The Tour of Britannia was fun. You will have perhaps already read my adventures during the race. It was a hugely successful series that built on the success of the first series in France. And now Flamme Rouge Racing (FRR) is launching its third event – Tour Watopia.
FRR’s first series, hosted on the roads of France, saw 22 teams and 100 riders. The second series (Britannia) saw 87 teams and over 800 riders competing. And now Tour Watopia is going to be even bigger, because most of the teams are returning.
Watopia starts Sunday, January 2th and completes on the 9th. The event covers 6 stages in 8 days. 260km of total distance with 3,900m of climbing using three racing formats: iTT, Points, and TTT. This diversity in events makes it fun and competitive as you struggle through the stages in anticipation of the one that caters for your abilities.
Pre-registration of teams is open now, and must be completed by December 24th.
No Gimmicks + Fair Racing
The previous Tours saw certain things implemented to keep the racing fair. There is no use of powerups, the same bike frames are enforced, and while the neutralized start doesn’t affect the overall race, it is an enormously welcomed feature and prevents the overly hectic starts that have become customary on Zwift.
Feedback & Changes
FRR actively requested feedback from teams and riders to improve the next event. The feedback-inspired changes in this tour include:
- 4 race times per stage
- Weekend times equate to 0800-1000 locally
- Weekday times equate to 1830-1930 locally
- Rider categories split by power ranges
- Power refers to the rider w/kg 95% of best three races in last 90 days
- Expected to provide more competitive races, across all rider categories and ultimately a better event experience
- Team event where all riders can ride and the best six scoring riders count (refer to rules for qualifying scores)
- Points weighted more for riders finishing higher in the result, rather than segments
- Ladies can race a mixed category down (as in real life) subject to revised power limits
Event Routes and Schedule
Once again, routes are varied. An opening iTT up the Volcano which is a rarity, followed by a Neon points stage around Neokyo (technically not in Watopia but it’s there by popular demand and FRR couldn’t resist slotting it in).
Later stages move through the desert, Titans Grove, visit some sisters and Watopia wouldn’t be complete unless the Alpe featured somewhere…
- Stage 1 (2 January): Whole Lotta Lava iTT
- Stage 2 (2 January: Neokyo All-Nighter 2 laps
- Stage 3 (4 January): Sand and Sequoias TTT 2 laps
- Stage 4 (7 January): Three Sisters
- Stage 5 (8 January): Figure 8 Reverse 2 laps
- Stage 6 (9 January): Quatch Quest
The key to success is managing fatigue, which is very much part of the intention of these events.
Teams and single riders must pre-register to take part in the event, using the website (FlammeRougeRacing.com) before the closing date of 10pm GMT December 24th.
I have registered for the event and the platform to register is easy to navigate. You do need a ZwiftPower account to participate and will need to take note of your Rider ID.
A full list of the rules and points available can be read here.
Once registered, team managers can create and manage teams. All riders can access the event content, race communications, and most importantly the results.
I really enjoyed the previous FRR tour. The racing was fun, competitive, and inclusive. I also liked the unique additions such as the neutralized start.
I have already signed up and am certainly looking forward to the racing. But I’d better watch what I eat over the Christmas period if I want to go into this at my fighting weight!
Questions or Comments?