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SRAM & RockShox Announce Crankworx Whistler Events – Pinkbike

SRAM & RockShox Announce Crankworx Whistler Events - Pinkbike

SRAM, RockShox, and Zipp are excited to announce a schedule full of interactive events we will be hosting August 6-12 during Crankworx Whistler. Everything from athlete and ambassador-led rides to suspension tuning on the trails, skills clinics, and more! Space is limited for many of these activities, so be sure to register early! We look forward to seeing you all at Crankworx.

1:00 – 3:00 PM Get to Know the Bike Park with SRAM Ambassadors (meet at SRAM booth)
9:00 am – 4:00 pm Indigenous Women Outdoors (IWO)

IWO’s vision is to hold space for Indigenous Women and Girls to experience mountain biking with their peers on the World Stage of “Crankworx”.

In partnership with Hilltop MTB and SRAM Mountain Bike, we would like to invite Indigenous Women and Youth, living or visiting the Whistler area during Crankworx, for a fun-filled day of connecting to the land, each other and the mountain bike community, through sport and mentorship.

We are excited to bring Indigenous women and youth together to experience the joys of mountain biking in the Whistler Bike Park, on the shared traditional territory of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Lil̓wat7úl nations.

12:30 pm – 4 pm Ride with The Free Radicals (meet at SRAM booth)

4:30 – 5:30 pm Here, There, and Everywhere with Miranda Miller (at SRAM booth)

9:00 am – 10:00 am Basic Skills Clinic (co-ed) with Braydon Bringhurst (meet at SRAM booth)

11:00 am- 12:00 pm Basic Skills Clinic (co-ed) with Braydon Bringhurst (meet at SRAM booth)

2:00 pm – 3:30 pm Suspension Tuning on the Trail (meet at SRAM booth)

10:00 am – 11:30 am Suspension Tuning on the Trail (WTFNB) with SRAM Ambassadors (meet at SRAM booth)

1:30 pm – 3:30 pm WTFNB Skills Clinic with SRAM Ambassadors (meet at SRAM booth)

9:00 am – 10:00 am Basic Skills Clinics (co-ed) with Braydon Bringhurst

11:00 am – 12:00 pm Basic Skills Clinics (co-ed) with Braydon Bringhurst (meet at SRAM booth)

2:00 pm – 3:30 pm Suspension Tuning on the Trail with SRAM ambassadors (meet at SRAM booth)

10:00 am – 11:30 am Suspension Tuning on the Trail (WTFNB) with SRAM ambassadors (meet at SRAM booth)

1:30 pm – 3:30 pm WTFNB Skills Clinic with SRAM Ambassadors (meet at SRAM booth)

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Wahoos Win 15 Events at July 23 Swim Meet, Racing to Top Times

Wahoos Win 15 Events at July 23 Swim Meet, Racing to Top Times
From left:Jolan Foronda, Ronan Lauinger and Mikal Helms swim in a Wahoos sweep of the boys 15-18 50-meter breaststroke race. (Photos: Lolo LaSida

By Marisha Goldhamer

ALEXANDRIA, VA – The Chinquapin Wahoos won 15 events at the Colonial Swim League Blue Division meet on July 23. After topping the division as a team with an undefeated season, 60 members of Alexandria’s only public swim team had the chance to demonstrate individual excellence across 50 races.

Each of the division’s six teams invited up to three boys and girls in each age group to race in freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and the 100-meter individual medley (IM), with ribbons awarded for first through sixth place.

Swimmers were limited to competing in three disciplines and Wahoos Emil LaSida, Madison Schang and Karon Moten, completed a triple, taking home first place in all of their events.

LaSida continued his dominance of the boys 15-18 50-meter backstroke. His winning time of 27.02 seconds is the fastest in the CSL this season. He also won the 50-meter freestyle in 25.03 seconds and the 50-meter butterfly in 27.15 seconds.

Schang turned in a stellar swim to win the girls 11-12 50-meter breaststroke in 39.51 seconds, more than five seconds faster than the second place finisher. She also won the 50-meter butterfly in 34.38 seconds and the IM in 1 minute 18.84 seconds.

Karon Moten competes to win the boys 9-10 50-meter backstroke race.

Moten will be the one to beat at the All Star meet in the boys 9-10 age group. He holds multiple league topping times, including in the IM (1:27.85). He lowered his 50-meter backstroke time to win in 37.06 seconds, and his winning 25-meter butterfly time to 16.01 seconds.

