WTRL Team Time Trial Rules & Strategies


UCI Worlds Team Time Trial


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 16 different race times every Thursday and we usually see 6,000+ riders competing in 1,000+ teams. Each of the 16 events from the same day feeds one overall league with our unique Coffee Classification: Doppio, Espresso , Frappe , Latte , Mocha and dedicated womens-teams-only leagues Vienna-Espresso, Vienna-Frappe, Vienna-Latte, 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.

The WTRL Team Time Trial Platinum League kicked off on April 23rd where the top 12 teams from each Coffee Class of the previous week are invited to compete together live on Zwift Community Live.

What you MUST be, do and have

Every Rider must:

  • Be registered on www.zwiftpower.com with accurate height and weight added. (How to register for ZwiftPower)
    (WTRL does not use ZwiftPower data but in adherence to Data Protection protocols, you have to provide your permission through your Zwift Profile Connections).
  • UTILISE WTRL's RACE PASS links to join the event your team registers for.
  • Use a Power Meter (i.e. trainer or bike mounted) - no more than 40% of your teams riders can be power-meter-less/ZPower Riders.
  • Heart Rate Monitors (HRMs) are advisable but not compulsory.

Team's start using allocated Start Delays provided by WTRL and ride as a single team. No other team should start at the same time as you. 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 WTRL RACEPASSES are distributed to their team members. This person will also act as the central go-between with WTRL and the team. We do not reccomend that a single person registers all the teams as this can get very labour intensive as your teams grow. Delegate and divide the work amongst your teams.

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.
Should a team field racers who prove to be significantly more powerful than their category, WTRL may apply a category upgrade to that rider. There is a risk that this will in turn force an upgrade in CoffeeClass on the team. WTRL do this in an effort to keep the competition fair - its much better than a disqualification. Examples would include riders who's categories have reduced as a result of being away for more than 90 days, riders who do not race and therefore have a category not reflective of their true ability etc. We do try to be as fair to possible to all and much of this is software driven to ensure the same variables apply to each and every rider.

WTRL Team Time Trial - Coffee Classes

Team Registration

Registration opens at 7pm UTC time on Thursday for the following Thursday and team registration is completed on our website: WTRL Team Time Trial Registration. All you will need to register is a WTRL profile registered with us (via the website), your team name and the class you would like to enter. Make sure to check the 'How Busy are the pens' section to optimise yoiur start delay. We take care of the rest while you coordinate your team and race. When registering, you will also have the option to select your teams availability for the PLATINUM LEAGUE the follow week. If you would like to be considered for the PALTINUM LEAGUE this box MUST be checked. PLEASE NOTE THAT LATE REGISTRATION IS NOT POSSIBLE

WTRL Team Time Trial Times

Team Racer sign-on

Your team members should sign on for the event using the TEAM & EVENT SPECIFIC WTRL RACEPASS™ (available from TTT Team Management or Team Confirmation emails) 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.


NOTE THAT TEAM TAGS have been deprecated and are no longer used.

Once your team has registered, as the Registerer, you will have access to the Team Management page which will be carrying your team and event specific RACEPASS™. The RACEPASS™ link is also available from Team Confirmation emails.

RACEPASS™'s look like this: https://www.wtrl.racing/zwift/zwiftsignon.php?id=a1piUWsybFlMOUJVMGQvZW01dXpYdz09.
DO NOT use a zwift.com event link or directly through the Companion App as you will not be associated with your team.

Please be aware that if you EDIT your teams Zone (aka Event), any rider who has clicked the RACEPASS™ will need to do so again. The RACEPASS™ themselves do not change for each event but the event association and destination (Zwift event) does. We suggest that you do not share your teams unique RACEPASS™ until you know for certain which Zone your team will race in.

The RACEPASS™ link should be shared with your immediate TTT team members only. Anyone clicking the RACEPASS™ link will become associated to the team and event that the link is associated to (ie if you have 2 teams, each team must use its own link and not a single link or you will end up with all 16 riders on one team!).

