WTRL Team Time Trial Rules & Strategies

 

UCI Worlds Team Time Trial

Overview:

Welcome to the most addictive, fun yet brutal form of racing on Zwift! Not only do you get to race with your teammates for the fastest possible time, but you have to work and suffer together to achieve this. There are many stategies and tactics to a team time trial, all of which can be seen on all 3 UCI Grand Tours (Tour de France, Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a Espana) and other events throughout the year.

Can you win the weekly race? Can you beat the course records for the Coffee Class?

WTRL Team Time Trials take place on Zwift at 9 different race times every Thursday and we usually see 3000+ riders competing in 600+ teams. Each event from the same day feeds one overall league with our unique Coffee Classification: Espresso , Frappe , Latte , Mocha and a dedicated ladies-teams-only league Vienna . The objective is to get the fastest 4 (for teams of 5 to 8 racers) or the fastest 3 (for teams of 3 or 4 racers) across the line. There are many strategies for doing this, and some are covered in the Strategy and Tactics videos and links on this page.

Our WTRL Team Time Trial Premier League kicked off on April 23rd where the top 11 teams from each Coffee Class of the previous week are invited to join a Private Event which is broadcast live on Zwift Community Live with Nathan Guerra and Dave Towle!

What you MUST be, do and have

Every Rider must:

  • Add their team tag to their www.ZwiftPower.com -> Profile -> Settings -> Name
  • Be registered on www.zwiftpower.com with accurate height and weight added.
  • Use a Power Meter (i.e. trainer or bike mounted) - no more than 40% of your teams riders can be power-meter-less/Z-power Riders.
  • Heart Rate Monitors (HRMs) are advisable but not compulsory.

Teams start as the team and once a rider drops from the team, they must not rejoin their team later in the race. These are Team Time Trials and not Relay Races. This would be considered unsporting conduct and results in entire team disqualification. This provides all manner of advantages to a tired team when a fresh-legged team member(s) can drag their team around on a later lap. This includes:

  • Waiting at any point on a circuit involving laps for your team to come back around again and rejoining them.
  • Waiting at the foot of climbs to rejoin your team and give your team a boost the 2nd or 3rd time around.
  • Waiting at the starting pens to rejoin your team on the 2nd or 3rd lap etc.
  • Rejoining your team following technical difficulties at any point.

WTRL reserves the right, as the Team Time Trial organiser, to remove or disqualify any rider or team that does not meet the above criteria or for breaking any rules listed below.

A team's overall final recorded time will be that of the 4th racer (for a team of 5 to 8 racers) or 3rd racer (for a team of 3 or 4) to cross the line. There is no benefit to anyone riding solo off the front since this will not help the team's draft. It is not uncommon though to see riders blowing themselves up while towing the finishers to achieve the best possible time.

Before The Team Time Trial Race

Assign a Team Captain

The Team Coordinator or Captain is responsible for ensuring correct Team registration with WTRL Race Control and ensuring that each team member adds a team tag to their ZwiftPower Name. This person will also act as the central go-between with WTRL and the team.

Gather Your Team!

Teams can consist of 3 to 8 racers. The more racers you have in your team, generally the faster and more competitive your team will be.

If you are simply looking for a team to race with, we can usually find you a ride with either our own WTRL Racing Team or another team to suit your abillity. This is also a great way to get introduced if you are looking for a long-term team too.

Determine your WTRL TTT Coffee Class

WTRL encourages teams of mixed Zwift category riders. This is especially beneficial to the lower category riders and many returning TTTers experience frequent FTP and Zwift category increases. Do not be surprised to see riders riding above their normal stats! All of your team racers should sign in to the correct Zwift Category pen (A,B,C,D, E) based on the Coffee Class rules below. Should your team enter the wrong Coffee Class (and therefore Pen) compared to your team racers that arrive for the race, do not worry, we will automatically reclassify in the results. This can involve both an Upgrade or Downgrade.

WTRL Team Time Trial - Team Sign On

Team Registration

Registration opens at 7pm London, UK time on Thursday for the following Thursday and team registration is completed on our website: WTRL Team Time Trial Registration. All you will need is a WTRL profile registered with us (via the website), your team name and the class you would like to enter. We take care of the rest while you coordinate your team and race.

WTRL Team Time Trial Times

Team Racer sign-on

Your team members should sign on for the event through Zwift or via the Companion App as soon as they are able to. We firmly believe this will help teams coordinate their racers to field the strongest and most committed team possible. All TTT Team riders must join the same pen as per the Registered Teams List.

