Flamme Rouge Racing 6 Stage “Tour Britannia” Announced for November 13-21

Flamme Rouge Racing 6 Stage “Tour Britannia” Announced for November 13-21

In August we reported on a new racing series brought to you by Flamme Rouge Racing (FRR).  The first series, which started on Saturday 4th September, took riders on a weeklong adventure through France with the race series introducing some concepts that I have not seen before on Zwift such as a Prologue and rolling or “neutralised” starts.  The neutralised starts were well received by racers who commented “it is a good idea so that no one suffers a technical and gets dropped” and “LOVED the neutral start — I think the Zwift Sprint starts are the stupidest things. 2 min. of insecurity and insanity!”

The pilot event was liked by all and minor concerns that riders raised mid-race were addressed and as a consequence, FRR have taken the lessons learned from their first offering and returned with their next event, called Tour Britannia.

This new team stage race runs from November 13-21, covering 6 stages, 220km, and 4,500m of climbing, all in 9 days – definitely one of the hardest stage events seen on Zwift! Pre-registration of teams is open and is required by November 7 so there is plenty of time to build a team and formulate tactics.

Tour Britannia Essentials

Tour Britannia will be offered in two time zones, to cater for the global community of Zwift. This series is a little different from what is currently offered on Zwift, making it a bit special.  The details include:

  • 9 days, 6 stages, 3 different race formats (TTT, iTT, Points)
  • First two stages run consecutively on the same day, TTT Prologue and a full Points race
  • Ladies can race a mixed category down (as in real life) but of course do not have to
  • Teams (mixed) can be formed of different CAT riders (max 2 outside of Team CAT)
  • Neutralised starts
  • Same bike setup enforced
  • No powerups
  • Broom wagon time cut (keeps riders racing)
  • Single rider team placement (if you don’t have a Zwift team, FRR will find one for you)

What is good about the race schedule for this event is that it is varied. For example, there is an Individual Time Trial on the Tour of Tewit Well route, at 11km in length.  I have never undertaken an Individual Time Trial on that course, so that will be unique and I will be interested to see how I will be able to manage a max effort after several days of hard racing. 

One major key to success in a stage race of this nature is how well you can recover from consecutive days of racing, and how well you manage your fatigue. One thing for certain: is that it’s going to be entertaining racing, especially with the Surrey Hills route to finish on!  

Routes and Schedule

  • Stage 1 (Nov 13): Greater London Loop TTT – 21km
    • APAC @ 0800GMT, EMEA @ 1800GMT
  • Stage 2 (Nov 13): 2019 UCI Worlds – 40km, 735m
    • APAC @ 0900GMT, EMEA @ 1900GMT
  • Stage 3 (Nov 14): Royal Pump Room 8 – 56km, 980m
    • APAC @ 0800GMT, EMEA @ 1800GMT
  • Stage 4 (Nov 19): Tour of Tewit Well iTT – 11km, 204m
    • APAC @ 0800GMT, EMEA @ 1900GMT
  • Stage 5 (Nov 20): London Pretzel – 55km, 980m
    • APAC @ 0800GMT, EMEA @ 1800GMT
  • Stage 6 (Nov 21): Surrey Hills – 50km, 1,250m
    • APAC @ 0900GMT, EMEA @ 1600GMT

Event Registration

Teams and single riders must pre-register at FlammeRougeRacing.com to take part in the event. Registration deadline is midnight November 7 (GMT).  I have registered for the event and the platform to register is easy to navigate. You do need a Zwift Power account to participate and will need to take note of your Zwift Rider ID.   

A full list of the rules and points available can be read here.

FRR can be emailed at [email protected] for further information, but everything can be found on the registration page, rules document, and event poster.

Once registered, team managers can create and manage teams. Additionally, all riders can access the event content, race communications, and most importantly the results.

FRR now have a Facebook page and a Private FRR Event User Group page for managers and riders to join, discuss, and have input into events the community would like.

“Club Race Team” Management

As mentioned, to undertake this series FRR have developed online functionality to enable teams to manage their roster of riders.  This is referred to as ‘Club Race Team’ Management.  Richard Vale, the creator of the site and organiser of the event is currently supporting Zwift Team Race3R, who use the system to manage their global race team for popular events like TTT and ZRL. It is available for all to utilise.

