who already have proven stats. In the end it's only yourself you're cheating.

Just out of interest; how do you prove it?

I ask as I have an FTP of 290 which I'll take with a pinch of salt as it's a Wahoo trainer & Trainer Road generated.  I was on Zwift last night for an hour and generated, on average, roughly 350w for the entire ride which made me chuckle. The numbers that are displayed on Zwift are a bit of a laugh.

Love the new iPhone interface/app though. 

Slightly confused - the power figures in Zwift are coming from your trainer presumably, so are you saying the average reported is wrong or your trainer is not reporting then correctly ?

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DaveE128 [981 posts] 1 week ago
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fukawitribe wrote:
Rapha Nadal wrote:
CXR94Di2 wrote:
DaveE128 wrote:

Can't believe that this will be won by a person who's honest about their weight  2

Zwiftpower police the results pretty thoroughly. if you're outside recognised parameters, you will be asked to prove your abilities. There will be very few newcomers to the event, it will be regular racers who already have proven stats. In the end it's only yourself you're cheating.

Just out of interest; how do you prove it?

I ask as I have an FTP of 290 which I'll take with a pinch of salt as it's a Wahoo trainer & Trainer Road generated.  I was on Zwift last night for an hour and generated, on average, roughly 350w for the entire ride which made me chuckle. The numbers that are displayed on Zwift are a bit of a laugh.

Love the new iPhone interface/app though. 

Slightly confused - the power figures in Zwift are coming from your trainer presumably, so are you saying the average reported is wrong or your trainer is not reporting then correctly ?

Doesn't Zwift have power curves for a whole load of trainers? These are never going to be terribly accurate as depend on temperature and a load of other factors. But the article says trainers you can use for this challenge are limited - I suspect those kind of trainers may be more accurate.

Sure, setting your weight way low is going to be obvious, but how are they going to tell someone who falsifies their weight by -10% from someone who is 10% higher power to weight. My point was that the winner is highly likely to be someone who has an unfair advantage as it's so easily done (even accidentally).

In case anyone should think I'm defending cheats, I'm not. It has to be a hollow victory to win by lying and it says a lot about your character if you do.

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Stueys [15 posts] 6 days ago
1 like
Rapha Nadal wrote:
CXR94Di2 wrote:
DaveE128 wrote:

Can't believe that this will be won by a person who's honest about their weight  2

Zwiftpower police the results pretty thoroughly. if you're outside recognised parameters, you will be asked to prove your abilities. There will be very few newcomers to the event, it will be regular racers who already have proven stats. In the end it's only yourself you're cheating.

Just out of interest; how do you prove it?

I ask as I have an FTP of 290 which I'll take with a pinch of salt as it's a Wahoo trainer & Trainer Road generated.  I was on Zwift last night for an hour and generated, on average, roughly 350w for the entire ride which made me chuckle. The numbers that are displayed on Zwift are a bit of a laugh.

Love the new iPhone interface/app though. 

Given your ftp is supposed to be your maximal power for an hour (and not many of us can actually hold ftp for an hour...), either your ftp is too low or your using different devices to measure and one isn’t accurate?

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Htc [12 posts] 6 days ago
2 likes

All podium places will be subject to ZADA verifification which requires riders to submit real world stats that support their performance. All riders must wear a HRM and zPower riders are not eligible. If unable to the rider will be disqualified, this is why if you race on zwift you will find that the results can change significantly during the days following a race.

Should be as fair as it can realistically be made.

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fukawitribe [2136 posts] 6 days ago
0 likes
DaveE128 wrote:

Doesn't Zwift have power curves for a whole load of trainers? These are never going to be terribly accurate as depend on temperature and a load of other factors.

Hi Dave - it does have power curves for a number of trainers which don't broadcast the number themselves, e.g. 'dumb' fluid or magnetic resistence trainers, but Rapha doesn't have one of them - he has a Wahoo trainer. Wahoo make two, both of which broadcast their power readings to Zwift and both of which are pretty accurate, so if Raphas FTP is still current, and accurate, then the two most obvious situations are

- his trainer is reporting power figures in-line with his FTP for the hour, but Zwift is then buggering up the calculation of the average, or

- the average power calculation in Zwift is correct, which implies his trainer is mis-reporting power figures (or he's riding waaay stronger in Zwift for some reason, but he'd probably realise that).

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CXR94Di2 [1960 posts] 6 days ago
1 like
Rapha Nadal wrote:
CXR94Di2 wrote:
DaveE128 wrote:

Can't believe that this will be won by a person who's honest about their weight  2

Zwiftpower police the results pretty thoroughly. if you're outside recognised parameters, you will be asked to prove your abilities. There will be very few newcomers to the event, it will be regular racers who already have proven stats. In the end it's only yourself you're cheating.

Just out of interest; how do you prove it?

I ask as I have an FTP of 290 which I'll take with a pinch of salt as it's a Wahoo trainer & Trainer Road generated.  I was on Zwift last night for an hour and generated, on average, roughly 350w for the entire ride which made me chuckle. The numbers that are displayed on Zwift are a bit of a laugh.

Love the new iPhone interface/app though. 

 

This is how  https://zwiftinsider.com/zada/

Which category do you race in, your weight and age?  Where do you place in races within your category as a norm?

If your trainer has a proper power meter and you regularly do a spin down test, if its wheel driven, then your FTP is pretty reliable.  I use a Wahoo Kickr and TR.  My FTP from TR is 324, but I find it extremely difficult to match that number in a zwift race. I last week did surpass it by 3W in a hilly race, but I was super motivated and had a group of riders to chase and hang with for the whole race. 

If your setup doesnt have a crank/hub based or recognised direct drive PM then large anomilies can occur.    A 60W difference indicates you dont have an accurate pm reading.  

