Virtual Tour de France Stage 1 & 2 – Thoughts from a Zwifter

Virtual Tour de France Stage 1 & 2 – Thoughts from a Zwifter

This weekend saw history made as the first two stages of the 6-stage Virtual Tour de France were raced in Watopia. The men and women took on the Hilly Reverse Route for stage one, then the Mountain Route for stage two. As a huge TdF fan who has watched and ridden in hundreds of Zwift races since I first hooked up my smart trainer in November of 2015, I couldn’t wait for the vTdF to begin.

What would it look like for the world’s top pros to take on routes I’ve ridden hundreds of times, virtual roads I know like the back of my hand? And how would Zwift up their broadcast game now that they were visible on the world stage?

Needless to say, the first two stages didn’t disappoint! Here are my thoughts on stage 1 and 2 of the Virtual Tour de France.

Slow Starts?

All the commentators I heard made a point of saying something along the lines of “Zwift starts are always really hard and fast, but the pros today won’t be starting as hard as a typical Zwift race, because they’re used to the easier starts of outdoor racing.”

This makes sense – and if you watched any of the Team INEOS races in past months, you may have noted that they started in a more sedate fashion and unfolded very much like an outdoor race, with a breakaway getting away up the road, the chase group working together to keep the breakaway within striking distance, etc.

But here’s the thing: this weekend’s stages didn’t start easily. While it makes sense that they would have, that’s not what happened! My guess? There were enough experienced Zwifters in the race pushing the pace that anyone looking for an easy start got dropped… hard.

Here is stage 1 winner Ryan Gibbons’ Zwift activity. Let’s look at the first few minutes of the race: from the start to the top of the kicker before the descent to the sprint. He made it to the top of this kicker in 2:54.

Now let’s look at a few recent community races on the same route. Here’s the data from the winner of a 3-lapper. He made it to that same point in 3:08. 14 seconds slower, across just three minutes! And that’s the fastest start I could find in a community race (although admittedly, I didn’t spend hours looking, and the tools to search are pretty rudimentary). Most races took more like ~3:20 to get to that same point. My best time ever was 3:13 to that point. Humbling.

So the pros started hard. And they kept going hard to the end! (See “Lap Times” below for more on that.)

Showing the Start

The video streams skipped the start of the first three races, only showing it for the fourth race of the weekend – men’s stage 2. I’m not sure what the reasoning is behind this, as the start is a crucial part of these races. Perhaps they thought the starts would be boring, like a neutral start or some sort of grand départ. But these are sub 1-hour races on Zwift – ain’t nobody got time for easy starts!

Hopefully Zwift will televise the starts of races moving forward – and hopefully the commentators can communicate the crucial moves going on in those first few minutes, when a good portion of the field gets whittled down as stronger riders push it at the front.

Zwift Raceview

Have you seen Zwift’s web-based “Raceview” tool? I just happened to come across a link to it, but it hasn’t been publicized much as far as I can tell. This is the start of something really cool! It shows the riders’ positions on course, and lets you click to select a rider to view their particular position. Here’s a quick video of me poking around in Zwift Raceview during the men’s stage 1:

Of course, I see a tool like this and think of 10 things I would add. I would love to see additional stats for riders: some power numbers, heart rate, etc. I want to be able to click on a circle and see who it is. And a live points view would be really useful, so we can see where each team stands as they hit point segments.

But still, in its current state, this is a useful tool with tons of potential! See it at zwift.com/raceview.

Lap Times

Curious whether these riders were really giving it their all? Wondering just what kind of performance a top-level pro can put out?

Check out the Strava leaderboard for the “Hilly Route Reverse from Start Gate” segment, and you’ll see that only 6 entries in the top 25 are from events outside of Saturday’s vTdF race. This was a pack of top-level pros pinning it. In fact, 37 of the top 50 slots are now taken by vTdF riders.

And the same happened on stage 2! The leaderboard for “Mountain Route Forward 1 Lap from Start Pier” shows 10 of the top 11 spots taken by the riders who attacked hard up the climb and got away in stage 2. Not bad, considering 51,800 riders have their times ranked on this segment.

The Pros are Learning

In past high-level races which included veteran Zwift community teams as well as pro riders it was clear that the pros lacked Zwift experience. We’d see them hammering on the front then blowing up, using powerups at the wrong time, or getting caught out on small climbs on routes they clearly didn’t know well.

