The Lamb Chop Series is Back – Handicap Racing for All

The Lamb Chop Series is Back – Handicap Racing for All

Black Sheep Cycling and AHDR Chop have launched another Lamb Chop series which began yesterday. These races are always popular among Zwifters–let’s learn more about them and find out why.

Handicap Racing: the Basics

Handicap races are known as chase, cat and mouse, or pursuit races. Unlike the standard Zwift road race or TT formats, handicap races are designed to encourage category riders to work together, and to give all riders a chance to win regardless of category.

In a handicap race, slower categories are released before faster categories. Each category’s time gap is calculated by the race organizer, with the goal of having all categories meeting up near the end of the race for a final sprint.

So this format encourages each category’s riders to work together to stay away from chasers and catch any riders up the road. But if you’re caught by a faster group from behind–all bets are off. Grab those wheels!

Live Streaming

The Lamb Chop series is being covered by the great Nathan Guerra on Zwift Live, available on YouTube and Facebook. Here’s today’s broadcast of the women’s and men’s races:

Series Schedule

The Lamb Chop Series is happening weekly on Thursdays, with two different time slots and separate races for men and women.

Early race:

  • 11AM Pacific (Women only)
  • 11:45AM Pacific (Men/Mixed)

Late race:

  • 4PM Pacific (Women only)
  • 4:45PM Pacific (Men/Mixed)

See the full series schedule and sign up here >

Glancing at the upcoming race schedule, it’s clear Lamb Chop organizers gravitated toward flatter courses. This makes sense, because those flatter courses allow groups to work together rather than having a TT-style race up a longer climb.

Kit Unlock

Complete any of the six races to score the new Racing Club kit by Black Sheep Cycling.

My Story: Today’s Race

I joined the early race today, racing with the B’s (see my race on Strava). We completed two laps of the Tick Tock route, and it was a tough race. A fun group of B’s, though, and plenty of banter flying early on.

We began with 101 riders in our group, but that was quickly whittled down to ~60 as the group surged ahead. We averaged 29.5mph in the first 30 minutes!

I like to race in first-person view (camera angle 3) in chase races, because it’s difficult to know who’s who when everyone wears the same kit!

I held on until the final kicker coming out of the Ocean Blvd tunnel, just 4km from the finish. I wasn’t riding quite as attentively as I should have been, and let too much of a gap open up as the group stretched out. Race over for me!

The race rides away…

My B group raced well, though–catching the C and D groups ahead and staying away from the A’s. That’s the goal of a chase race!

See the final results in ZwiftPower >

In the end, this was the hardest effort I’d put into a Zwift race in months. Great (type 2) fun!

Other Handicap Races

If you’re interested in chase-style racing but can’t make the Lamb Chop schedule, check out DIRT DADurday races on Saturdays, or the long-running ZHR (Zwift Handicap Races). There are other handicap races available throughout the week as well, including those organized by Peel Cycling.

Feedback

Have you tried any chase races? Which ones are your favorite? Share below!

About The Author

Eric Schlange

Eric runs Zwift Insider in his spare time when he isn't on the bike or managing various business interests. He lives in Northern California with his beautiful wife, two kids and dog. Follow on Strava

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
2 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Suzanne Bessette
Suzanne Bessette
1 year ago

Any insider info on if/when this series will start again in 2020?

Free Zwift Trial

Newsletter Subscription

2
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x