FRR Tour Series Races Announced

FRR Tour Series Races Announced

There is one constant in Zwift and no, it’s not me always being beaten in sprint finishes. I am talking about how Zwift and its community are constantly evolving.  There are new worlds, new routes, and new races. (A good example is my Monday’s Mountain Massif TT, which was created as part of an article but is now a permanent feature in the calendar and is now running twice weekly.)

Today I want to share the details of a new race series that I am excited about it.  Seriously excited, because it’s like nothing I have seen on Zwift to date. It’s called the FRR Tour Series.

What is the FRR Tour Series?

“FRR” stands for Flamme Rouge Racing. The FRR Tour Series is a brand new team-based series starting September 4 with registration closing August 30 (midnight GMT).

This is a multi-stage team event starting on a Saturday and concluding the following Sunday, with events taking place on consecutive days on the roads of France, including a Prologue to kick-off and a finish with a classic mountain stage in the form of an ascent of Ven-Top billed as the queen stage.

What Makes It Special?

What makes this racing series exciting is that it looks to strip back some of the gamified features of Zwift which can sometimes create an unfair racing experience. The FRR Tour Series will try to level the racing field by using some real-life racing controls, including placing everyone on the same bike. We all know that this isn’t an easy task to achieve, however by encouraging riders to race in the right category for their ability and adding team penalty points into the equation, it’s a start. 

Like real-life stage races, this event will have time limits per stage. So if you get dropped from the bunch, be sure to keep pushing to finish within the time cut!

The rules of the event are exciting and these are highlighted in more detail later, but first it’s worth showcasing the courses which get my seal of approval for being a little different from the norm. In particular, note the Prologue and Stage 2 running consecutively on the same day – so save some energy or use your team wisely.       

Some important points to note:

  • Season 1 will operate in a single time zone (17:00/18:00 BST)
  • All events are private by pre-registration
  • Limited to 30 teams per category
  • Teams can register 3 race teams per category
StageCourseDifficultyComments
Stage 1 4 Sept, Saturday 1800/1810 BSTChamps-Elysees
Lead in + 6.6km. 1 lap
Level 1TTT Prologue, no intermediates
Stage 2 4 Sept, Saturday 1845/1855 BSTTire Bouchon
Lead in + 64km. 1 lap
Level 3Rolling hilly KOM x3 Sprints x6
Stage 3 5 Sept, Sunday 1700/1710 BSTPetit Boucle
Lead in + 62km, 1 lap
Level 4Rolling hilly KOM x3 Sprints x6
Stage 4 8 Sept, Wednesday 1800/1810 BSTDouce France
Lead in + 49km, 2 laps
Level 2Flat – Transition KOM x2 Sprints x6
Stage 5 10 Sept, Friday 1800/1810 BSTRoule Ma Poule
Lead in + 50km, 2 laps
Level 3Rolling KOM x2 Sprints x4
Stage 6 12 Sept, Sunday 1700/1710 BSTVen-Top
Lead in + 21km
Level 5Mountain – queen stage KOM x1

Event Registration

Click for event flyer

You must register with Flamme Rouge Racing to take part in the event.  Each team must pre-register using the race management website at flammerougeracing.com before the closing date of midnight August 30 (GMT).

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

To help with the registration, FRR have created a portal referred to as “Team Management”.  This portal allows you to first register your team’s interest and then once registered, to create and manage your race team(s) and obtain all the relevant event and information plus results and tables.

There is also a “Club Race Team” management side, allowing teams to manage their global race teams for popular events like TTT and ZRL. This section is currently Zwift focused, with the intention to expand to other virtual racing platforms and sports – contact FRR for more information.

Richard Vale, the architect of all this, is keen to emphasize that the platform is Release 1 so very much a “work in progress” and accepts it has some “rough edges.” Richard explained that he is undertaking this work in his spare time with no prior web development knowledge and he has emphasized that this “has been quite a challenge.”  However, with support and input from Race3R, the platform and the first race series has been launched. 

Personally, I am impressed with the innovative approach and I can look past the “rough edges” to see the bigger picture that he is working on.  Like Zwift and all things indoor cycling, it’s developing.  

The Rules of the Series

What excites me about this series is not just the courses but the rules which are designed to level the racing field by making the riders and team managers more accountable for their own actions.

  • All Events will run A to D categories for mixed riders and ladies only – refer to rider restrictions and recommendations on roster setup
    • Note: FRR are assessing this based on registration, lower mixed Categories and ladies only may be combined to ensure there is a sufficient number teams to keep the competition level high
  • Events will enforce the same bike (Specialized Venge S-Works). Riders can select their own wheels.
  • Each Tour consists of 6 stages
  • Each stage may use different riders from the team squad
  • Teams must be associated with registered ZwiftPower Teams
  • Team managers can register multiple teams
  • Each team can register up to 8 riders per team to form their team roster with up to 6 to ride each stage
    • ‘A’ category teams can register two A+ riders of which only ONE can ride a stage at a time
  • All Team riders must have a ZwiftPower account
  • Riders compete for intermediate, KOM and finishing position points to ultimately rank their team for team points
    • FASTEST through an intermediate (FTS)
    • FIRST through an intermediate (FAL)
    • Stage finishing position (FIN)
  • All full intermediate sections on a course will count each lap, SPRINT and KOM – as defined and tracked by the results platform ZwiftPower
  • Riders who are disqualified will have all points deducted from their team final race score plus penalty points
    • While ZwiftPower will take into account the rider w/kg boundaries, the official results platform will not.  If a riders’ 95% 20min w/kg qualifies them as an ‘A’ they should race as an ‘A’ or risk DQ and penalties
  • Stages are rated on difficulty and riders must complete them within a given time limit of the winner or the broom wagon will sweep your result up and remove your points

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

The View from FRR

Richard stated that the motivation for the event series is the Grand Tours, which many of us watch and would love to actually attempt. However, very few of us have the time to cycle 5hrs for 21 days, so each FRR Tour Series is set over 9 days (Saturday to the following Sunday) providing as Richard states “A week’s worth of competitive, fair racing, where riders are competing in the right category.”