Additional Wahoos division winners included Tyler Turner in the 9-10 boys 50-meter freestyle (34.83), Jonathan Ramsdell in the boys 13-14 50-meter breaststroke (34.75), Bennett Sherry in the boys 8 and under 25-meter butterfly (23.39), Micaela Zuniga in the girls 9-10 25-meter butterfly (18.19) and Ronan Lauinger in the boys 15-18 IM (1:03.18).

Jolan Foronda led the Wahoos 1-2-3 sweep in the boys 15-18 50-meter breaststroke, winning in 32.02 seconds followed by Lauinger (32.59) and Mikal Helms (33.39).

In addition to lifting the division trophy, the Wahoos also captured 12 second place and 16 third place finishes on Saturday.

Among the youngest swimmers, Sherry added to his butterfly win with second place finishes in the 25-meter backstroke (23.22) and 100-meter IM (1:59.82).

Max Kessler-Gowell also represented the 8 and under boys with third place swims in the 25-meter freestyle (20.57) and the 25-meter backstroke (24.28) and a fifth place finish in the IM (2:20.89).

The 8 and under girls snagged three third places. Beatrice Mills was third in the 25-meter backstroke (26.20) with Ryan Shaw in sixth (28.48). Avery Murray’s time of 27.06 seconds in the 25-meter butterfly was just .06 off of second place.

Sophie Wharton came third in the 25-meter breaststroke, before Charlotte Reyna and Wharton took fifth and sixth in the IM (2:32.19 and 2:37.60).

In the 9-10 age group, Turner added to his freestyle win with second place in the 50-meter breaststroke (49.44) and third in the 25-meter butterfly (18.80).

Ethan Sherry grabbed two fourth place finishes in 50-meter freestyle (37.56) and 50-meter backstroke (43.68) while Sawyer Blaise touched fifth in freestyle (41.40) and sixth in the IM (1:47.16).

For the girls, Zuniga added to her butterfly win with a fifth place ribbon in the 50-meter freestyle (41.16).

Freya Montes de Oca was just out touched to come third in the 50-meter breaststroke in 51.03 seconds before taking fifth in the IM (2:00.25).

The boys 11-12 squad continued to be led by Alex Guevara who picked up three second place ribbons, including the IM (1:23.10). He swam the 50-meter backstroke in 36.52 seconds, with Dominic Grajkowski sixth (46.57), and swam the 50-meter breaststroke in 43.72 seconds with Christopher Billips in fifth (47.59).

Chris Paz made his mark for the 11-12 boys with a third place finish in the 50-meter butterfly (39.31), a fifth place finish in the IM (1:40.32) and a sixth place finish in the 50-meter freestyle (34.10).

For the 11-12 girls, Ellie Medina placed second in the 50-meter butterfly (36.28). She also featured in a thrilling 50-meter freestyle race with four swimmers turning in 35 second times. Medina hit the wall in 35.83 seconds to grab sixth place.

The Wahoos went 2-4-6 in the 50-meter backstroke, Eleanor Robb taking second in 42.61 seconds, followed by Julia Davis (43.69) and Grace Wittmer (45.39).

Ramsdell’s win in the 13-14 breaststroke was accompanied by a third place finish in the 50-meter freestyle (28.15) and third in the IM (1:07.80).

In the 50-meter backstroke, Alex Wittmer placed second (35.81), just 0.23 seconds off of the win. Teammate Willem Schultz placed sixth (41.97). Wittmer also came sixth in the 50-meter butterfly (34.94) and the IM (1:22.82).

For the 13-14 girls, Evangeline Billips turned in a strong 50-meter backstroke to place second in 36.66 seconds. Bella McLemore took sixth with a time of 39.88 seconds.

Billips was also sixth in the 50-meter breaststroke with a time of 45.24 seconds.

The senior Wahoos continued to excel despite the 100 degree heat on the pool deck. Bodie Lauinger was third in the 50-meter freestyle (26.58), only 0.17 seconds separating him from Helms in fifth (26.75). Lauinger also finished fifth in the IM with a time of 1 minute 08.68 seconds.

The Lauinger brothers both factored in the 15-18 backstroke race with Ronan’s 30.24 second time snagging third over Bodie’s 31.78 second fourth place swim.

Foronda added to his breaststroke win with a fifth place finish in the 50-meter butterfly (28.03) – just out touching teammate Blake Conjura who came sixth (28.68) – and a third place finish in the IM (1:05.34).

Elisabeth Carroll stood out for the 15-18 girls, finishing second in the 50-meter backstroke (34.38), third in the 50-meter breaststroke (40.63), and fifth in the freestyle (30.88).

