All About the Zwift Classics 2021 Race Series

All About the Zwift Classics 2021 Race Series

With the team-based Zwift Racing League on hiatus until Fall 2021, Zwift + WTRL have announced the Zwift Classics – a race series for individual riders.

This is the third year we’ve had a summer Classics series (see details for 2019 and 2020), but the first year WTRL has collaborated with Zwift to run the series. The solo racer format works well in the summer months, when Zwift racing numbers are down while riders are committed to outdoor racing.

One Race, Two Competitions

Each of the races in the 8-week series is a standalone event – there is no GC covering multiple weeks. And each race actually has two classifications (or competitions): time and points:

  • Time: simple enough. The first rider over the finish line wins the race.
  • Points: similar to the points system used for Zwift Racing League events. First Across the Line (FAL) and Fastest Through a Segment (FTS) points are awarded on certain sprint and KOM segments. Finish position points are always awarded. (Note: the only place we’ve seen the KOM and sprint points documented is in the event details after you sign up for a particular race.)

Signing Up: Auto-Categorization!

For the first time ever (unless you count the audacious yet short-lived Cycligent Virtual Rankings system from 2017), these Zwift Classics events are using (testing?) a new “Autocat” system developed by WTRL + Zwift in recent months.

Instead of selecting the category you want to race, the Autocat system just asks you to select the timezone you desire (10 regions available). It then looks at your Zwift racing and power history to place you in appropriate “class”, numbered 1-6.

Read more about WTRL’s Autocat system >
Race signups >

Race Routes and Dates

July 13, 2021: 2019 UCI Worlds Harrogate Circuit

Starting off with a bang, we head to Yorkshire for some lumpy laps. This is one for the punchy climbers – those with strong VO2 power who can hit repeated short intervals on this route which is never flat.

  • Class 1-3 3 laps (41.4 km, 720 m), Class 4-6 2 laps (27.6 km, 480 m)
  • PowerUps: Aero Boost, Burrito, Feather
  • Segments: Yorkshire Sprint Forward, Yorkshire KOM Forward

July 20, 2021: Everything Bagel

Another lumpy route, Everything Bagel covers all NYC roads in both directions – including the KOM! This is one course where you have to keep your eyes open and stay attentive throughout.

  • 1 lap (34.2 km, 525 m)
  • PowerUps: Aero Boost, Anvil, Feather

July 27, 2021: Downtown Dolphin

It’s the shortest course of the season, but a whole lotta laps! Most racers will be very familiar with Downtown Dolphin – expect a race of attrition, with short attacks on the brick prime each lap. It’ll be a bunch sprint finish, unless someone makes a cagey move early.

If you’re competing for points, you’ll want to know that points will be awarded every 3rd lap for both FAL and FTS. (Think of the segment as laps 3, 6, 9, etc.) The brick climb is not a segment!

  • Class 1 20 laps (38 km, 160 m), Class 2 18 laps (34.2 km, 144 m), Class 3 16 laps (30.4 km, 128 m), Class 4 14 laps (26.6 km, 112 m), Class 5 12 laps (22.8 km, 96 m), Class 6 10 laps (19 km, 80 m)
  • PowerUps: Aero Boost, Ghost, Steamroller

August 3, 2021: Richmond UCI Reverse

A backwards take on the classic Richmond UCI route, this is the longest race of the season. It’s all about the climbs on the first half of each lap!

  • Class 1-2 3 laps (48.6 km, 426 m), Class 3-4 2 laps (32.4 km, 284 m), Class 5-6 1 lap (16.2 km, 142 m)
  • PowerUps: Aero Boost, Draft Boost, Feather

August 10, 2021: Muir and the Mountain

With more elevation gain than any other race in the series, this is our ‘Queen Stage’. The Epic KOM (and Radio Tower!) will be where your true fitness is shown, but the final short effort up the Titans Grove Reverse KOM will decide the winner.

  • 1 lap (39.3km, 914 m)
  • PowerUps: Anvil, Draft Boost, Feather

August 17, 2021: Innsbruckring

Can you hang with the front on the Leg Snapper? It’s an all-out short climb that will make or break your race, dropping more riders from contention with each lap. Those who survive can sprint it out for the finish.

  • Class 1-2 5 laps (44 km, 360 m), Class 3-4 4 laps (35.2 km, 288 m), Class 5-6 3 laps (26.4 km, 216 m)
  • PowerUps: Aero Boost, Burrito, Draft Boost

August 24, 2021: Bologna

This course is a replica of the TT prologue route from the 2019 Giro d’Italia, but we’ll be racing up to the top, down to the start line, then back up to the top once more. Frame and wheelset choice can be tricky here – read our tips.

  • 2 laps (24 km, 495 m)
  • PowerUps: Anvil, Burrito, Feather

August 31, 2021: London Classique

We wrap up the season with a classic race circuit for the sprinters.

  • Class 1-2 6 laps (38.5 km, 154 m), Class 3-4 5 laps (33 km, 135 m), Class 5-6 4 laps (27.6 km, 116 m)
  • PowerUps: Aero Boost, Draft Boost, Cloaking Ghost

Live Broadcast

Broadcast coverage will be provided by Zwift Community Live.