But the pros are learning. I suppose that’s what a couple months of forced indoor training will do to a rider! Watching the broadcasts it was clear that many of the riders knew their way around powerups, the supertuck, and other details that newbies struggle to grasp.

Wheels and Frames

Zwifters know that in-game frames and wheels perform differently, since they’re given particular characteristics which change their aerodynamics and weight. Race commentators (and ZwiftHQ, in the stream chats) mentioned that all of the riders’ bikes were set up with the same performance characteristics.

I found this interesting, since it hadn’t been common practice in past Zwift eSports events. I was also curious how this worked, since it was clear that different teams were riding different frames and wheelsets in the vTdF competition. (They weren’t just “skinned” differently – they were actually different frame designs. And wheels clearly varied between riders.) Here’s a screenshot of the men’s stage 1 race where you can clearly see different frames and wheelsets being used:

Here’s what ZwiftHQ said in response to my query:

For the Tour de France we have neutralised all in-game equipment to ensure all the teams are on equal standing. Bikes and wheels share the same characteristics. We actually did the same for the Tour for All. Due to time restrictions, we weren’t able to build all the team bikes, so some of the teams are riding Zwift bikes with skins.

While neutralizing equipment for all Zwift races doesn’t seem like a good idea (it adds a fun element of strategy to the game, and Zwifters need incentives to keep unlocking new stuff!), it makes good sense in the vTdF. It would leave a bad taste in many mouths to learn that riders with more Zwift XP were given a speed advantage.

Drafting Tweaks

It’s also been mentioned that the draft was somehow modified for these races. This is big news, since the draft is a cornerstone feature of Zwift racing.

Here’s what ZwiftHQ said about it:

For the drag question, we often experiment with the algorithms relating to in-game physics. Ahead of the Tour de France, we ran a number of community test events with new drafting algorithm. The new draft makes it easier in the wheels and help to encourage a more aggressive style of racing. 

I’d love to get more details – but that’s all I’ve got! It would be really interesting to know what specifically was tweaked. It sounds like the draft effect was increased (“easier to sit in the wheels”) but is that all? Is it just the double draft?

Surely it’s more than that, because Zwift would have learned by now that simply the increasing the draft effect (e.g., Double Draft) doesn’t encourage a more aggressive style of racing, since it increases overall pack speeds and makes it harder to get away and stay away. Perhaps they changed the level of draft stickiness so there’s less churn on the front, reducing the overall pack speeds?

Camera Angles and Views

Clearly Zwift made a pile of improvements to its broadcasting tools for the vTdF. New camera angles made watching the race action more engaging – there were at least a couple of new sort of “elevated moto” angles that worked really well.

I especially liked the “single rider camera” mode where all other riders were ghosted out. It really let you see what that particular rider was doing, and was especially powerful when coupled with live view like they did with Erica Magnaldi in stage 1 (see below).

Lower Numbers, Higher Excitement

One sentiment I’ve seen echoed in the Zwift community (and one I agree with) is that these races are much more fun to watch when the number of riders is low. Watching a mass of even 20 riders just isn’t interesting – there’s so much churn happening in the pack that you can’t pick out who is who, which riders are putting in good work on the front, etc.

But whittle that down to a group of 5-10, and you’ve got a race on your hands. Now you can see which riders are doing what, and things become much more engaging.

Zwift made a good decision in limiting teams to just 4 riders, which keeps the overall pack size down. And the sprint and KOM points help encourage attacks, which helps to string out and break up the group somewhat. But nothing breaks up a group like a 10-15 minute climb! The race got really interesting once riders neared the top of the epic KOM and made their way onto the radio tower in stage 2.

More Live Video

Showing a live rider on screen while we see their avatar in-game is significantly more engaging than the game view on its own. I hope Zwift works to increase their usage of quality live feeds, because it really takes the broadcast to the next level!

My favorite live stream moment was when we get to watch Ludwig and Magnaldi as they battled their way up the radio tower climb in the women’s stage 2. Ludwig in her sunglasses, Magnaldi and her incredible strength – with wattage and heartrate shown along with the live video, we could see the riders in (arguably) a more intimate way than we ever would in an outdoor race. And that’s a big deal.