ZP calculated results wont be allowed 

 

Those who are serious about their racing generally have decent setups, they seek accurate, consistent numbers.

 

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Rapha Nadal [744 posts] 6 days ago
2 likes

Thanks for the replies. This wasn't meant to turn into a Q&A by the way!  I don't race on Zwift as it strikes me as being akin to tethered swimming.

I don't own a powermeter so all numbers are taken from the same trainer (Wahoo Kickr Snap in this case on a level floor using the same bike & turbo tyre) and always calibrated prior to any activity via a spindown.

My weight is correct as at the time of riding.

Numbers put out on TR always seem very consistent and provide a very good workout which is why it's my program of choice.  Zwift on the other hand; not so much.  Which is why I raised the "how do they find out" question due to the discrepancies with outputs.  Naturally, not everyone will have the same experience!

alansmurphy: 291 eh?  Big numbers for a little girl  3

 

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fukawitribe [2136 posts] 6 days ago
1 like

Hi Rapha - was just trying to understand the Zwift issue really, not knocking TR - used it for a few years and loved it. So... Zwift is only reporting the numbers your trainer is giving it, so any inconsistency must be coming from difference between expectation and that number. Are you just riding along or in a Zwift workout when you're seeing this ?

 

(As an aside - i'd recommend giving the racing a go in Zwift, at least once - it can be quite compelling even given it's not a "real" outdoor event. Usually decent events from TeamODZ, WBR and SZR amongst others. Fair enough, still might not be your thing but you never know..)

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Rapha Nadal [744 posts] 6 days ago
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I didn't pick up on any TR knocking, don't worry!

I don't really use Zwift for anything other than passing the time really and if I don't feel like more structured session of an evening.  I really do enjoy the computer game element to it. 

I certainly wouldn't use it as a serious training tool - even with my Zwift generated 400w FTP!  It was at that point where I started to think it was a bit bollocks.

It's got it's fans, its  easy to see why, and I know a few people who enjoy the races.  Hell, my club even organise Thursday evening rides on it when in the depth of winter so it has it's uses!

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fukawitribe [2136 posts] 6 days ago
1 like

Fair play, there's a bunch of workouts and plans on there too - some quite decent looking - but nothing to really compare to the breadth and depth of TR.

I am still perplexed about the power readings though - it's only taking those numbers from your trainer so if they look wonky it's probably nothing to do with Zwift...

Enjoy.

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arckuk [79 posts] 6 days ago
1 like

I've got quite into zwift this winter, but pretty much all my  use for it now is racing. The people at zwiftpower do pretty much as good a job as is possible to weed out deliberate (mostly weight based) and inadvertent cheating (poor calibration, particularly with zpower trainers). There's a limit to how much can be done to stop the weight dopers (anyone could nudge their 'weight'down a kg every couple of weeks and be within the realms of believability), but I don't think they can be rulled out entirely.

I initially used a Tacx Vortex wheel on trainer, which I found to be reasonably accurate - about 4% higher than a borrowed Powertap wheel recording on my Garmin over a number of races, values matched pretty well at ~200-300 W, but overshot a bit at higher power values. I took care with tyre pressure, trainer calibration and wheel-drum contact. Since the beginning of the year, I've been using a Tacx Neo, which I can't directly compare to either the Vortex or Powertap, but gives race power figures that are maybe 5-10 W lower than the Vortex for similar efforts. Tacx claim 1% accuracy for the Neo, so I'm happy to think that all these produce broadly comparable results. I'd be very surprised to see Rapha's reported inconsistencies between FTP values in TR and Zwift, BTW, the calculations are trivial and if either Zwift or TR had a significant problem with their methodologies I think there would be more people noticing similar discrepancies.

That's not to say that racing in Zwift is perfect, or perfectly 'fair', but I measure my progress mostly against myself and my previous race results, as well as keeping an interested eye upon progress along the ranking systems at zwizftpower and cycligentvirtualrankings.  As a mid level B rider, I think the division of riders into bands is unnecessary and arbitrary (I guess it might be encouraging for those who are intimidated by the thought of competing at lower fitness levels). I couldn't care less whether I end up classified 8th out of 20 B racers, or 20th out of 80 overall.

I don't know of another way to get quite that much energy out of myself and on to a bike in an hour, particularly in these dark and cold months. I still do a fair number of commuting miles, but I look forward to zwifting a couple of times each week.  The extra random challenges within the game like the recent BikeRadar challenge, Tours de Zwift etc add a little bit too.  Above all it's fun in a way that being on a turbo with a wall for company isn't. If I'm free on the morning of the 24th, I'll be taking part!

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Rapha Nadal [744 posts] 6 days ago
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fukawitribe wrote:

I am still perplexed about the power readings though - it's only taking those numbers from your trainer so if they look wonky it's probably nothing to do with Zwift...

Enjoy.

Yeah, if it was a just a few watts between both programs (which I feel it should be) then no biggie but the large varience is nothing short of odd.

Still, makes for good bragging! Ha ha!

 

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fukawitribe [2136 posts] 6 days ago
0 likes
Rapha Nadal wrote:

fukawitribe wrote:

I am still perplexed about the power readings though - it's only taking those numbers from your trainer so if they look wonky it's probably nothing to do with Zwift...

Enjoy.

Yeah, if it was a just a few watts between both programs (which I feel it should be) then no biggie but the large varience is nothing short of odd.

 

Aye but it's your trainer that is telling Zwift what the power is, Zwift isn't calculating anything at all for a smart trainer. So if Zwift is reporting, say, 400W then that's because your trainer is telling it 400W and nothing else  1

 

Rapha Nadal wrote:

Still, makes for good bragging! Ha ha!

 4    There is that !!