Racer Team Tags

ALL Team members MUST tag their ZwiftPower.com name identically - BEFORE their race starts. This is the equivilent to the whole team wearing the same kit and WTRL Race Control race numbers except you get to choose them! Tags are NOT case sensitive. Please tag up as follows:

ZwiftPower Team Name Tag

John Smith (WTRL 1)
Anna Label (WTRL 1)

(You must use round brackets/parenthesis to enclose the team name).
✕ Jack Jones [WTRL 1]
✕ Jack Jones (WTRL)(WTRL All Stars 1)
✕ Jack Jones (WTRL 1 )
✕ Jack Jones (WTRL) 1
✓ Jack Jones (WTRL 1)
✓ Jack Jones [WTRL] (WTRL 1)

"We have an almost fully automated system that will use these tags to ensure your time counts towards your teams' overall time. If you or any fellow riders are NOT tagged identically, our system will not recognise you/them as part of the team and will assume you/they are a lone rogue rider. This means your time will not count towards the team time and could put your entire team at a serious disadvantage. You can check your riders tag using our Tag Checker - links on the TTT Events page at the bottom."

Start Times

In order to give each team some breathing room, teams will depart from the pens at 1 minute intervals (30 seconds when pens are exceptionally busy). WTRL Race Control will issue a start time delay to each team the day prior to the race. Please communicate the number of minutes this is to your fellow team members. A list of these for all teams is posted to the website here: www.wtrl.racing. More on how these work shortly....

Race Day

Team Communication

Most of our teams are in radio-contact with each other through Discord (link) so that members can communicate strategy and coordinate who does what and when. If you do not have your own Discord channels, WTRL has a set of channels that we offer for teams to use.

Bike Selection

All the Zwift bikes have various advantages and benefits but we do not use TT (time-trial) bikes here. TT bikes do not provide any draft to racers riding behind you so by riding a TT bike, you are making life harder for your team-mates and making the entire team slower.

Pen Arrival

As you are working entirely as a team, we recommend that you join your team mates in the pen in good time. This will give you chance to discuss your tactics. Many teams aim to arrive 4-5 minutes BEFORE banner drop. There is NO LATE JOIN facility. If you are not in the pen when the banner drops, you will not be able to join the race.

Start Time

When the onscreen race start timer reaches 15 seconds, everyone in the pen should STOP pedalling. When the start timer on-screen reaches ZERO and the banner drops DO NOT leave the pen. Your captain should have a stopwatch or countdown ready to go on their phone or watch that is started the moment the banner drops. When the timer reaches your issued start time, your team should escape the eery quietness of the pen and launch into action. You can coordinate over discord or use onscreen messaging to signal go.

Keeping Warm while waiting

If you are using Zwift on a computer you can press the A key and go to the pairing screen.
If you are on iOS (Apple TV, iPad, iPhone etc) you can go in to the garage and to the Bike Change area.
Doing either of the above, will allow you to continue pedalling without your avatar moving BUT..... do not forget to stop pedalling and return to the game BEFORE you need to leave the pen. You would be surprised how many riders forget to do this and then get left behind by their team.

Overtaking Other Teams or being Overtaken

Drafting from riders other than your own TTT team is strictly prohibited. When a team passes another team BOTH teams are expected to change thier riding styles.

  • The Team being passed is expected to ease off on their power/speed once they know they are being overtaken. Do not fight them as they have made up a significant time difference to catch you up.
  • The Team making the pass is expected to significantly increase their power as soon as they are near or in the draft of the team they are overtaking and maintain this power to create a significant lead. Remember teams are watching whats in front and not necessarily behind them. A friendly onscreen message of 'team approaching' can help.
By creating a significant wkg difference between teams, riders can avoid a sticky draft when passing - a dynamic game feature of Zwift.

You may encounter dropped and rogue riders from time to time and they should not "join" your team or interfere in your TTT formation in any way. Please ensure you provide at least 3 warnings via onscreen/direct messages to any interfering team/rider and if they do not back off, please contact WTRL Race Control after the race to report them. Many teams are streaming or recording their rides and we are watching too.

Team Time Trial - Final Recorded Time

Final time for 5 to 8 racer teams is the time of the fourth (4th) rider to cross the line.
Final Time for 3 or 4 racer teams is the time of the third (3rd) racer to cross the finish line.

All results are published here on the website as well as our WTRL Team Time Trial Facebook Page. ZwiftPower is also upated to reflect team results. You will see your pen change to either E ,FLM  or V depending on which Coffee Class you started from or were upgraded/downgraded to.

Technical Issues

As per the real world, technical issues can occur while racing on Zwift. Should anything happen to you as an individual, please reach out to WTRL and we will do all that we can in a fair manner to help.

Platinum League Rule Variations

  • Teams MUST field a team that fits with the Coffee Class they are invited to. Any team fielding the wrong class of team (ie a Latte team formation in the Mocha Coffee Class) will receive a DNQ (Does Not Qualify).
  • The MINIMUM team size for a PLATINUM LEAGUE team is 4 riders and time is taken from the 4th rider.
  • Teams will be set off in the REVERSE finishing order from the previous week from 1 minute after banner drop.
WTRL Team Time Trial