How to Sign Up

To sign up, follow these steps:

  1. Visit the Zwift Classics Signup page on WTRL’s website and click at the top-right to
  2. Log into your WTRL account
  3. Click to join the event timeslot you desire. Your class will be calculated, then you will be directed to a Zwift event login page where you should
  4. Click to join the Men’s event (category A) or women’s event (category B)

Questions or Comments?

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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Hybrid Noob
Hybrid Noob
13 days ago

Looking forward to seeing how the autocat system pans out. We desperately need a better system than arbitrary FTP thresholds, hopefully this a significant step in the right direction. Extra categories are a welcome addition too, so long as the racer numbers can handle it, which shouldn’t be problem for a mainstream event like this.

Alex
Alex
13 days ago

Very curious about that new system. I think going away from w/kg is the right thing to do.

Is there a way to see what category I would be in? Relatively high w/kg (5.3) but low 1min and 5min absolute power due to low weight and almost never sprinting. Might be fun to be in category 2 for Muir and the Mountain.

Alex
Alex
13 days ago
Reply to  Eric Schlange

Thank you! Should have been able to figure that out myself.

The event page says “ZWIFT CLASSICS – Yorkshire Grand Prix C1” so I assume that means cat 1. If you get moved up and I get relegated to C2 for Crit City you can outsprint me 🙂

Ed Engel
Ed Engel
13 days ago

Are the times local? Thanks

Jon L
Jon L (@jonleander1)
13 days ago

Really excited to try the auto categories out. Signed up and ready to race. I think this is a great step by WTRL and at least something is being tried to make racing better. Plus I’m excited to be back on Zwift with this Summer series of racing!

M. d. s. Günther
M. d. s. Günther
13 days ago

As so often i’d like to complain about the race length in the lower categories/classes… this time the Richmond course really takes the cake… those races will be done in under half an hour, which im not a fan of.

Besides that i am looking forward to this series ever since it got announced, no GC is a bit of a bummer but will probably take a lot of work of WTRL’s shoulders.

J P
J P
13 days ago

Two points.
1 – women have 5 categories and they haven’t been clear about how many laps each of our categories do. Also worth noting these events are gender locked (which is neither good nor bad, just worth noting).
2 – yes, it will be interesting to see if any category changes happen through the series. Maybe that’s why there’s not a series point score?

J P
J P
13 days ago
Reply to  J P

Just to add, we obviously know when we’ve signed up but if we want to plan in advance we’re guessing.

J P
J P
10 days ago
Reply to  Eric Schlange

No – cat3 has 2 laps not 3 for race 1. We’re a mix of low B and high C. About 1/3 B and remainder.C in Sydney timeslot.

J P
J P
10 days ago
Reply to  J P

Cat3 ladies has 2 I mean, rather than 3 like the guys.

Eric Fung
Eric Fung
13 days ago

Never really raced before, got put in C3 😱 Was hoping to do only two laps.

syfodias
syfodias
12 days ago

Really would love to do something like this, but I’m Diabetic – and have a life outside of cycling, so changing routine mealtimes to fit in with the scheduled starts is a no-go. As there are no starts from 12:00pm local until 17:30pm – both in around meal times for me, there is no way for me to compete. I’ve spoke to Zwift about this in the past with Bologna TT events following similar schedules. I understand the fewer participants in summer months, but we all pay the same and I don’t think its unacceptable to request more access to… Read more »

Ben
Ben
12 days ago

I’m ranked B grade according to Zwift power and have being placed in C1 with A+ riders. Doesn’t seem right.

Andy
Andy
11 days ago

Hi, I might be missing something but I can’t see how I sign up for these events? They don’t seem to be showing on the companion app, which I would normally use to sign up for events. Thanks

Garth
Garth
11 days ago
Reply to  Andy

Read the “How to Signup” section at the bottom of the article. You don’t do it using the companion app.

Andy
Andy
11 days ago
Reply to  Garth

Thanks, really should read the whole article first!

Garth
Garth
11 days ago

I’ve never done any WTRL events before. How do these races show up on zwiftpower, or do they? Do they count towards your ranking on zwiftpower or do they stay completely separate?

Edwin Thaves
Edwin Thaves
10 days ago

I had pretty much given up on racing in Zwift because all the sandbaggers and digital cheats just made it unenjoyable for me. I decided to give the Yorkshire Grand Prix a chance and it was the most fun I’ve had racing in Zwift. The auto-categorization was spot on- I felt everyone I was racing with was pretty evenly matched despite having different skills (some better climbers and others better sprinters). It was the first time racing in Zwift felt like a real race. Congratulations WTRL Racing for organizing this event and getting it so right the first time out.… Read more »

Jim Maguire
Jim Maguire
8 days ago
Reply to  Edwin Thaves

Like many, I have almost given up racing because I can’t compete with those who show up. I’m a lesser B (3.5 wkg is about the best I can do. Each time I look at the B’s who are signed up for a race, they are 95% in the range of 3.6 to 4.2 wkg (4.2 for B’s! … I know). I guess other lesser B’s stay away for the same reason. If I enter, it’s out the gate like mad and soon I’m on my own or waiting for the C’s to come along (I can hang on to… Read more »

Shane
Shane
2 days ago

Hi, is there a running total of points that tally’s all the points from each race? I figured there might be an “overall” results board?

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