Catherine Salomons touched third in backstroke in 35.83 seconds. She also took fourth in the 50-meter butterfly (34.37) and the IM (1:20.89).

The CSL comprises four divisions, and the fastest swimmers from across all teams based on times from the divisional meets are invited to compete for the league title at the All Star meet. The Wahoos saw 27 swimmers qualify for the July 30 showdown in Ashburn.

Two Alexandria Public Safety Professionals Earn Top Honors from Virginia American Legion

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Get ready for yacht racing and events at Ramsgate Week 2022

Get ready for yacht racing and events at Ramsgate Week 2022
Kabluzo, sponsored by St Lawrence College, will be one of the vessels competing

Ramsgate Week kicks off tomorrow (July 17) and is widely recognised as a ‘family-friendly regatta’ that is an alternative to Cowes.

It first started back in 1898. During the 1950s, the regatta was known as ‘Kent Yachting Week’, which changed to ‘Thanet Week’ in the 1970s, and at that time included dinghy sailing.

Dinghy racing declined over time, but with an expanded local IOR-rated fleet, Ramsgate Week as we know it today was re-launched and has grown strength to strength.

Royal Temple Yacht Club racing season Photo Malcolm Kirkaldie

As well as yacht racing throughout the week, there is live music and events throughout the town and around the harbour.

St Lawrence College is one of the key sponsors for the event and the school is also sponsoring a local crew and boat Kabluzo which is competing as part of the IRC Class 1 fleet. Kabluzo was hand-built by Rob Smith and first launched in 2020.

Simon Northrop, who runs Northrop Sails at Ramsgate Harbour, will be part of the eight-man crew aboard Kabluzo.

Simon was born in the area and has been running Northrop Sails since the age of 21. He has also competed in Ramsgate Week for the past 25 years.

Sailing is in his blood as his grandfather and father also competed. Simon created his first sail when he was just 17 years old and this was then used by his father in the 1988 World Championships.

Northrop Sails have made the sails for the Kabluzo and the St Lawrence College crest has also been incorporated.

One challenging race is the ‘Round the Goodwins.’ This involves sailing from Ramsgate Harbour, around the Goodwin Sands and then back to the Harbour. The Goodwin Sands is a 10-mile sandbank where more than 2,000 ships are believed to have been wrecked.

Simon has won the ‘Round the Goodwins’ race before and currently holds the record time of 2hrs 45mins. The race takes place on Sunday at 9:55am.

Another key race of Ramsgate Week is the Gold Cup. This race closes out the regatta on Friday, July 22.

Simon has won this twice previously with different teams. He’ll be looking to make it a hattrick with Rob Smith and the crew aboard the Kabluzo.

A college spokesperson said: “St Lawrence College will be supporting and cheering from ashore. We wish all competitors involved the best of luck next week and know it’ll be an event to remember.”

Euromarine Insurance Services is the main sponsor for Ramsgate Week. A number of other businesses and organisations also support the event.

Find out more about Ramsgate Week at

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Watch this weekend’s Division 1 and 6 Lucas Oil Series events for free on


NHRA fans can watch the Division 1 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event from Numidia Dragway and the Division 6 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series doubleheader event from Woodburn Dragstrip for free starting Friday on powered by National Dragster.

07 Jul 2022

Posted by staff

Woodburn Dragstrip

NHRA fans can watch the Division 1 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event from Numidia Dragway and the Division 6 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series doubleheader event from Woodburn Dragstrip for free starting Friday on powered by National Dragster.

Presenting sponsors of Sportsman coverage from the Numidia event are Total Seal, Summit, Strange, and Micro Strategies.

Presenting sponsors of Sportsman coverage from the Woodburn events are Moser, JEGS, Strange, and Weldon.

Fans are invited to create an account with and will be granted free viewing access to the event.

The broadcast is the first of 30 events to be streamed for free this year. Check out the full schedule here.

Fans may visit to sign up for an account and for a full list of complimentary races.  (Registration walkthrough)

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Nanaimo’s Wastelands buzzing again after second event in VIMX racing series

Nanaimo’s Wastelands buzzing again after second event in VIMX racing series

Some weekend rain did little to dampen atmosphere at the Wastelands, however it did cause some operational challenges with heavy machinery used to help maintain the track in between races.

“We had to delay our practice to Sunday morning because of weather but other than that it went very well.”

Wastelands hosted three events in 2021 as regular racing got underway post-pandemic restrictions. Two races were part of the VIMX series while a March season opener served as a club race.