Conclusions

Zwift has upped their broadcast game heading into the vTdF, and it shows. Pro riders, as well, are clearly much better Zwift racers than they’ve been in the past. With everyone striving for Tour-level excellence, the experience for spectators will continue to improve. So I’m looking forward to next weekend!

Your Thoughts

I’d love to hear what you thought of stages 1 and 2. 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

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Doug
Doug
4 months ago

The races have been entertaining, and being relatively short, easy to watch. My main complaint is the way they are showing finishes. The aerial camera angle they have been using make it impossible to determine who is the winner. Even the commentators couldn’t tell on most finishes. They need to come up with a different finish line shot.

samcooke
samcooke (@samcooke)
4 months ago
Reply to  Eric Schlange

they need to introduce super-slow-mo 🙂

GaryGaffel
GaryGaffel
4 months ago
Reply to  samcooke

I don’t recall ever seeing a Zwift commentator call the correct winner live. “X has got this in the bag!.. Oh no, pipped on the line by Y!.. Actually the results are showing Z got it!”

naan
naan
4 months ago
Reply to  GaryGaffel

For community streams this makes sense since they are captured as just another rider in the race, meaning that there is variation through lag first from each racer to Zwift servers and then from the servers to the streaming user. With Zwift-produced streams it should be possible to bring the second part to a minimum.

Even if that variation can’t be eliminated completely, there are no good excuses for having to wait what felt like forever to see the results and/or a close-up slow-motion finish regenerated from the definitive data.

MHolden
MHolden (@holdenadventures)
4 months ago
Reply to  GaryGaffel

I wonder if some of this comes down to the athlete’s internet speed and their distance to the server!
If it’s true for the stock market…is it true for zwift hmm😮
https://atrpodcast.com/episodes/the-magic-shoebox-s1!33643

Gregory
Gregory
4 months ago

I thought the first stage for the men was particularly boring…while the women’s race was more entertaining with Longo Borghini for sprint points and Magnaldi/Bowden(?) for the climbs. Stage 2 for the women was just really great to watch, real battle going on. Stage 2 for the men was better than the previous day. I do not believe for a second than Thomas was trying to win…just showing the sponsor at the front for the first third. As for Van Der Poel being dropped in the climb while averaging between 400-450 Watts…well it looks like he was actually trying real… Read more »

Kristian
Kristian
4 months ago
Reply to  Gregory

Yeah, I was disappointed MVDP was raced on Stage 2 since he can only race 3 stages. Seems like stages 3, 4, & 6 would be a much better fit for him.

Reverz
Reverz
4 months ago
Reply to  Kristian

There is no way any of the top pro’s are going to be racing more then once a week… we are now less then 1 month away from the start of the real competition. Doing such an effort two days in a row just builds way too much fatigue in a non-beneficial way.
While doing short intense efforts can easily be integrated in their workouts, which is something Rohan Dennis also stipulated after winning the team Ineos Alpe Du Zwift race, but they shouldn’t go to far in this.

Chris
Chris
4 months ago

Great improvements in the coverage. Just curious as to why some riders were not registering HR. Technical glitch or were they not required to wear monitors? I’m sure I saw one rider, jersey open, monitor showing, but apparently not registering which suggests a glitch.

Edward
Edward
4 months ago
Reply to  Chris

On Eurosport they said the riders had to use HR, but could choose to show it to the public.

Simon
Simon (@sschofield)
4 months ago
Reply to  Chris

that was Thomas. I noticed that too.

AlexM370
AlexM370 (@alexmartins370)
4 months ago

Nicely written Eric. It is clear that Zwift is putting a lot of effort into their Broadcasting Interface. What a milestone! The Tour on Zwift! Who, if not us Zwifters, would of thought that 4 years ago 🙂 I remember a post I did where I was saying how cool it would have been to race the Stages of the Tour alongside of the Pro riders…we’ll get there! I really like the live cameras and the new Ghosting feature, to highlight a specific rider, really neat. Having the PRO’ stats is also super cool. I wish they could have replicated… Read more »

trplay
trplay
4 months ago

Commentators need to up their game. Bring in Nathan, they need some help. They should try bringing the team directors and maybe a few cooperative racers in on a live discord channel inside the race for a race at the moment chat along with the live home web views.

Spencer
Spencer (@jones-spence)
4 months ago
Reply to  trplay

The English commentator on the official tour YouTube channel did a great job.

