Editor’s note: whenever I ask about the best races happening on Zwift, TFC’s Mad Monday Series is mentioned with their unique “split categories”. They recently sent over the details of the next round of the series (#11!) which begins on Monday.
Since TFC has a special place in my heart (it was the first Zwift team I joined, back in 2015) and the race series is a favorite of many, I wanted to make sure everyone knew about the next round of races. Hope to see you there!
The TFC Mad Monday Series has been running for nearly two years, with series 10 just finishing up. We are looking forward to series 11 starting on the 6th of December.
The focus of the race series is on team participation (individual riders are also welcome) but what sets us apart is our narrower category bands which improve the competitiveness of the races and discourage sandbagging by making the next category a smaller step up.
Signups and Schedule
We welcome all teams to sign up to the upcoming series!
For series 11, the European race slot is at 8:20pm CET/7:20pm UKT and a North America timeslot is at 7:45pm EST.
How It Started
The series started off partly due to frustration within TFC at the options available for teams to race (particularly larger races) and for members throughout the team to be able to contribute to a series performance. We also looked at the usual events scheduled during the week and saw that Monday was a relatively quiet day, which could lead to higher participation without conflicting with any other races. The first-ever race series was run with WTRL back in March 2020, before becoming the TFC Mad Monday Series in April 2020.
To help ensure policing of categories, we pushed ahead with the scoring being team-based, with teams being penalized for infringements. This self-policing method worked very well for helping to enforce the rules! Numbers very quickly picked up as the Monday evening time slot proved to be very popular, with the European timeslot becoming one of the largest races on the calendar in terms of numbers.
At the start of January 2021, then TFC team captain David Mulholland proposed splitting up the categories to have 8 instead of the usual 4 categories. This brings two major benefits:
- It means that riders who are normally the bottom of their race category (C/B particularly) now have a really competitive race to participate in
- It discourages sandbagging as riders on the limit of upgrade have a smaller step up to the next series
It also helped us to keep up with the success of the event and accommodate more riders without the races being “too big”.
We remain grateful to Zwift for allowing us the extra race events and ability to experiment in this way, since split categories like this were a first in Zwift.
The categories are as follows:
- Cat A+: 4.60 wkg and above FTP
- Cat A: 4.00 wkg up to 4.59 wkg FTP
- Cat B+: 3.60 wkg up to 3.99 wkg FTP
- Cat B: 3.20 wkg up to 3.59 wkg FTP
- Cat C+: 2.85 wkg up to 3.19 wkg FTP
- Cat C: 2.50 wkg up to 2.84 wkg FTP
- Cat D+: 2.00 wkg up to 2.49 wkg FTP
- Cat D: 1.99 wkg and below FTP
Another part of making it a success was ensuring we had various teams on board, continuing to support the series and help police things, and in the beginning we had TFC, ART, ZwiftScotland, SZ, Vikings, Cryogen, Foudre, BRT (now defunct and partly become WLC). These teams helped to provide input and other viewpoints to help shape the series. It has also been great to see the split cat idea catching on and seeing other teams like SZ running events with the same concept.
As mentioned before, the current series setup is team-based, with points being awarded for various FAL segments as well as final finish line position. The number of riders contributing to the score per team varies depending on overall turnout in the race.
The course selection for every series contains a little of something for everyone, so you are guaranteed a bit of climbing, sprinting, and everything in-between! After some experimenting with the event setups we have also settled on using private race signup links, which are communicated to registered team captains three days prior to each race… so best get signed up!
Feedback from teams and riders continues to be extremely positive and we are very grateful for the support we get from the teams in the series as without them and their team captains none of this would work. It has been an honor to see how well received the series is within the community… something we will never take for granted.
About Team TFC
As to the history of TFC itself… we are one of the oldest and largest teams on Zwift, having started back in 2016 and grown to over 600 members, with people from all over the world and with all kinds of backgrounds and abilities. There have been a number of captains over the years, including a little-known person called Eric Schlange (who may have designed one of the early TFC logos…).
We compete across all categories and in all the main race series, but there is never any pressure to race within the team. We are also well-known for running the longest-running race series on Zwift, our namesake, The Friday Criterium, on Friday afternoons and Friday evenings. We also run a Sunday social ride, which is a great way to start/end your week (or prep for Mad Monday!).
Questions or Comments?