Wiltsey added many kids and adults turned to motocross throughout shutdowns in other sports.

“Our membership at the Wastelands almost doubled through the pandemic. A big percentage of those are new riders. It’s been great for our sport to see new people into it.”

A full list of results for the event is available on the VIMX website, with division winners from the central Island listed below:

  • Ramido Galdames (Nanaimo) – 1st, 50cc open
  • Baelen Macklem (Qualicum Beach) – 1st, 65cc Open
  • Dylan Ramirez (Qualicum Beach) – 1st, 85cc 12-16 years old
  • Lucas Evans (Nanaimo) – 1st, Beginner Open
  • Nick Syrotuck (Nanaimo) – 1st, Plus 30
  • Luca Mihoc (Nanoose Bay) – 1st, Tykes 4-8 years old

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On Twitter: @NanaimoNewsNOW

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FMBA Announces 2022 Calendar Ahead of First Event of the Season – Pinkbike

FMBA Announces 2022 Calendar Ahead of First Event of the Season - Pinkbike

Here we go again. The FMB World Tour is back and getting things rolling on the 2022 season. With 24 events, and counting, coming down the pipeline, the 2022 FMB World Tour is set to deliver a season not experienced since pre-pandemic. From the return of Red Bull District Ride to a new stop being added to the Crankworx FMBA Slopestyle World Championship (SWC) to the homecoming of esteemed FMB Gold level events like O Marisquino and Big White Invitational, the calendar is filling up fast.

With the 2022 FMB World Tour kicking off in less than two weeks, the FMBA is stoked to share what riders can expect from the season ahead. So, what exactly is on offer this year?

The 2022 FMB World Tour will see five FMB Diamond level events in the same calendar year for the first time since 2017. As well as the SWC will feature four events for the first time in three years. Yup, it’s been that long… As to where the new tour stop is though, Crankworx hasn’t spilled the beans just yet. Expect an announcement in the coming weeks!

Riders can also get pumped for the return of many beloved FMB Gold level events, as well as the introduction of an entirely new event in Canada with SilverStar Slopestyle. Remember that epic Slopestyle course that Brett Rheeder and Matt MacDuff debuted during Crankworx BC last year? A course like that can’t just sit around…

The 2022 FMB World Tour is also on track to host three National Series in support of regional freeride mountain bike events creating their own ranking – Australian Slopestyle Tour, Freebird Slopestyle Series, and Swiss Dirt Series.

Above all else, the mountain biking community can expect to witness one of the most progressive seasons yet. With sanctioned Women’s Divisions already scheduled at 13, and counting, FMB Bronze and Silver level events, 2022 is history in the making.

2017 was the last time that FMB Diamond level events were so plentiful, and athletes are already chomping at the bit to earn their place on those coveted rosters.

bigquotes My dream is to be back in Nurnberg again for Red Bull District Ride – such an iconic event that you won’t [want to] miss – but also a new Crankworx stop sounds very interesting!Diego Caverzasi

With the return of Red Bull District Ride and the Crankworx FMB SWC announcing the addition of a fourth stop, the 2022 FMB World Tour calendar is shaping up to be an exciting one. Szymon Godziek is one of the numerous riders impatiently awaiting the homecoming of Crankworx Whistler.

bigquotes I have some unfinished business in Slopestyle there. I feel super motivated for the 2022 season. After my last year in 2018, lots of things happened and the progression of the sport went up so quick. I see riders like Emil [Johansson] doing tricks that I was always dreaming of [and it] gives me even more motivation. Unfortunately, my 2021 plan didn’t go exactly as I wanted, and I haven’t got back into Crankworx yet. That’s my main goal for this year.Szymon Godziek

The 2022 FMB World Tour calendar will also see the return of esteemed FMB Gold level events O Marisquino and Big White Invitational after a two-year hiatus.

bigquotes This blank space of two years has served us all to reflect on the future of O Marisquino and see how we want to approach it for the next editions. This 2022 it seems that we have returned to pre-pandemic normality, so we hope to see thousands of people from the public cheering on the riders, a great atmosphere, and the best Dirt Jumps we have seen so far in Vigo. This year the riders are going to find a circuit similar to the 2019 edition, but a little faster and with bigger jumps. We have decided to extend the receptions and improve the speed so that they arrive more comfortably at the jumps and can comfortably demonstrate their best tricks.Pablo Moreno, O Marisquino Dirt Jump Director

With these, the new SilverStar Slopestyle competition in Canada, and two more highly anticipated FMB Gold level events on the calendar (stay tuned for more details!), the upcoming season is set to include nearly triple the amount of FMB Gold level events that were on the 2021 schedule. Based on what’s coming down the pipeline, it is expected that six FMB Silver level events and 16 FMB Bronze level events will round out the 2022 FMB World Tour calendar, increasing the total number of events by more than 50% in comparison to last year.