Marchaugh
Marchaugh (@haughton-marcus)
4 months ago
Reply to  trplay

Really liked Matt Stephens’ commentary but not a fan of Hannah Walker. She just isn’t the right person for it. She doesn’t sound right and half the stuff she said was a bunch of rubbish, especially about some of the features in zwift.

Reverz
Reverz
4 months ago
Reply to  trplay

No offense but Nathan Guerra isn’t the guy the average person wants to hear… if you wanna keep your audience as broad as possible you should keep the commentary as normal as possible. On Belgian TV at least the commentators were the same people doing commentary for the real road races. And while I think it could help if they actually knew a bit more about Zwift and Zwift races they did okish… it was still better then some guy screaming “OW MY GOD ORANGE NUMBERS!1!!” all through the race…

davep
davep
4 months ago
Reply to  trplay

i would love to hear some Paul Sherwin-type discussion of various landmarks around Watopia. (RIP Paul)

Kris
Kris
4 months ago

It would be great to hear team communication as well.

Alistair Flack
Alistair Flack
4 months ago

Absolutely echo the positive feedback on ‘ghosting’ the other riders when focusing on one of the pack, the irl feeds were really great to see and even the roadside banners/event hoarders made it feel more like an actual race!

Still need a top down camera for the sprint finish…

Simon
Simon (@sschofield)
4 months ago

Excellent piece Eric. Great points. I agree with all of them, apart from maybe one. I just interviewed Freddy Ovett for the next Ep of the Zwiftcast. I asked him about PUs and all the “tactical” stuff. Bear in mind Freddy was a star on St 1 and 2, really lighting up the race. His view was no-nonsense. In summary :”Start hard. Stay top ten. Sprint like hell.” No more complicated than that. His view was the “tactical” stuff counts for nothing. Interesting.

Mark McDougall
Mark McDougall
4 months ago
Reply to  Simon

I wonder if that’s only because the stages were so short?

Katie Marie Sweeney
Katie Marie Sweeney
4 months ago
Reply to  Simon

That’s interesting, thanks Simon.

James
James
4 months ago

For the first vTDF, hats off. The US broadcast wasn’t until Monday, which I found odd. MSNBC cut a lot of the footage down to fit all four races into a 2 hour block. I’m glad I streamed it live!

i also think Zwift needs to build out the sideline fans I make it feel more exciting in a virtual world. But all in all, I liked the live views of riders and seeing Zwift get some more publicity!

TJ Cobey
TJ Cobey
4 months ago

Great article and summary of the races which I thoroughly enjoyed watching.

I agree with other comments on the finish. It’s a computer simulation. Would it be that hard to get a simulated “photo finish”?

Another thing I think needs tweaking is the volume levels for Matt Stephens. He is an enthusiastic commentator and clearly knows his cycling but the distortion when he “amped” it up was distracting.

Cheers

HGW
HGW
4 months ago
Reply to  TJ Cobey

I’m sure some people like them, but I have always hated the power up concept in Zwift. If the organizers and Zwift ever want e-racing to be taken seriously, I think the power ups need to go. As soon as the announcer starts talking about an invisibility ghost or burrito, the people who are on the fence about watching e-racing are going to turn it off.

I really liked the live video feeds during the race and watching the live power numbers is always great in these events.

Maurice
Maurice
4 months ago
Reply to  HGW

I may not totally agree with this, but I’ve heard many advocates of the power-ups as a means of putting some strategy and randomness back into the ride that obviously gets stripped out due to no weather, punctures, bike handling, mechanicals, etc when riding on a trainer (no matter how sophisticated).

Benjamin
Benjamin (@benjamin_pitt)
4 months ago
Reply to  Maurice

Exactly Maurice. People who think it turns it into a game – that’s what road racing in real life is! It’s a game, the person who plays the game in the pack best, is the most likely to win. A power up is like getting a rider like Conor Dunn to draft on for the last 2kms before a sprint, that can be pot luck sometimes, but you take it in real life and don’t complain you got an advantage….

Watch TT racing if you want pure man vs the clock.

Mark McDougall
Mark McDougall
4 months ago
Reply to  HGW

@HGW: I think I’m with you on this one. I’ve always been on the fence with power-ups, I think they start to edge away from ‘simulation’ and more towards ‘game’. I’d hate to see it turn into a Mario Kart on two wheels; Zwift need to find that balance where they are still considered as a serious training tool.