Furthermore, the Series works around the popular events of Zwift, (this includes not racing on a Monday so you can attend Monday’s Mountain Massiff TT ;-)).

Looking ahead, Richard expects to increase the next event, Tour Britannia, forecast for mid-November, to incorporate an APAC time Zone as there are some great teams looking to get involved.  At the moment, this first series is the pilot event.

Summing Up

Zwift provides a fantastic platform and Richard recognizes that we are currently only scratching at the surface of its potential. In speaking with him, it’s clear Richard has other interesting and different events in the pipeline.

With a dozen teams already signed up, it is evident that this is going to be a good addition to the racing calendar, and with more events scheduled it will only grow thanks to its intriguing concentrated multi-stage race concept.

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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tim m keffer
tim m keffer
1 month ago

Will there be drop-in type teams?

Richard Vale
Richard Vale
1 month ago
Reply to  tim m keffer

Hi Tim – not as such we are looking for the zwiftpower teams like EVO, Race3R, HERD, DIRT etc… to register teams however we will do events that are individual based. If you are looking to take part then send me an email via race control and we may be able to place you

Richard Vale
Richard Vale
1 month ago
Reply to  tim m keffer

Tim – I may have a Team looking for a rider if you are interested – please email racecontrol and I can discuss further if you want…

Andre Loseth
Andre Loseth
1 month ago

Great stuff and exiting news for allrounders, like most of us😜

Richard Vale
Richard Vale
1 month ago
Reply to  Andre Loseth

Look forward to seeing you and your Team there…

temps 09
temps 09 (@quatre24)
1 month ago

Richard Vale, thanks for putting on an event like this. If I was not doing ZA 2021,I I would go for an event like this. Maybe more non euro friendly time zones next time. Hope the event goes well.

Richard Vale
Richard Vale
1 month ago
Reply to  temps 09

Next event is November – we expect to be offering an APAC option also so perhaps see you then….

Richard Vale
1 month ago

If any riders need a Team I do have an ‘A’ Team looking for more riders (A or B CAT) please email [email protected] and I can connect you

Andrew
Andrew
1 month ago

Sounds like fun with some interesting differences over other Zwift racing such as the daily stage style setup and the applied bike, plus the prologue and stage-1 on the same day, definitely going to try and get a team together for it.
P.S. @Tim Grose you seem to have gotten into the habit of using FRR and FFR interchangeably accidentally, may want to do a ‘find and replace’ 😃

Andrew
Andrew
1 month ago
Reply to  Tim Perkin

Do I get all 5 people’s salaries 😀

Janne Höijer Jakobsson
Janne Höijer Jakobsson
17 days ago

The organizer have suddenly changed a lot of the rules.Like that the organizer got dropped because of problems in the start.So now we have to start slowly .Since when have Andy zwift event start slow? But this is not the worst.My team Team SZ have followed the rules and are in the lead in B. But the organizer have changed the rules in already riden Stages so our lead is not as big as it shoud. If the rules have been different we had done different. I am in chock that you can change rules after a race? For me… Read more »

Richard Vale
17 days ago

Hi Janne, thanks for the comments however I would request you speak to your Team Manager and seek clarification. As for your points. On Stage 3 one of our riders had a technical in the first 2km, I dropped back to bridge the gap and messaged the peloton to please hold – the peloton decided not to do this and continue to push. By the time the rider got to myself we were 35seconds off…. having pulled for 5-10minutes to catch I sat up as the time was not reducing. Would have been very respectful if the peloton had waited… Read more »

Juho Väisänen
Juho Väisänen (@juho-vm-vaisanen)
12 days ago

What a great event of fatigue and suffer from Prologue to Ven Top summit. Big Kudos to organisers and see you all in Season 2.

Nate
Nate
12 days ago

This was a great series! LOVED the neutral start — I think the Zwift Sprint starts are the stupidest things. 2 min. of insecurity!

Richard Vale
11 days ago

Hi everyone event completed and the feedback is …when is the next one well its November 13th – registration is open at http://www.flammerougeracing.com however if you missed the event then check out the end of event Summary report on the Zwift Facebook group …. it also has guest login details in there for the site username FRRG1 pw frrguest…. hope to see more Teams in November… have a feeling we will! and there is an APAC time too!

James
James
11 days ago

Great job with the first 1 week tour event, Loved it. Two ideas I have. 1st – The neutralised start is a good idea so that no one suffers a technical and gets dropped. The issue I have with it is when its started, Stage 3 was started on the snakey section and caused more issues than good as did stage 6. If we all know the whole lead in is neutralised there is then no confusion of when to get the hammer down. 2nd – Team Overall Time competition. All 6 riders from each team is added up from… Read more »

Richard Vale
8 days ago

Tour Britannia the next event is now open for registration – event promo poster below – Race details and rules can be found on the registration page of the website…..

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