Richard is keen to emphasize that the platform is moving forward quickly and yet was only first put together 6 months ago.

Racing in Yorkshire

More Than Just an Event

After catching up with Richard to discuss the first series he explained that he has ventured in a direction not envisaged and has moved FRR towards Charitable status and fundraising.  This was a direct consequence of one team that entered.  The Masaka Cycling Club, the first Ugandan Zwift Club, competed in event 1.  They were however only limited to 4 riders because they only had 4 smart trainers in the region! By event 2 they will have 6 as FRR has provided the equipment to enable them to compete and will look to support them and other similar causes through fundraising events and donations. (In addition to supplying them with smart trainers, FRR supplied them with sporting apparel.)  If you feel empowered to help, please contact FRR.

Zwift are experts at marketing and the phrase “Fun is Fast” lingers in the mind, but Sam Mutton, club organiser for Masaka Cycling related that for riders in his club, Zwift is not simply cycling for fun.  The club offers an educational programme which includes racing on Zwift, and by completing their studies and racing they get a small income. The more committed to their studies and training and the better they can become, the more the level of financial support offered by the club increases. The club is supported by the charity called Joy for Children and Communities (a UK-based charity).

Summing Up

Zwift provides a fantastic platform and Richard recognises that we are currently only scratching the surface of its potential. He has other interesting and different events in the pipeline, and I am going to look to use his platform for something I have planned. In the meantime, be sure to look at giving this event a go as it provides us with something different. 

It’s important to note that this event is very different from the popular Zwift Racing League. I particularly like this concentrated, multi-stage race concept and so do many other Zwifters and as a consequence the FRR Team have already got 2 additional events planned: Tour Watopia, kicking off on January 2 followed by Tour International, commencing March 12 which will be a full 2-week stage event.

Questions or Comments?

Share below!

About The Author

Tim Perkin

Tim is a six-year cancer survivor who has finally regained and surpassed pre-cancer fitness levels through the intense use of Zwift. For news about good events on Zwift follow him on Twitter @GoZwiftTim.

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Peter Campbell
Peter Campbell
13 days ago

Sounds like a great series, just too bad there don’t seem to be any good time offerings for North American racers. Either 2PM or 4AM EST.

rdcyclist (Mark Crane)
rdcyclist (Mark Crane) (@rdcyclist)
13 days ago
Reply to  Peter Campbell

Zackly. ZRL is the same but that’s for different reasons. I would absolutely ride this if there was a start from 6am to 8am. Earlier than 6am is grim on the weekend and later than 8am takes up too much of the day. For a serious race you need to start prep at least 30 minutes ahead of time and the TTT is short enough that 60 minutes is probably called for. Maybe next year…

Richard Vale
Richard Vale
12 days ago

Hi Mark, as above I’ll work on the times for a early US start….

rdcyclist (Mark Crane)
rdcyclist (Mark Crane) (@rdcyclist)
12 days ago
Reply to  Richard Vale

Very cool! I look forward to racing this event.

Richard Vale
Richard Vale
11 days ago

Mark, as suggested to Peter – register as a single rider – happy to include you on one of the Teams and if your schedule allows you can get a taste in November…long before the January event….

Richard Vale
Richard Vale
12 days ago
Reply to  Peter Campbell

Hi Peter – I’ll take this onboard for 3rd event as we are growing – we have expanded to an APAC time and to be fair had hoped the EMEA times would suit the Eastern time Zwifters event 2 is building the numbers and more race times is about numbers and competition…

Peter Campbell
Peter Campbell
12 days ago
Reply to  Richard Vale

Thanks Richard. I love the idea of stage racing, look forward to possibly being able to participate in future events.

Richard Vale
Richard Vale
11 days ago
Reply to  Peter Campbell

Peter one thought, register as single rider, you schedule may open up for a stage and I can add you to a Team so you might get an early taster before January….

Peter Campbell
Peter Campbell
11 days ago
Reply to  Richard Vale

Thanks Richard. Have registered as a single. And kudos for being so responsive to everyone’s queries in this comment thread.

Temps 09
Temps 09
13 days ago

Love this concept as it brings out a different rider than one day/single event racers. Did zwift cape epic stage race this past spring which was pretty close to this conecpt and loved that type of racing. Will have to work this in with CX season or wait the next two in winter.