Having said that, I don’t see the harm in providing the *option* for power-ups in solo and even group rides, but for serious races yeah – get rid of them.

naan
naan
4 months ago
Reply to  HGW

I have no problem with the power-ups per se, but the commentators inevitably going through all of them numbers and all in every stream sounds to me like listening to someone reading the phone book out loud. How about just pointing them out when actually used, along with an explanation of what the rider is trying accomplish with it?

Maurice
Maurice
4 months ago

The official Tour Youtube broadcast was certainly a quality above the one offered by Zwift, but bravo to all involved. Really amazing to see how far this platform has come. Hopefully something they can build upon for future grand tour events even post-pandemic.

René Rolighed
4 months ago

I think not showing the grades when ascending (or descending) is a big miss. I might personally know every twist, turn and grade, but for the general public I think it would add to the involvement being able to see what the riders are up against (as the camera angles doesn’t really show it most of the time).

Marcus Berghauf
Marcus Berghauf
4 months ago
Reply to  René Rolighed

I’d also like to see the speeds in Zwift races, and w/kg in real life races!

Mark Kubach
Mark Kubach
4 months ago
Reply to  René Rolighed

Another thing to add here, when talking about going uphill, is the trainer difficulty settings. I don’t think you should be able to set this yourself when in a race. Here all riders should be at the same difficulty setting. IMHO

Brendan Cleaver
Brendan Cleaver
4 months ago

Wow, never have really been glued to a seat while watching a Ladies race, but Zwift has changed this as I have watched both and was engaged by both the commentary and the combination of live rider views against their Zwift avatars with the metrics. Watching the QOM battles between Lowden and Magnaldi was epic as was the final sprint. Stage 2 was even better by watching Magnaldi dig deep in the Radio Tower climb on Stage 2. Just a small shame we can’t hear live audio from the riders when the commentary adds in their live views.

Mike
Mike
4 months ago

I agree 100%. I was on the edge myself cheering for both the ladies as they battled for the win! The men’s race just didn’t have the same level of excitement for me. However I really enjoyed the womens race. For whatever reason it felt like I could connect to it better.

Marcus Berghauf
Marcus Berghauf
4 months ago

It’s great to hear the women impressed you. I’ve always thought that when they’re given the same platform – e.g. World Champs, Olympics, Tour de Yorkshire, etc, women’s racing is as exciting as men’s.
I feel perception of women’s racing is often hampered by things which have nothing to do with the athletes – such as lower TV production levels or less experienced commentators. Great to see Zwift keeping it even between the sexes.

Mark Kubach
Mark Kubach
4 months ago

I actually find the women races really exiting IRL. I try not to miss a single road race when transmitted on tv. Unfortunately the women do not have the same focus for ASO and other media outlets. They deserve much more of our love and attention. And yes the women were on fire in the Zwift races.

Guido
Guido
4 months ago

thx Eric,
agree totally.
Personally i would like to see the profile of the complete route as overlay during the full race and in it the actual position of leader and all chasers.
If you remember TdF mountain stages, the overall competitors were shown with their distances to each other, which makes it interesting for the public.
After a couple of stages even riders in a 2nd group might be interested to see, when their overall ranking matters.

Guido

Wayne Daga
Wayne Daga
4 months ago

Great writeup Eric. I’d love to know if the graphics quality we saw in the feed is the same as Zwifters get when they have a 4K setup?

Marcus Berghauf
Marcus Berghauf
4 months ago
Reply to  Wayne Daga

I’d be stunned if they didn’t record it in 4K to show off Zwift as much as possible, but a YouTube stream only goes up to 1080HD so you will have lost some quality.
If you can honestly spot that tiny loss of quality on constantly moving sport then your eyes are better than mine!

Alex
Alex
4 months ago

I thought they did a pretty good job. Way more engaging than I thought.

I did the L’Etape on Saturday and the start was even faster than usually. Had to hold close to 7w/kg just to get up to the front group and stay there. Finished the stage in a little under 45 minutes and thought that was pretty quick, but now I see on the leaderboard that some people did it 4 minutes faster. Wow..

BikePower
Active Member
BikePower (@bikepower)
4 months ago

Why was the video resolution so low? It should have been crisp, but it looked like it was overcompressed or a lower resolution was scaled up. Not a great viewing experience for a marquee event.