Of the upcoming FMB Bronze and Silver level events, nine will fall under one of three National Series competitions taking place – Australian Slopestyle Tour, Freebird Slopestyle Series, Swiss Dirt Series. While Freebird Slopestyle Series and Swiss Dirt Series are returning to the calendar, the Australian Slopestyle Tour will be making its debut this 2022 season. With three FMB Bronze level events all featuring both a Men’s and Women’s Category, the newest National Series is set to confidently enter 2022.

Despite fewer contests taking place around the world last year, riders’ progression was still on point, and many are ready to get back to competition.

bigquotes My overall goal is to win the Freebird Slopestyle Series. I want to learn as much as I can, unlock more tricks, make new friends around the world, and of course, go to as many dirt parks as possible.Renata Wiese

Many are also keen to see what athletes have in store for the upcoming season.

I think 2022 is going to be one of the most progressive years ever seen, with opportunities opening up for both up and comers and established riders, it’s going to be mind-blowing and I’m excited to be a part of it.Mike Ross bigquotes

bigquotes Some of the athletes, like Lucas Huppert, have been competing at [Züri Dirt Contest] since 2015. It’s very nice to see how the athletes improve from year to year. Even if you look at the results over the years, it is very exciting to see that they are constantly higher up in the rankings.Dominik Bosshard, Züri Dirt Contest Event Organizer

Kicking off the 2022 FMB World Tour in less than two weeks is Australia’s Highline Mountain Bike Festival.

bigquotes With only a few to go until the festival kicks off, the pressure and excitement is building! Our Mini and Pro Slopestyle courses are prime and ready for competition; we have done plenty of test tune sessions to ensure the best quality riding experience. [The] goal for this event is to showcase the quality of Australian male and female riders across the Slopestyle categories on offer.Shannon Rademaker, Event Manager

This is the first year that the event is sanctioned as a FMB Silver level event. Combined with 25 new amateur Slopestyle riders competing for the first time and the addition of a Women’s category, Highline Mountain Bike Festival is boldly entering the 2022 season. Mike Ross is one of the many athletes ready for its return to the Land Down Under.

bigquotes Highline Mountain Bike Festival is definitely the event I’m most excited for. It’s kicking off the season and it’s a great event to showcase the Australian Slopestyle scene we have down here. Bring it on!Mike Ross

A recent addition to the FMB World Tour, that will be coming into effect this year, is the FMB World Tour Women’s Division, which gives FMB Bronze and Silver level events the option to host a sanctioned Women’s Category.

Competing in her first Slopestyle event back in 2016, Kathi Kuypers reflected on how opportunities haven’t always been readily available for Women in freeride.

bigquotes I couldn’t focus on developing my skills on the Slopestyle bike because my sponsors didn’t see a market, so I rode all the other disciplines like Enduro, a little bit of Downhill, [did] loads of magazine story productions, and so on. But I never gave up and continued progressing. Now brands are hiring [Women], especially for freeride events and content, and [with] the FMB World Tour Women’s Division, there will be even more attention on [Women in freeride] and their accomplishments. This is all I’ve ever wanted.Kathi Kuypers

On how this will transform the competitive landscape of mountain biking in 2022 and beyond, many in the industry see nothing but positive change.

It will definitely broaden the horizons of all of us. New brands will emerge, new sponsors, new opportunities will arise, and a new image will be cast on the sport. Women like Kathi Kuypers ride FMB World Tour events and have been fighting for this moment for over 10 years. I am very pleased to see that this effort is now paying off.Dominik Bosshard bigquotes

bigquotes I love it!! I feel like it is going to be awesome to see what the girls can do! I like what the FMBA is doing by adding a Women’s Division and giving us the chance to compete equally.Renata Wiese

Most of all, it seems as though the riding community is ready to once again experience the feeling of comradery that is so deeply rooted in mountain biking culture. On track to visit 12 different countries across three continents, the 2022 FMB World Tour is more than a circuit of mountain bike competitions. On what unites such a widespread, diverse community, many shared their perspectives.

Biking is fun and it’s the same all over the world, no matter where you [are] from or where you live.Diego Caverzasi bigquotes

bigquotes The desire to have fun and the desire to excel are aspects that are universal.Pablo Moreno

And at the end of the day, that’s really what it’s all about.

