We’re back into racing again with Zwift Racing League Season 2, and with 10,000+ people competing this is by far the biggest eRacing event on the planet.
The team component of this league, alongside the growing use of Discord, has led to the emergence of serious team tactics. Some work, some don’t, and for anyone who watches my commentary of the APAC Region you’ll know I love a good whiteboard analysis.
Now I’m taking my whiteboard virtual, releasing videos showcasing great (and not so great) tactics from the week of racing. This week I talk about how to execute a good solo breakaway in Zwift, a feat not for the faint-hearted.
Watch the Video
Basically, there are 3 keys to making a solo breakaway stick:
Pick a Strategic Point
The best places in a race to attempt a breakaway are either where you will take your competitors by surprise or where the terrain suits your strengths.
An example of a surprise attack could be on a flat piece of road but around a hairpin turn. Zwift physics slightly slows the pack around a hairpin and if you up your watts through that portion you can get a jump on the field once you’re back on the straights.
An obvious example of a strength attack would be if you are a light rider and you break away on a climb. Beware with this strategy that you will need to keep the watts high once you crest the climb and start going downhill. Another great spot is right after a sprint segment where everyone lays off the gas. Push your powerup closer to the end of the segment and use the momentum to gas by your competitors as they ease up.
Push Watts Very High When You Make the Attack
As you can see in the video both attacks are about 3-4watts/kg higher than those in the pack. For example, you would want to attack at 8watts/kg when the pack is going 4-5watts/kg.
Save an aero, feather, or burrito powerup for any planned attack. This will give you an extra boost to get riders out of your draft and enable you to quickly create a 7+ second gap.
The Magical 15 Seconds
The video highlights a solo breakaway that worked and one that didn’t, with the key difference being the time gap the rider was able to get on the bunch chasing behind. From commentating on, racing in, and watching a ton of zwift races, I believe the magic number is 15 seconds. As long as you maintain watts that are just higher than the pack, and you have 15 seconds, you should be able to stay away. The probability of this is a lot higher the smaller the chase pack is behind you.
Share Your Thoughts
If your team has pulled off something amazing in a race, or you’ve seen something tactically great, shoot me a message or comment below and I’ll do some analysis on why and how it worked.