Richard Vale
Richard Vale
12 days ago
Reply to  Temps 09

Look forward to seeing you ..enjoy CX… get the hose pipe ready!

Marco NL
Marco NL
12 days ago

This sounds very nice and refreshing – a longer and more hilly racing than usual. Any chance there may be an introduction of split categories, or is that a bridge too far in terms of attendance?

Richard Vale
Richard Vale
12 days ago
Reply to  Marco NL

Marco – split categories could you explain – as we may be doing this already!

Marco NL
Marco NL
12 days ago
Reply to  Richard Vale

I just feel that in any category there is quite a gap between the top and the bottom. For low-to-mid riders theres usually not much to be gained in many races. Cutting each cat into a low-end and a high-end seems to make things a bit better. More engaging racing = more fitness gains.
If you do this already then I must have read over it from all the info.

Richard Vale
Richard Vale
11 days ago
Reply to  Marco NL

Ah those splits…. the range on wkg is large 3.4 really doesn’t compete well with riders who do 3.9… and current watt limits on CATs further helps to skew racing…. FRR seeks to try and cope with this in a couple of ways – (1) Watt CAT limits are not used – if a rider can push 5wkg for 20min but only produce 225w they are an A+ so go race in the A pen (2) Almost riders are encouraged to ride up (3) Boarder line riders race down BUT keep to the Category wkg limits…. of course this may… Read more »

JayDee
JayDee
12 days ago

Would be cool if there was also a GC competition (per rider ofc). Total time ridden across all races.

Richard Vale
Richard Vale
12 days ago
Reply to  JayDee

Hi Jaydee – thats a Leaderboard I can add – one of the reasons it’s a Team event is to allow for rides ‘lives’ to happen as not everyone can do stages which then skews a pure GC event….but can certainly add this…

Jan Dvořák
Jan Dvořák
11 days ago
Reply to  Richard Vale

Only riders riding and completing all stages would be ranked in GC of course, but unlike in professional races, it wouldn’t be enforced that riders have to ride all stages or abandon. As you say.

Mike Brooks
Mike Brooks (@mhead73nz)
11 days ago

How many per team? A bit surprised teams can have two riders from higher cats. This will just be a race of these 2 riders against the other teams 2 riders. Scrap this rule and I can get 30 Aussie teams and 10 NZ teams entered.

JayDee
JayDee
11 days ago
Reply to  Mike Brooks

It’s to allow more people race… Not everyone has enough guys of the same cat, but can field a team from more categories. For example 1A, 4B, 2C guys. And it’s mainly a team event still, so the points from the “slower” guys still matter a lot in the team classification.

Richard Vale
Richard Vale
11 days ago
Reply to  JayDee

Hi Mike – As a new start up we gave the leeway and feedback in August was very much ‘our riders are still outside…’, so to allow Teams to enter the mixed CAT Team was allowed. For event 2 we have refined it down to having 2 riders on the roster who are a different CAT to the Team (up or down) again to allow Teams to form…we are still growing… End game is to have a reputation and following that allows for the same rider CAT for all riders in a Team. Yes it currently makes points more complex… Read more »

Mike Brooks
Mike Brooks (@mhead73nz)
11 days ago
Reply to  Richard Vale

Basically what you are doing is legalising sandbagging. Simply allow riders to ride up a cat but not down. Those with not enough riders for a team can take on single riders or combine teams. Otherwise all that will happen is the higher cat riders will all ride off with the points and win. If the competition isn’t fair then it’s not worth entering or investing my time sorry. You’ll end up with the wrong reputation and WTRL has already shown you amd everyone else the way forward with auto cat racing. Good luck with your series.

Richard Vale
Richard Vale
10 days ago
Reply to  Mike Brooks

I think you are misunderstanding some what…. Teams can be made up of different CATs of riders riding the same event BUT in the other pens …. A ride in A B in B etc… in event only 1 one rider rode down his zwiftpower cat as he upgraded due to an iTT… did he sandbag …no… did he win everything no…did he have fun and compete at his real level……yes…is he and his his coming back for more … yes… best thing I can say Mike is register, bring a team and experience and crucially enjoy the event..