See the entire list here.

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8 Zwift Racing Tips for Improving Efficiency and Winning Events

8 Zwift Racing Tips for Improving Efficiency and Winning Events

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Fitness and power are great tools in Zwift, but just like in real life, tactics can play a huge role in how your race goes. Here are eight tips I’ve learned from racing in and watching hundreds of Zwift races, from weekday crits and the Movistar Challenge to the UCI Zwift World Championships, where I assistant directed Team USA.

Join the pen as soon as it opens

The start of a Zwift race is one of the most talked-about and painful parts of virtual cycling. But before the actual start, your race strategy begins. The pens open up 30 minutes before the start of each race, and you can join them at any time. In larger events such as the Tour de Zwift or Haute Route Watopia, there may be over 500 riders on the start line! That means that if you start at the back, even with good legs, it could take you miles to eventually reach the front of the race.

Start position is first-come, first-served, so click “join immediately” upon the pens opening at 30 minutes to go. Once you are in, you can exit out of Zwift. Your start position will be saved, but now you are free to go ride around, get in a good warm-up, and then re-join the pen in your original grid position. Just be sure to come back with a few minutes before the start.

RELATED: How to Crush Virtual Racing

Be warmed up for a hard start

It often takes just about a full sprint to stay with the group at the start of a Zwift race. Similar to cyclocross and short-track racing, the start of every race is crucial. Once the field hits the first pinch point—such as a climb—the race will be blown to bits. Do not wait until the start clock hits zero before starting to power up! You need be pedaling—hard—the second the race starts.

Timing the start can be tricky, but with a little bit of practice, you can launch off the start line with minimal energy expended. I like to start winding it up with about 10 seconds to go. Once I see 0:03 on the countdown, I put in a hard and sharp acceleration to spike my power right as the timer hits 0:00. This helps break the sticky draft (more on that in a minute) and rockets me to the front of the group in just a few seconds.

If you time it right, you’ll only have to sprint hard for a few seconds; and after that, you can slowly bring your power back down and settle into the group. About 20-30 seconds into the race, the field will begin settling into its normal race pace. For a weekday A category race, this will probably be around 4-5 watts/kg. The B and C races will be slower. Practice timing your starts in every race you do.

Know the course!

Course reconnaissance is often overlooked and undervalued, especially in virtual racing. Real-life pros have the luxury of riding the actual roads in preparation for a race like Paris-Roubaix or the Tour de France; but on Zwift, it is so much easier. Anyone in the world can ride on Zwift, and learn the courses and climbs from the comfort of their own home. More details such as the length and gradients of climbs and sprint segments can be found on Zwift Insider and Strava. Pro triathlete Meredith Kessler—who was the female overall winner of last year’s Zwift Pro Tri Series 3—has often said that she prepares for virtual racing in the exact same way she would IRL, by knowing every nook and cranny of the course before she begins the race.

Knowing the course will help you measure your effort and pace yourself throughout the race, on the climbs, and especially at the finish. Steep climbs are the hardest part of any Zwift race. This is a critical point in the race—a section of road that is likely to split the field or be the launchpad for a decisive breakaway.

Come into these critical points at the back of the group, and you’ll need a Herculean effort to ride through the splintering group and make the front split. And if you do make it, you’ll have burned more than a few matches doing so. Knowing the course ahead of time will give you the upper hand by anticipating when these critical points are coming. Hit the bottom of the Watopia Forward KOM in fifth wheel as opposed to 75th, and it could mean the difference between winning the race and getting dropped.

RELATED: This Pro Zwifter Has the Best Pain Cave You’ve Ever Seen

See through the dust

The dirt sections of Watopia are especially tricky because they are hard, which can obscure the view of the race. The peloton also kicks up a huge cloud of dust when they hit a dirt section, limiting visibility and making it almost impossible to see the riders ahead of you. Also, the dirt has a higher rolling resistance on Zwift, meaning that you will have to work significantly harder on a dirt section to go the same speed than you would on Watopia’s paved roads.

For dirt sections, start at the front of the group and expect to up your power output by at least 0.5-1 watt/kg. And instead of watching the riders on the screen, keep an eye on the mini-map in the top right-hand corner of your screen. The dust cloud doesn’t affect the mini-map, so you’ll be able to see the pack stringing out on the map before it’s too late and it splits right in front of you. Another alternate-view strategy is to hit the figure 9 key on your keyboard which will give you an overhead view unblocked by the dust.