Spencer
Spencer (@jones-spence)
4 months ago
Reply to  BikePower

I thought the same thing. Had to double check that it wasn’t my setup causing the low resolution. It wasn’t.

Marcus Berghauf
Marcus Berghauf
4 months ago
Reply to  Eric Schlange

When watching things on YouTube, i recommend always checking the quality settings manually. On “auto” My Smart TV will regularly switch to 480p on YouTube, even when there’s a 1080HD version available.

ZoomZoom
ZoomZoom
4 months ago

Not showing the gradients on a “Hilly” race ??. And not showing 3 of 4 starts ??
Great concept, but hope Zwift gets its act together for the final stages. Or this virtual TDF will a virtual fail. It looked like a regular Zwift race with some fancy camera angle. Good thing for Zwift that most of us where so in awe at the power being put out.

Marcus Berghauf
Marcus Berghauf
4 months ago
Reply to  ZoomZoom

And that was a very good thing – it instsntly made me want to see live power figures in real life races!

Mark McDougall
Mark McDougall
4 months ago

Similar thoughts to you and others on the broadcast; more live coverage of the riders and the finishes were a confusing blurr. More stats needed all ’round as well. It seemed we could either see a rider’s stats, or the course stats, but not both. Peleton speed would be nice! Wish I’d known about the RaceView! I think Zwift still have a way to go on their physics. Riders were changing position within their groups way too quickly and way too often, and most of the time a rider who got off the front with a power-up was caught again… Read more »

Sara Lance
Sara Lance
4 months ago

the video was awesome, the racing spectacular and it was amazing to watch. Congrats to everyone who made this happen is brilliant . Allowing us to do the same ride was wonderful. Fantastic first try. Im glad you answered my own Q on the bike/wheel item that was definitely a Q… here is what would have made it so much easier to navigate .. If you want to see results – go to Zwift Power https://www.zwiftpower.com/events.php?zid=931129 / https://www.zwiftpower.com/events.php?zid=931128 , If you want to see GC / Final Winners … https://www.letour.fr/en/virtual-tour-de-france/rankings / if you want to see Segment times / stats… Read more »

JonD
JonD
4 months ago

Great article, and comments. It was by far the best pro e-racing I’ve seen. Whatever they’ve done to the draft definitely changed the dynamics and created a great balance between small groups and the main pack, with no Rohan Dennis solo heroics 🙂 it seemed like small groups worked well.

Most impressive to me was how well the pro’s knew the epic KOM descent, they nailed the timing on coming out of supertuck. They’ve been practicing / the DS have been watching and learning.

Benjamin
Benjamin (@benjamin_pitt)
4 months ago

Can the people who claim that zwift is a joke because pros get dropped on it by regular riders take note of the segment times now? Pretty clear they are just as fast on zwift as real life.

dirk
dirk
4 months ago
Reply to  Benjamin

how fair is a comparison of segment times with altered draft physics?

Jim Lisius (HCRA60 )
Jim Lisius (HCRA60 )
4 months ago
Reply to  dirk

Great pickup on the physics here! The amateurs were about 7% behind the pros and IMHO a lot of that could be Zwift’s draft settings — especially adding the question of what the frame & wheel aero constants were for the TdF pros. Zwift’s simulation constants were in the ballpark, but hard to conclude who has superior fitness/effort here. And the pros could hide their heart rates — though most showed theirs.

billy
billy
4 months ago

fantastic re-cap

@ Wazza.P.TBR
@ Wazza.P.TBR
4 months ago

I really enjoyed watching the race unfold. The commentary was great (though I missed the regular voices). The commentators knew the riders and their background which makes a big difference to what could otherwise be a boring opening session. In the real TDF I always like to see the route map and the elevation and whilst i already knew the course for Stage 1 and 2 there may be people who would like to see the Map. I think the ending graphics need some more work as well. The slow-mo replays weren’t slow and when the finish was close it… Read more »

Hugh
Hugh
4 months ago

On drafting, I’m not sure they’ve got the balance right just yet. Watching the leading 4 riders from men’s race 2 have a 10 sec lead demolished while descending just doesn’t sit right with me. There was nothing they could do to maintain this gap (Ovet in particular used super tuck well) and all the work of their lead on the climb was for nought. Doesn’t capitalise on full potential of what was a climbing stage

