By Jonathan O'Keeffe
Published 12/30/2020; Updated 01/03/2021

This past Monday, the NCC Fall Zwift Road Racing Series concluded. It was an extremely competitive and fun nine weeks of racing.

Before we get to the final results, we need to explain how the series worked. Each week, a Zwift race was selected that had four categories – A, B, C, and D.

Race results from ZwiftPower served as the official results. This ensured that riders were entered in the proper race categories and using heart monitors. Think of ZwiftPower as the virtual World-Anti Doping Administration. The NCC has its own team on ZwiftPower.

In order to allow NCC riders of different abilities to compete against each other, the scoring was based on how well each rider placed relative to the other riders in their category. We had riders in the B, C, and D categories during the series. The maximum possible points for a race was 100 points. If there were 100 riders in the category and a rider finished first, they received 100 points, while the 2nd place rider received 99 points, and the last rider earned a single point. For those into math, each week the scores were calculated through the following formula: 100 * (# of Riders Beaten + 1)/# Riders in the Race.

During the first eight weeks, we had three distinct types of crit races:

  • Anti-Sandbagging
  • Boost Mode
  • No Power Ups

All three race variations had their own nuances, which added to the challenge. The Anti-Sandbagging races enforced race categories during the race. If a rider exceeded that category’s stated watts/kilogram for extended time periods, their power was reduced. There were also a few extra power up bonus options available. The Boost Mode races allowed riders to charge a battery by deferring watts and use those watts later in the race. It sounds so easy, but it required great focus to know when to charge and when to use the Boost Mode. The No Power Ups races were pure road racing.

Through the first eight weeks, the races were between eight and twelve miles. Going into the finale, I warned the group that the race would be longer. The final race was five laps of the Greater London Flat course, which meant forty miles! With double points on the line, the top three spots on the leaderboard were up for grabs.

All the categories were together on course. The B group started fast, but the A group formed a break quickly. Gradually, some of the NCC B riders began to fall off. Melissa and Charlie, both B riders, joined Dusty and Michael in the main group of the C race. Midway through the race, my sensor connections cut out, which is the equivalent of a real life mechanical. I was plagued by drop outs for the rest of the race. Dusty and Michael caught up to me around lap four. Kevin and Zinj powered on through the front of the B race. Kevin finished 5th overall, while Zinj finished 11th. Dusty and I got away from Michael with 1.8 miles left in the race. Dusty earned 2nd in the C race, while Michael sprinted for 5th overall.

The final race proved very eventful and showed that anything can happen. Michael and Kevin leapfrogged me in the final results.

Congratulations to Michael Bello and Melissa Warwick for winning the men’s and women’s series.

Here are the final standings

  1. Michael Bello (9 races) – 845.0 points
  2. Kevin Weinman (8 races) – 773.8 points
  3. Jonathan O’Keeffe (9 races) – 759.8 points
  4. Zinj Guo (9 races) – 611.9 points
  5. Melissa Warwick (5 races) – 225.9 points
  6. Charlie Bailey (8 races) – 221.6 points
  7. Dusty King (1 race) – 188.2 points
  8. Jeremy Coleman (1 race) – 100.0 points
  9. Chris Johnson (1 race) – 76.9 points
  10. Mike Hempstead (2 races) – 39.7 points

The winter version of the Monday night race series will start in mid-January. Visit the NCC discussion board and the calendar for details.