Downtown Dolphin is one of two routes on the racing-focused Crit City map released in the December 6, 2019 update. Featuring dead turns, an uphill prime section, a lap counter, and sharp corners with sightlines on city streets, this route’s layout nicely replicates the visuals of a downtown crit.
Length: 1.9 km (1.2 miles)
Elevation: 8 m (26‘)
Lead-In: 0.1 km (0.1 miles)
Map: Crit City
Start & Finish
Since this is an event-only route, riders will always begin in the start pens located just after the lap banner when riding in the Downtown Dolphin direction. This means you’ll ride nearly 2 laps before the lap counter shows 1.
Restriction: Event Only
Achievement Badge: none
Beginning at the start pens, you ride toward the city center portion of the route. Look ahead and if your race is broken up enough you may see riders coming down another section of road toward you.
In this first section, the older portion of the city, you’ll be mostly hemmed in by buildings. As the city closes in the road tilts up slightly–a false flat which will slow riders, increase resistance, and bump up power numbers.
Past the Watopia mural on your right, with the spinning Zs across the street, you’ll round the second right-hand turn and encounter a Zwift eSports stage complete with riders on trainers, spectators, and big screens showing videos of avatars in action.
Zwifting in Zwift? Zwiftception.
Hang another sharp right and you’ll pick up speed quickly as the road tilts downwards at 2% for this entire straightaway. Look ahead and notice the start/finish banner–this is another place on this well-designed route which allow you to catch sight of riders who are well ahead or behind.
(Crit racers know if you’re able to get off the front far enough that the peloton no longer sees you, you stand a better chance of staying away. It’s harder to chase what you can’t see.)
You’ll make another two lefts before things get crazy as the road turns right, pavement turns to brick, and the prime section begins! This 200-meter, 4% incline is the only timed segment on Crit City, and it’s where you’ll see attacks each and every lap.
The first of two “dead turns” is coming up, at the end of the straightaway containing the prime banner. Make this 135-degree turn and enter the more open and modern “business park” portion of the city which includes a sort of virtual Zwift HQ as its centerpiece. HQ includes more Zwifters (runners and riders) out front.
Next, we’ve got a fun little set of racetrack-like rollers where you’ll want to keep your speed high and make sure you don’t lose the wheel ahead! Look ahead and you’ll spot the lap banner–still 400 meters away, but this is another chance to see riders who are well ahead or behind.
Complete the 180-degree turn, passing the Scotty inflatables and more virtual Zwifters, and it’s ~200 meters flat and straight on to the finish.