GeekingWatts – Ghosting. Did it work? Not really.

GeekingWatts – Ghosting. Did it work? Not really.

Three laps of Volcano, three times up the Volcano K/QOM, what a race this week in Zwift Racing League!  Seriously one of the best courses (Whole Lotta Lava) I’ve seen with so many different dynamics playing out.  Add into that a powerup often not seen in racing (pun intended): the ghost. 

I was so excited to see how people used this powerup, what worked, what didn’t.  What I didn’t expect to see was three separate races play out exactly the same: same powerups used, same tactics played out in the last 800m, same result.  Amazing.

Check out the video:

So, what worked and what didn’t in that final 800m?

The Ghost sneaky long-range attack

I actually had my team try this tactic.  Just when the road kicked up to 5% before heading into the Volcano (about 600m to go) the plan was to drop the ghost, disappear up the road and have other teammates jump on the chasers wheels.  In each of the videos you can see this didn’t really work, and I think this is because the ghost powerup only lasts 10 seconds

By the time you’ve moved through the pack you really only have about 7s to get a gap – not long enough.  In each case the rider only managed to get 1s on the chase pack. 

If the ghost remains at 10s (too short in my opinion) then when is the best time to use it?  Perhaps in a more punchy climb like Innsbruck’s Leg Snapper or Richmond’s Libby Hill.  Or even time it right to have two teammates drop a ghost at the same time and jump on the wheel of a teammate who puts in an attack off the front.  Not many people would chase a solo attack, but imagine their surprise when it turns out to be a group of three teammates!

Aero or Feather

This is probably one of the trickiest sprint finishes in Zwift.  Not only do you have to watch for the long-range attack on the rise into the volcano, but then you need to navigate around three twists in the road before it kicks up to 3% at the finish.  The aero powerup is known to be the sprinting powerup but I am gaining more and more respect for the feather and its ability to give the user a serious kick at the start of their sprint. 

In a race like this one, where that sprint is on an incline, the feather definitely won the day.  In all three races covered in the video it became a head-to-head battle between someone using the feather and another using the aero.  In all three cases the feather, if timed right, won the day.

What About You?

If your team has pulled off something amazing in a race, or you’ve seen something tactically great, shoot me a message and I’ll do some analysis on why and how it worked.

About The Author

Anna Russell

Anna is a commentator and producer for Zwift Community Live, racer for Saris the Pros Closet, triathlon and cycling coach, and mum of 2 boys. Passionate about eRacing and sharing her love of the sport.

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Gav Bew
Gav Bew
15 days ago

In our race someone dropped the ghost power up just heading into the kicker at the end of the KoM 3rd time up. It worked pretty well as they appeared 20m up the road and ensured FAL points. It caught the group unawares and at that time in the race its hard to respond quickly, also most are on the rivet at this point in the climb and aren’t paying proper attention.

Kasper
Kasper
15 days ago

Got Ghost for the last KOM AND the finish, and they were useless! Compared with an aero or feather for the 10 pct part of the climb, and aero for the sprint, ghost will loose big time. Zwift should rethink this powerup …

Mark M
Mark M
15 days ago

Great analysis! I think the ghost could be a great power-up. But as you say, 10 seconds is just too short. For it to be effective you have to activate it deep in the pack, so you’re less likely to be noticed. Then like you say, you only have 7 seconds of sneaky attacking. It isn’t helped in this case by the fact that the pace goes crazy at this spot even without someone launching an all-out attack. This takes the bite out of the ghostly sneak attack.

Max Janssen
Max Janssen
14 days ago

I have never used the ghost so far, but it sounds as if it’s a way to launch a surprise attack. So using it at a point in the race where everyone expects an attack cancels your surprise anyway. Apart from that, I think the ghost makes more sense when it’s hardest to bridge a small gap. Like in a descent maybe? Although it’s really hard to make the difference there as a solo rider.

dan
dan
14 days ago

ghost should be 30 seconds; and made so you cannot use it in the last 1minute of a race.

Greg Hilton
Member
Greg Hilton (@ghilton)
11 days ago

Hiya Anna, an example where the ghost did work, that I wrote up! How the Race Was Won – Ghost Powerup Success for a Team 1-2 – Zwift Insider

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