Beware the sticky draft

Zwift’s algorithm allows riders to draft, which means the riders in the group do less work than the riders at the front to maintain the same speed, just like riding outside. Unlike riding outside, however, you can get blocked with a “sticky draft” when you want to pass a rider. What happens is that the rider trying to overtake can get stuck on another rider’s rear wheel, and the passing rider is only able to break the sticky draft by putting in a significant effort—greater than 1 watt/kg—to get around them.

Drafting, of course, has a lot of benefits. It is incredibly helpful in fast bunch rides or Zwift races. You can sit in a peloton at 3.8 watts/kg, while the group is traveling over 30 mph and the riders hitting the front are pushing 5-6 watts/kg. Use the draft to your advantage, and you’ll be saving hundreds of watts over the course of a Zwift race.

The sticky draft is most noticeable at slow speeds and on climbs. You could be pushing 5.5 watts/kg while the rider in front of you is only doing 5.1 watts/kg, and you might not be able to get around them because of the sticky draft. Knowing about the sticky draft is the first step in defeating it in these situations. As soon as you realize it’s at play, just put in a short spike of power, and you’ll be able to pass the rider in front of you without too much hassle.

RELATED: Zwift Adjusts Rules to Crack Down on Cheating

Save as much energy as possible

At the end of every Zwift race, my goal is to have the lowest average watts/kg of every rider in my group. This shows that I saved as much energy as possible, and made it to the finish with the freshest legs. What’s the point of averaging 5 watts/kg if you get beaten in the sprint by a guy who averaged 4.2 watts/kg? It still amazes me how many races I finish with an average of 4-4.5 watts/kg, and see I’ve beaten riders who averaged 5-5.5 watts/kg.

The same principle applies to drafting: You should pedal at the lowest wattage you can while drafting off another rider. If you can stay in the draft at 200w, there’s no point in doing 250w; it’s just a waste of energy. Zwift will show you if you are in the draft with a helpful icon, as well as your avatar’s body position. In the middle of the screen, Zwift will show a “CLOSE THE GAP” message if you are starting to fall out of the draft, including the distance that you need to close to get back into the draft. An even simpler trick is to pay attention to your rider’s body position. On one of Zwift’s road bikes, your avatar will sit up if they are in the draft at more than 20mph. During large events with more than 100 riders, you may get pushed to the side of the group, and if your avatar is in the drops, this is an indicator that you are no longer in the draft.

Drafting and energy conservation is arguably the most difficult aspect of Zwift to master—I’m still not sure I have done so—but with a little bit of practice, it’s amazing how much energy you can save, and make it to the finish line with a monster sprint kick.

Use the super tuck

Banned by the UCI, but not by Zwift, the super tuck is arguably the most valuable recovery tactic in the game. There is normally no coasting in Zwift. But the super tuck changes that, allowing you to get that little bit of respite that can put the oxygen back in your lungs and flush the lactate out of your legs.

In order to activate the Zwift super tuck, you must be traveling at least 36mph, the decline must be steeper than 3%, and you have to coast (stop pedaling). The super tuck saves energy by reducing your drag and thereby increasing your downhill speed and lets you stay in groups of riders pedaling at 2.5-4 watts/kg.

Finish fast from a few wheels back

Zwift sprints can be chaos. Unlike real-life racing where leadout trains jostle for position and only so many people can occupy space at a certain time, in Zwift riders can simply move through each other by putting out a higher power.

Adding to the confusion is the sticky draft, which may block you behind a rider who’s moving just slightly slower than you with 300m to go. As all sprinters know, if you get boxed in with 300m to go, there’s nothing you can do. No amount of wattage could overcome poor positioning.

Timing is crucial when it comes to sprinting on Zwift, and I still haven’t come close to mastering this, either. I’ve watched and participated in hundreds of Zwift races, from weeknight crits to the UCI Zwift World Championships, and I still haven’t figured out where the ideal launch position is with 300m to go.

There is no stock finishing strategy for all races. Sometimes the winner comes from 30 wheels back at 300m to go. Other times it’s the fifth-placed rider who wins.

What doesn’t work is starting from the front. You never want to be in the first three riders with 300m to go, assuming it’s a large field sprint of more than 20 riders. Starting your sprint with about 300m to go from about five wheels back seems to be the way to go.

The steeper the gradient of the final few hundred meters, the more ground you can make up using pure power alone. Conversely, fast and flat field sprints are all about timing. I’ve seen field sprints finish at 45+mph, and the top-10 riders separated by less than two-tenths of a second in the end.