When someone clicks on a RACEPASS™ they are taken through the WTRL website (rider will be required to be logged in so will need a WTRL profile - please ensure both the ZWIFT ID number and EMAIL address are entered correctly!) which tells us which team that rider is joining. The rider is then taken to the event in the Zwift Companion app or the Zwift.com website to choose the correct pen.

Please be aware that once a RACEPASS™ has been clicked, you are not able to delete your association with that team. If you change teams you MUST click the Race Pass for the team you are moving to even if you do not need to change pens or even events.

Riding for multiple teams? No problem - click the RACEPASS™ for each team that you are joining and join the correct pens.

Each person that registers for the team will also then be able to see the full team in the Team Management area as well as the RACEPASS™.

The TTT Team Management page will show all teams that have been registered by you or that you have joined.

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 via email to the person registering the team (also available from the TTT Events page) to each team the day prior to the race (minutes after Registration closes. Please communicate this information to your fellow team members. A list of these for all teams is posted to the website here: www.wtrl.racing

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 but the earlier you arrive, the closer to the front you will be. 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 Delays

These are allocated at RANDOM and are available every Wednesday once Registration closes. These are emailed to each team registerer at the same time.

When the onscreen race start timer reaches 30 to 15 seconds to go, everyone in the pen should STOP pedalling. When the start timer on-screen reaches ZERO and the orange laser banner drops (this is the official start line) 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.

Start Delay Adherence

Any rider crossing the location of the banner (where the ORANGE LASER STREAMS ACROSS THE ROAD) will trigger the race timer. If 3 or more cross that line early, your team will likely incur a TIME PENALTY. Time Penalties are calculated as the number of seconds prior to the end of your start delay the banner was breached PLUS one minute. For example, cross the line 22 seconds early and your team would incur a 1 minute penalty (22 seconds rounded up) plus the 1 minute standard penalty. Teams will see designated icons appear beside their team name on the Results Table:

- team has been detected as leaving early.
- penalty for early departure has been applied.

There are tolerances built in for riders leaving by accident and then waiting for their team and minor differences ( 1second!) in clocks. If you plan to use a physical time to depart the pen (as opposed to timing from banner drop) this would not be reccomended but www.time.is offers a fairly synched time. Clocks often differ in the time they show and when every second counts, you would not want to leave late or early. WTRL uses WATOPIA Time during races (yes that is a thing!)

Keeping Warm while waiting

If you are using Zwift on a computer you can press the A key and go to the pairing screen or enter the BIKE CHANGE screen.
Doing either of the above, should allow you to continue pedalling without your avatar moving BUT..... please test what works for you OUTSIDE of a TTT event and 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 their 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.

There are many myths about how race times work. Your race time starts as soon as you cross the banner. You will also note that your ONSCREEN ZWIFT TIMER does not start until you pass through either a marked or unmarked place OUTSIDE the pens. This is also where your Fit File will begin recording LOCALLY from (fit files are not generated by Zwift servers). When you cross the Finish Line, your onscreen clock will also differ from what you see as the final result in the Zwift Companion app. This is because no visual indication of time is provided to riders from leaving the pen to where the onscreen clock starts ticking.
TTT Results appear on the TTT Results page

WTRL will usually update times on ZwiftPower once results are finalized. Here 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

  • The TOP 12 from EACH Coffee Class will be invited to take part in the Platinum League the following week (a maximum of 109 teams). the following week (a maximum of 109 teams).
  • Platinum League invites are issued by email at 6pm UTC on Saturdays. Click the RSVP link to in the email to let us know if you are joining.
  • The Platinum League is usually broadcasted live on Zwift Community Live where each week different Coffee Classes are the focus and you have the opportunity to feature your team live, with webcams, on the show. Refer to your invite emails for more details.
  • 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