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.