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As the Covid-19 pandemic and SIP have shut down our ability to race in the real world, it hasn't prevented us from racing virtually! Hopefully you've seen the pictures, videos and reports about the virtual TNT's that many of our Red Peloton teammates participated in. This was a great series and proved to be almost as challenging as the real thing.
Using the virtual TNT's as a springboard into virtual Zwift racing, I've jumped into head first and I am having a blast! I bought a new smart trainer and have been doing Zwift Crits as well as some Team time trials with other RP teammates. The Zwift crits are based on your power to weight ratio, which is a bit different than racing in the real world. In the real world, once you've upgraded in a category, you can sit in, save energy and use teammates to help pull you around.
In Zwift, there is drafting, but picking lines, getting help from teammates and conserving energy doesn't exist. You also can't coast in zwift like you do in real life, which essentially makes a Zwift race, a non-stop 45 minute effort! Super brutal and super fun. The Zwift crit courses are on the short side, are flat and have lots of turns which are a nice change compared to the boring 4 corner business park crits in real life. Over the past few months I have improved my fitness back to pre-quarantine levels, and have been able to start hanging with the front of the C group which is a 2.5 to 3.2 watts/kg group. On June 22nd I did a Zwift Beta Crit City race and won! I had an average of 245 watts with a max of 933 watts during the sprint! This was really fun, as I was able to comfortably stay with the fast group and be there at the end for the sprint. It is hard during the actual race to see where you are, but a website called Zwiftpower.com analyses the results and removes any sandbaggers or people who are racing in the wrong category! This is super helpful and keeps you from feeling cheated. Another series I've been racing in, is the International Tactical Race League, which is a virtual international team time trial race series. Myself, Sal Lucido, Austin Hermosillo, Enrique Rojas, Brian Castelli, Neil Martin, Nick Grudzien, Jeff Baumgardner, Rudy Zarate and Robert Thompson have been teaming up to take on this international challenge. Again, the categories are based on Watts/KG and the teams are broken down by how many people in each of the watts/kg group you have! We've done 3 races, and our last effort earned us 3rd out of 141 teams! This also got us invited to the "premier" league which is an invite only, international live streamed TTT event! This is super exciting based on the amount of international competition! This will be an ongoing event that the Red Peloton will be targeting and training for. These virtual races may sound less difficult than real life, but as a veteran of many local TTT's this is every bit as challenging, if not more so! While you can "draft" in Zwift it is very difficult to hold a pace line, judge your distance to the next rider, and judge the terrain.
I highly encourage anyone interested in joining us in some action packed challenging virtual racing to please reach out! we'd love to expand our footprint to two teams! Any gender welcome!
Cat 3 (road)