All of this boils down to a few pieces of advice, and my last Zwift pro tip: When approaching the final sprint, consider: 1) how tired you are and how many seconds you can hold your maximum sprint power; 2) how hard the race has been; 3) the gradient of the final 500m and how fast the bunch will be going; and 4) your competition.

Make sure you’ve trained and prepared for these fast and furious finishes—and a workout like this one (from our recent Zwift Triathlete group ride with Joe Gambles) is a great way to help ensure you’ve got the matches you’ll need to burn to get there.

RELATED: The Top 10 Kits on Zwift

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The UK’s Best Horse Racing Events

The UK’s Best Horse Racing Events

We all know that football is the main sport in the United Kingdom, but did you know that horse racing is the UK’s second most popular spectator sport?

Every year over six million fans click through the turnstiles at racecourses up and down the country, making horse racing much more popular than cricket and rugby.

In this article we take a look at five of the best horse racing events in the UK – the ones that make horse racing so popular with the Great British public. Think we’ve left an event out? Let us know in the comments section below.

The Cheltenham Festival

When? Tuesday, 15th March – Friday, 18th March

Where? Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

Normally scheduled to coincide with St. Patrick’s Day, the Cheltenham Festival is not just a highlight on the sporting calendar but on the social one too. Over 260,000 people flock to the Gloucestershire venue to watch the sport’s best jockeys battle it out for a share of the £4 million purse.

There are 28 races stretching out over 4 days with the most famous being the Cheltenham Gold Cup which is held in the same regard as winning an Olympic Gold Medal. The favourites for this year’s Gold Cup are A Plus Tard, Galvin and Minella Indo.

Where there is horse racing, there is most certainly betting. Every single year, thousands of punters bet on Cheltenham and some win fairly substantial amounts of money.

Royal Ascot

When? Tuesday, 14th June – Saturday, 18th June

Where? Ascot, Berkshire

Perhaps the most famous racecourse in the UK, Royal Ascot plays host to a five day Flat racing meeting every June which hosts 18 Group races. The racecourse was founded in 1711 by Queen Anne when she visited the area and decreed that the heath looked, ‘ideal for horses to gallop at full stretch.’

Since then it has become traditional for British royalty to visit the annual event. In fact, many of Queen Elizabeth II’s horses can be seen racing at the five-day Royal Ascot event. They are identified by their distinctive purple body with gold braid colours.

The Gold Cup which is held on the third day of the event is the most prestigious and is currently held by Subjectivist who upset Stradivarius to romp to success.

The Grand National

When? Tuesday, 7th April – Saturday 9th April

Where? Aintree Racecourse, Merseyside

The Grand National was founded by William Lynn in 1829 with the first running happening in 1836 when The Duke won the inaugural event. The modern day Grand National is the culmination of a three-day race event held in Aintree, Merseyside.

It is widely regarded as the most challenging race on this British calendar and sees competitors fight it out over a 4 miles and 514 yards and 16 fences, 14 of which are jumped over twice. It’s no wonder then that around 60% of the horses that start the race never make it to the finish line.

Red Rum, who won a historic treble in 1973, 1974 and 1977 is probably the most famous horse to have run the course at Aintree. Minella Times, last year’s winner made history as it became the first horse to be ridden by a female to win the Grand National.

(Rachel Blackmore made history in 2021 riding Minella Times to Grand National victory.)

Epsom Derby

When? Friday, 3rd June – Saturday, 4th June

Where? Epsom Downs, Surrey

First inaugurated in 1780, the Epsom Derby is a Group 1 flat race open to three-year-old colts and fillies. It has a purse of £1.125 million and is widely regarded as one of the most prestigious events in the country.

In recent years however it has morphed into more of a social event than a sporting event with the prizes for best-dressed, celebrity guests and musical performances taking as many headlines as the racing action.

The Epsom Derby is also home to the self-proclaimed ‘Greatest Flat Race in The World’ which is some claim!

The Scottish Grand National

When? Friday, 1st April

Where? Ayr Racecourse, Ayrshire

When it comes to great races in the UK, the action isn’t just limited to England, there are great meets all over the UK. The Scottish Grand National however, is one of the best races outside of England in the calendar.

Inaugurated in 1867 this Grade 3 National Hunt steeplechase is full of drama and intrigue with horses racing over a distance of 4 miles and running 27 fences. If you love the Aintree Grand National you’ll love the Scottish Grand National too.

In terms of the purse, there is slightly less money on offer to winners but if anything, that opens up the field and adds more excitement to the race.