Zwift OG Racing: Stage 4 – London Loop (B)

Later in the week than I would have liked, but overall it’s been a good week so far. I’m feeling like I’m back on track with a good plan of attack. So, would I feel any different after the fourth and final instalment in Zwift’s June O.G. Racing series?

For today’s race we were taking on a single lap of the London Loop. That’s a quick trip along the Thames, up to the roundabout (Northumberland Avenue Climb on Strava), then an immediate left, down and over the bridge, a climb of Box Hill, and then home in time for tea and medals.

Well, if not tea and medals then lunch and a bottle of fizzy water.

For what it’s worth, I knew I wouldn’t do well on this one. My weight has increased by 2kg (now properly reflected in Zwift), and as covered plenty already, my FTP has dropped from its previous peak. Throw in a climb and I was definitely expecting to be in the bottom half of the results table today.

Now, on that front, there are issues with the results / leaderboards on Zwift at the moment. It shows up to 20th place for me, and then stops. As I never make the Top 20, that’s a bit of a bummer. Fortunately Zwift Power has the good stuff.

But I wasn’t out to race anyone other than myself today.

The plan was pretty simple: beat my last proper effort up Box Hill.

From that I could see my target would be 265w (or greater) for the ~8 minutes of the climb. It’s an interesting figure, because it’s the same figure I was attempting to hit on my FTP test recently. Only this time I’d need to sustain that for 8 minutes, not 20.

Still, ambitious.

I did alright with sticking with the bunch to the bottom of Box Hill KOM.

From there I ignored the bunch and set about finding my pace. Early doors I was above the intended target by quite some margin. As the pack pulled away, I settled in, keeping an overly high cadence of >100rpm (unintentionally), and clocking my watts per kilo at between 4 and 4.1.

Holding that all the way up was not a walk in the park by any means.

But I did manage it, and as a result I got my new PB on Box Hill, so mission accomplished.

After that I was truly cooked. Not exactly a winning race strategy, but given I’d just gone pretty to my sustained limit and still got dropped like a stone, there wasn’t ever really much chance of winning, was there?


So it was a case of pushing on to the finish line.

I was fortunate enough to work with another rider on the descent, where they kindly used their aero and I used my draft and we rocketed down the hill.

After that I did my level best to repay that by pushing on, knowing I would take the brunt of the work and then get smashed in the last 500m or so. And that’s exactly what happened. But I didn’t care.

I know I’m completely outclassed in Cat B.

And I am not allowed to race in Cat C.

Maybe one of these days the powers that be at Zwift HQ will switch up the rankings somehow, such that I do get to race in a more competitive environment suitable to my ability. For what it’s worth, if I had raced in Cat C, with the same performance, I’d have managed second place. What does that tell you?

To me it says I’m in the wrong category. But what can you do?

Anyway, rest day awaits. Thank the Lord.

Then I’ll see how I feel on Saturday. Ideally SST, but I’d quite like to get out early doors on Sunday and have a >1 hour ride at endurance like last week.

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