Zwift Racing League Season 1: Week 1 Route Details

Zwift Racing League Season 1: Week 1 Route Details

The inaugural Zwift Racing League season begins next week, and the Zwift racing community is buzzing! Over 800 teams are signed up at last count, with perhaps 200 more coming on before the first race.

Find all the Zwift Racing League details at wtrl.racing >

Here are some key final details that may be helpful as we head into the start of Zwift Racing League Season 1…

Still Looking for a Team?

WTRL organizers have told me that riders looking for a team should post a little bit about themselves on this Facebook thread. Teams have been responding quickly to grab unaffiliated riders, but time is running out!

Race 1 (Heat 1?)

We’ve just spoken with Martin Carew at WTRL, and he explained that due to the high number of teams signed up, the first two races of this season will be more like qualifying heats than league races. Why? Because some of the timezones have 100+ teams signed up! (The WTRL Teams List shows 145 EMEA B teams currently registered, for example.)

WTRL and Zwift both agree that limiting each division to 20-30 teams is important for racer enjoyment. So for the first two races, divisions with 30+ teams registered will be divided up randomly into smaller groups who will race each other. These groups will race the Week 1 race as well as the Week 2 TTT, then be broken up into season 1 divisions of 20-30 teams based on their results.

Example: the EMEA W league has 145 B teams registered. These teams will be randomly grouped into ~5 subdivisions for the first two weeks, then sorted into permanent subdivisions (EMEA W B1, EMEA W B2, EMEA W B3, etc). When season 2 begins, relegation will happen within these subdivisions. So top B2 teams may move up to B1, while lower B3 teams may get relegated to B4.

It’s quite possible that points will not be allocated for these initial races, either, as it wouldn’t make sense to give points to teams then let those teams take those points to their newly-assigned division.

Week 1 Route Details

The first race of the series takes place on Watopia’s Big Foot Hills route, but racers won’t be completing the full 67.5 km (41.9 miles) route. Instead, race 1 will use two custom, shortened versions of the route which have racers finishing at the top of a KOM!

In terms of overall elevation, week 1’s race routes are the most difficult of the series. They’re also tied for the longest in terms of distance, meaning this week’s races will take more time to complete than any other race of the series.

Start Pen

Big Foot Hills begins at the Fuego Flats start pens with a lead-in of approximately 2.4 km (1.5 miles) to the actual route start line. Therefore, that lead-in distance should be added to the Strava segments below to calculate your overall race distance.

Intermediates

Intermediate points are available (5,4,3,2,1) for the first five across the line at the following locations:

  • Titan’s Grove Q/KOM
  • Hilly Q/KOM
  • Volcano Q/KOM (Premier/A/B only, since this is the finish line for C/D teams)

Premier, A, and B Teams: Big Foot Hills 50km Custom Route

The custom route used by the Premier, A, and B division teams ends with a climb up the Titans Grove KOM Reverse. Total elevation gain is 515m (1689′).

We’ve created a Strava segment for this route, and here’s a Veloviewer profile:

C and D Teams: Big Foot Hills 30km Custom Route

The custom route used by the C and D division teams ends with a climb up the Volcano KOM. Total elevation gain is 365m (1196′).

We’ve created a Strava segment for this route, and here’s a Veloviewer profile:

Frame and Wheelset Choice

Make no mistake: week 1’s races will be won on the climbs. And not just the finishing climbs – the intermediate efforts will certainly drop the majority of riders, leaving a small selection to battle it out up the final KOM.

So do you go with the lightest possible setup, in order to have every advantage on those climbs? Strangely enough – no!

None of the climbs are long or steep enough for a lightweight setup to make a significant difference in the climb time. Here are some timings from tests we ran this week (75k rider at 300 watts steady, no drafting):

Canyon Aeroad with Lightweight Meilenstein wheels (the lightest setup available in game):

  • Volcano KOM: 8:17
  • Hilly KOM: 2:37
  • Titans KOM: 4:57
  • Titans KOM Rev: 2:12
  • Total Lap Time (full Big Foot Hills route): 1:45:03

Specialized Venge S-Works with Zipp 858/Super9 wheels (the most aero setup available in game):

  • Volcano KOM: 8:17
  • Hilly KOM: 2:38
  • Titans KOM: 4:56
  • Titans KOM Rev: 2:12
  • Total Lap Time (full Big Foot Hills route): 1:43:52

Tron bike:

  • Volcano KOM: 8:16
  • Hilly KOM: 2:38
  • Titans KOM: 4:56
  • Titans KOM Rev: 2:12
  • Total Lap Time (full Big Foot Hills route): 1:43:54

Canyon Aeroad with DT Swiss ARC wheels (a solid ‘all arounder’ setup):

  • Volcano KOM: 8:16
  • Hilly KOM: 2:37
  • Titans KOM: 4:57
  • Titans KOM Rev: 2:12
  • Total Lap Time (full Big Foot Hills route): 1:44:25

With the climbs on these routes being short and/or flat enough that overall speeds will stay high, your most efficient setup will be whatever is most aero. Go with the most aero frame you can get, and the most aero wheelset. The new Canyon Aeroad 2021 is a great choice to give you a slight edge on the climbs without taking a hit on the flats. And the Tron bike is an excellent choice here as well.

