Zwift Academy 2023 – Race #2: Cobbled Climbs

Hurrah, the second (of two) Zwift Academy 2023 races are finally done. And with that, so is my silly schedule of racing twice a week, for this and the previous week.


Not half.

I still have the final Zwift Academy 2023 workout (#6) to complete, which is pencilled in for Saturday. I’ll be so glad to get this series boxed off. It’s been a tiring one.

Today’s race was three laps of Cobbled Climbs. I wrongly thought this was 3 full laps of the Richmond UCI Worlds Circuit. As such I’d budgeted 1h 20m to see it through, which gave me ~25 minutes a lap, which I think is about right for me, taking into account a race pace group.

However, after lap 1 today I realised this was not the case!


No. All we had to do, and I say that rather jokingly, was the three climbs three times each. That would be the Libby Hill KOM, the 23rd Street KOM, and then the ‘other’ climb back to the start / finish line.

In my head, pre-ride, I had this one down as something of a personal TT.

Recognising I was already thrashed, I figured I’d aim for ~3.6w/kg as an average (which I don’t think I managed). That kind of went out of the window on the first climb of the day, but I was very promptly dropped anyway, and after that I was a little more realistic with my efforts.

It’s interesting to see that on Zwift Racing App, I was predicted a final finish spot of 51st.

I only managed 53rd, and was over 15 seconds behind 51st.

During the race I did wonder if I had put a stint in and tried to hang with the front slightly longer, would it have shaved much more off my final finish time?

I think: probably.

Had I had fresher legs and a bit more desire, I might have been able to find 15 seconds over the total race duration. That’s why I rate Zwift Racing App so highly.

What I can definitely say is there was no way I was finding the five and a half minutes I was from first place. Insane.

I think of the three laps, I am most pleased with the third.

First I was fresh and dropped, second I was dropped again from the second group I was with (which I think was ~4th on the road), but on the third and final lap I managed to endure it out and start to gain a few spots. However I will be the first to admit, two of the spots I got were because two riders in front of me seemed to drop out. A bunch of people were complaining about connection loss, so I think I benefited from their bad fortune.

Anyway, it is what it is. Not a bad effort considering the duration. I’m hoping the remaining workout will be somehow easier. Fingers crossed.

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