Mike Brooks
Mike Brooks (@mhead73nz)
10 days ago
Reply to  Richard Vale

Thanks Richard for clarification on that. Didn’t appear at first to be the case. So say it’s a team of 8 you can have 6 in C and 2 in A with all points going to the team. I presume it’s to the team where the majority are placed or registered. I’ll let the teams know and drum up some interest.

Richard Vale
Richard Vale
9 days ago
Reply to  Mike Brooks

Great Mike – So in your example the TEAM would be in division C, if the 2 A riders rode then they would compete for points in the A race, if you then had 4 C riders they would be in the C race….. you can have no more than 3 riders on the roster whose race CAT is not the same as the Team…. Race categories earn slightly different points ..higher = more points = more effort etc… the exception to the rule are ladies…. as they can can race down a mixed CAT… ultimately we want riders to… Read more »

Mike Brooks
Mike Brooks (@mhead73nz)
11 days ago
Reply to  JayDee

Enter the team name n A then and it’s all good imo. No issues with that approach

Richard Vale
Richard Vale
11 days ago
Reply to  Mike Brooks

Hi Mike – As a new start up we gave the leeway and feedback in August was very much ‘our riders are still outside…’, so to allow Teams to enter the mixed CAT Team was allowed. For event 2 we have refined it down to having 2 riders on the roster who are a different CAT to the Team (up or down) again to allow Teams to form…we are still growing… End game is to have a reputation and following that allows for the same rider CAT for all riders in a Team. Yes it currently makes points more complex… Read more »

JayDee
JayDee
11 days ago
Reply to  Richard Vale

I think the rules state you can have 3 guys outside the team category?

Paulo Santos
Paulo Santos
11 days ago

Is it normal that Stage 1 and Stage 2 start on the same day (1h difference) ?

Richard Vale
Richard Vale
10 days ago
Reply to  Paulo Santos

It is for FRR added bonus for good behaviour and of course Teams can use their rosters…all adds to the effort required…

Andrew
Andrew
9 days ago

My one suggestion for FRR would be for them to look at liaising with Zwift to ensure that they schedule future FRR stage events outside of the ZRL race calendar – I have a feeling that I will yet again be unable to join given it will be in the midst of the season ending races for ZRL 2021 S1 and my team may well be fighting for a playoff place and as such will have first Dibs on our legs. Were it after ZRL had ended I know plenty of riders who’d be keen to participate, fingers crossed the… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
8 days ago
Reply to  Andrew

You still get a rest day after first stages so don’t see that as a problem. If you riding in Premier Division I can understand it. If you got a good team of 8 you can probally rest one stage also. When we did the stages race in France I did Mad Monday and TTT and still went pretty ok in the tour. The schedule was diffrent then I did 2x Sat – Sun – Mon (Mad Monday) – Wen – Thu (WTRL TTT) – Fri – Sun, but simalair to what I think I will do this time. Maybe… Read more »

Richard Vale
Richard Vale
7 days ago
Reply to  Andrew

Hi Andrew, the dates were fine until ZRL moved their dates back 3 weeks hence a small overlap on race 8…. FRR is timed in between ZRL seasons (previous comment stands) and we would normally have a Wednesday race not a Friday, however we moved this on the feedback from managers for the reason you highlight … Jan event is timed before ZRL as too the grand finale in March…unless those dates change of course…in general though teams are ready to cope with stages 1-3 a rest day then ZRL and stages 4-6 the following weekend….after all more is more… Read more »

Eli
Eli
7 days ago

Does anyone know what “same bike setup enforced” means? Thanks.

Richard Vale
Richard Vale
7 days ago
Reply to  Eli

Hi Eli, it means we have set the bike frame that all riders use – so no choice on that – seeks to level the playing field – however due to changes in event process we are no longer allowed to use branded bikes so we have to choose Zwift standard bikes albeit the AERO is still 3* and the TT is a TT…. you can choose your own wheels as we cannot restrict that ….hope that helps… same for everyone rather than have new riders on steel bikes and level 50s on Tron etc….

Eli
Eli
6 days ago
Reply to  Richard Vale

Thanks!

Martijn ten Ham
Martijn ten Ham
4 days ago

Is the TTT start organized similarly to WTRL TTT? That would mean that the later starting teams will have limited time between finishing and starting stage 2.

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