Questions or Comments?

Share your comments below! Questions about ZRL are best directed to the WTRL Zwift Racing League Facebook page.

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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Chris
Chris
1 year ago

How will the leagues be split, will all the strongest C’s race in one league for example, with weaker teams competing in a sub league below, or will both leagues be an equal mix of abilities?

Chris
Chris
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris

This will affect how we assign riders to each team.

Craig Martin
Craig Martin (@viiich)
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris

Chris – my understanding is that they want to eventually end up with a ladder, so strongest C teams all end up at ‘C1’ – Our team is for the most part doing stronger/weaker teams as opposed to equal splits.

Craig Martin
Craig Martin (@viiich)
1 year ago

Reading the scoring page at WTRL it’s top 5 for the intermediate bonuses, not top 3.

JeremyA
JeremyA
1 year ago

Any teams out there looking for a low cat C rider? I don’t have FB, which has made it hard to find a team.

JeremyA
JeremyA
1 year ago
Reply to  Eric Schlange

Thank you so much! Will email now!

Bryn Griffith
Bryn Griffith (@brynchef)
1 year ago
Reply to  JeremyA

Join BRT Jeremy

henry swinson
henry swinson
1 year ago

Regarding best bike what about the low watt racer (160 watts)? Does that give the advantage more to the tron?

M4rk0
M4rk0
1 year ago

Would the frame/wheels selection make a difference for a heavier rider? I’m at 93kg and feel like i lose a lot of ground on the climbs.

Ron
Ron
1 year ago
Reply to  M4rk0

I think its important to have both a good 4-5 minute power/weight potential and a good 20 min power/weight potential for climbs these races are going to throw at us. I don’t see anything like Alpe du Zwift coming our way….

Ron
Ron
1 year ago

Hi Eric, the Veloviewer plots don’t load for me. Not sure if something is wrong with the embed?

Ron
Ron
1 year ago
Reply to  Eric Schlange

Negative, I’m on my Windows PC actually. I see 3 big blank spaces instead of the Veloviewer profiles.

Ron
Ron
1 year ago
Reply to  Eric Schlange

Works! Thanks!

CBurke
CBurke
1 year ago

Can anyone help me understand how sign in and rosters will work for this race? Direct me to some rsources?

CBurke
CBurke
1 year ago
Reply to  CBurke

bump

Spencer
Spencer
1 year ago
Reply to  CBurke

Organisers will send sign on link to team captains to distribute to their teams.

Stephen
Stephen
1 year ago

The calc’d times are based off no drafting. Assuming we will be drafting for all of the flat sections, aero rigs will have less of an advantage than shown here. Therefore are lightest setups best?

Benjamin
Benjamin (@benjamin_pitt)
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen

Good question. Being 10% more aero when the total drag is 100%, is very different to when the drag equation is 60% or whatever it is in 6th wheel.

Ron
Ron
1 year ago

Hi Eric,
So if I wanted to preview this custom course via a meetup with friends, how best to go about it? I reckon the automatic turns are going to disrupt the navigation. Pls advise.

Graham
Graham
1 year ago
Reply to  Ron

I did this last night – just do Big Foot Hills and stop at the Titans KOM Reverse (for the A/B route). You miss a bit of the lead in from the pens but the total distance is about the same.

Took me 1h 28 @ 2.7 w/kg average… (zone 2 flat, 3 climbs roughly). I reckon race pace might be 1h10-1h15?

Alex
Alex
1 year ago

Could you please post the kilometre markers for the intermediate points, given that it’s a custom course? I guess it will be different for the A/B vs C/D categories as well

Gustaf Reutersward
Gustaf Reutersward
1 year ago

Will there be intermediate sprint points at Fuego Flats, shortly after start ? Also is it first 5 across the line at the intermediates? or fastest 5 riders through the Zwift segment?

viiich
viiich (@viiich)
1 year ago

Only intermediates are Titan’s Grove, Zwift KOM, & Volcano KOM (for A/B). First 5 across line.

Jeff
Jeff
1 year ago

Is there any way to find and join teams outside of Facebook? I’m considering doing this as a winter motivator but am not on FB.

Wilbert
Wilbert
1 year ago

If you complete the event, and continue riding and completing the original route, will you receive the route badge?

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