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How To

Zwift How-to: Choose Your Cycling Race Category

on February 04, 2019

Zwift race categories help group people of similar abilities together. When you join the right category, you can test your legs against others who are around your level of fitness.

Within the race, you’ll see colorful letters next to riders’ names that will let you know their category. Some races may show riders in all categories, while in other races you may only see people in your own category.

The best way to know which category to enter is to read the event description. You can find this on the Zwift event page or in the Zwift Companion mobile app.

If a race only has an “A” or “E” group, that usually means racers of all levels will be competing together.

Different races can have different categories, but most races on Zwift use a similar format. They often will set category boundaries based on your functional threshold power (FTP) in watts per kilogram (w/kg). Your FTP is roughly equal to the maximum power you can hold for one hour. It’s commonly estimated by taking 95% of your power on a 20-minute FTP test.

Once you have a number for your FTP in watts, divide it by your weight in kilograms. Most of the time, this will be what you use to figure out your category. (For example, if a rider has an FTP of 210 watts and weighs 75 kilograms, that means the rider’s FTP in w/kg is 2.8.)

These are the most common category boundaries:

  • A = 4.0 w/kg and above
  • B = 3.2-3.9 w/kg
  • C = 2.5-3.1 w/kg
  • D = 2.4 w/kg and below

Of course, it’s best to look at the event description to double-check the rules before a race.

Entering Your Category

How do you make sure you’re placed in the right category when you join an event? There are a few different ways to do it.

When joining an event on the Zwift website, click the orange “+” button beside the category you want to enter.

In the Companion app, once you have selected an event, tap the “+” button next to your category. You can also see who else will be racing by tapping the category label.

Select your category on a PC or Mac computer by clicking on the category letter listed below the name of the event you want to join.

On an iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, or Android device, selecting an event will enter you in the first listed category. To change this, tap the event to leave it, and then tap it to join again. Keep going until you see a white circle around the category you want to enter.

When you are taken to the starting pen for the race, you will be placed into your category group automatically. Good luck and have fun!


Race Recon: Watopia Flat 12 months ago