Colin
Colin
4 months ago

What plugins do you need for the Zwift Raceview to load correctly? Cheers

Jona
Jona
4 months ago

Also on Belgium TV you could watch livestream. Better than the bkool RVV edition some time ago. But still some room for improvement. Showing the start, a better showing of the finish and non the least the knowledge of the commentators. There was some confusing about for example the obligated helmet, The downhill position, the descend after the Tower, the landscape etc. But there learning, who thought that dino’s who swear never to look at virtual racing changing there mind 🙂

Rollin Banderob
Rollin Banderob
4 months ago
Reply to  Jona

Is not showing the starts related to the limited number of riders the game can render?

Jona
Jona
4 months ago

Just wanted to mention that with the intro (was fast, not an issiue) of TdF, presenting the teams etc suddenly the image swipped to the race who already has begon a couple of minutes, a bit confusing for non-Zwifters who watch the first time. With the men’s race was this better. Probely was the short window of tv-broadcasting(2h) a bit of a problem

Rollin Banderob
Rollin Banderob
4 months ago

Biggest gaffe?: CCC Liv jerseys for the men LOL  Everything I’ve read is super tuck is triggered when -3% gradient and greater (and carrying a certain speed or greater) – commentators on two sources kept saying -5%, and one said just being in draft of another rider downhill triggers it. Zwift needs to get them a fact sheet.  For what we could see preferred Tour de France YouTube commentating, but he could use a helper with live analysis telling us how far back the next groups were and where the top names were at.  As others have said love to… Read more »

Gil Santa Maria
Gil Santa Maria
4 months ago

I really enjoyed the two stages. I think they should remove the dubledraft and the powerups to allow breakaway. I believe that with the escapes, the race would be more interesting, and would allow some kind of tactics from the teams. As it is, it is just staying in the front group and a sprint at the end. Only that. Zwift urgently needs to improve the way he shows the end of the race. Remember that flat stages and sprint finishes on any tour, Vuelta or giro are very tedious too

Gustavo Gomez
Gustavo Gomez (@mgfjd)
4 months ago

Trainer difficulty should be set to a minimum of 70%. It is not the same to climb in the big ring with more inertia than using the small ring. Power is the same but it doesn’t mean the same type of muscles and oxygen in the cells are the same.

Steve
Steve
4 months ago

The change in draft physics must be more than double draft. “Double draft” is actually “Real draft”, but seems only to be even remotely realistic when drafting a single rider. “Double draft” is absolutely nothing like the reality of riding in a large pack. In real life, in a big pack, I can soft pedal at well under 100 w and maintain my position. In a “double draft” event on Zwift, I’ve got to maintain 250 w, or I get dropped from the pack. Maybe Zwift has made the pack draft more realistic. I’d love to hear some more details… Read more »

Glenn Twiggs
Glenn Twiggs
4 months ago

I agree with rveryone who loved the women’s race. This is the first time I’ve seen a pro road race where the women and the men rode the same course and distance. These athletes deserve an equal course and equal pay.

Mark McDougall
Mark McDougall
4 months ago
Reply to  Glenn Twiggs

Don’t know about equal course; they were significantly slower over the same course than the men. Maybe a slightly cut-down version would work well, so they’re riding for roughly the same time?

Otherwise, equal pay for sure. They put the same time and effort into training and racing, so they deserve equal compensation.

Andrei
Andrei
4 months ago

I was missing a combination of slope, power, speed, and heart rate. I do not think slope has ever appeared on the screen. Without the slope, it is hard to interpret (and learn from it) what power they use on their way up a hill and on the flats, when they push harder, when they take a moment to rest. Also, I felt that there were too few videos of them pedalling on their trainers. They were showing Zwift race almost like a regular bike race, but it is not a regular bike race. It is a promotion of indoor… Read more »

Phil A
Phil A
4 months ago

I think the Strava leaderboard times are only quicker because of the extra draughting

JJCD
JJCD
4 months ago

Thanks for an excellent summary ! And Raceview looks like it could be very useful in light of the poor stats available during the race: The constantly changing TOP10 list is really useless as the positions change all the time: The should gaps between groups and a list of riders in that group from time to time:

MHolden
MHolden (@holdenadventures)
4 months ago

Love the live videos too!! The picture in picture is fantastic!! Keep em coming Zwift!!

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