Club Zwift Mondays!

CCA Zwift Hill Climb Championship - Volcano Climb, Watopia - Sunday 11th October - 09:30

For those willing test themselves up a virtual climb as well as (or instead of) a real one, I am organising a Club Zwift Hill Climb Champs.

The Zwift route will be 'Whole Lotta Lava', a 12.3km route up and down the Volcano. However, the qualifying section of the course will be the 'Volcano KOM' Strava segment, swirling up the side of this most exotic of mountains!

The Volcano KOM is a 3.2km climb, ascending 120m with an average gradient of 3.2%.

The ride will be an organised Zwift group ride WITHOUT an elastic band. This means tactics could be at play to stick with or try to draft others. There is a 4 km lead in to the climb. You could choose to pootle in or go hard from the off. Note: The Championships will be decided by the fastest time recorded for the Volcano KOM segment on Strava. It may help to ride the route before the day to familiarise yourself where the segment starts and finishes.

In order to enter, add your name here and follow me on Zwift and on Strava. I will them invite you to the group ride 1 week before the event.

View the route here..

View the timed Strava Segment here..

Ride On!


  • Yes please- thanks Matt!
  • Yes please.

    I like this idea, could doing it this way work as a race on other courses?
  • Count me in please. It's quite a technical climb when you include the false flat then the super steep ending.
  • Graham, it would be great to have a CCA VRace. An uphill finish on a long segment should separate people by a few seconds and hence Strava could cope (as per the hill climb). Not sure if such a a segment exists though. Hopefully Zwift will sort out a DIY Race format soon!
  • I will be sending the ride invite out tomorrow. Get your name down to become King of the Volcano!!

    Late entries welcome up til Sat night (10th), just make sure you are following me on Zwift AND Strava.
  • Invite sent to all Club followers. Accept or decline as appropriate.
  • Sorry Matt, CX on Sunday but will try and ride mid-week and post a time
  • Matt, After seeing your invite it seems it is now possible to have race results on a meet-up. Introduced in August after some reading. Although presume this is over the whole distance, hence why you are recording the hill bit on Strava.
  • Yep spotted that too Matt. It will be for the whole course, but good news for a future club race! The hill climb will be the Volcano KOM segment.
  • Cool - c u there in virtual land!

  • Will try and make the meetup with my fan club/soigneur/mechanic/fiance there to cheer me on from the luxury of our spare bedroom. Even did a test the other day to see if a TT bike might be faster overall up the climb - tactics etc
  • 5 signed up so far...
  • Be ready to roll at 9:30....

    When joining the ride you will be dropped in at the start which is in the tunnel leading to the Volcano. There is a 6.1km lead into the bottom of the KOM segment, basically 1.5 laps of the outer perimeter of the Volcano before heading up.

    I suggest a neutralised zone for the 6km leading to the start where we aim to ride together (no elastic remember) before the charge begins. I will notify the end of the neutralised section with a Ride Leader message on your screen. From here it's a 3.8k climb to the top.

    Tactics at play for the fastest accent, draft if you can hold a wheel! Remember it's a long climb so keep on it the whole way, you may find yourself riding back into contention.

    For those wanting a ride in the sunshine tomorrow, I estimate the fireworks will be over by 9:50 (12 min neutralised ride, 8 min climb or less). I will be shooting off after we crest the peak to head outside.

    Results will be taken from your Strava segment, so make sure your ride is posted (I have to manually upload mine now).

    See you there!
  • Thought this was at 11, but that was the date, woops! got to look after the little one in the morning till 10:30 so going to miss this unfortunately.
  • Graham, that's what zip ties are for!
  • Are we going to Discord it? Not sure we'll be talking much...
  • Prob not worth it Matt! As you stay... Not much chatting!
  • 4 of us braved the heat of the Volcano this morning!! MC, Dave, Matt P and myself.

    After MC changed his TT bike for something a little lighter, we hit the bottom of the KOM segment for a VERY tactical ascent; Watts definitely being held back as not to allow others to follow your wheel. Dave had 2 big digs, really amazing to see these play out in virtual land as they are so much like watching t'pros on big tele.

    Matt P stuck to Dave's wheel with some sort of special rubber to rubber magnetic force, clearly keeping his powder dry for nearer to the top.

    Like some sort of poor Chris Froome, I cannot respond to the puncheurs but claw my way back twice, only to be dropped for good as Dave and Matt P headed for the line.

    MC suffering a virtual weight penalty, kept plugging on and according to Strava, set his PB for the climb.

    Final results for the 3.8k climb

    Matt P 8:07
    Dave W 8:19
    Matt S 8:27
    MC 9:28

    Really liked the racing freedom and this set up would def make for a great club race event.
  • Excellent virtual stuff. I'm looking for a (second hand) smart trainer so I can join in properly. Smart interactive would be good... Any advice/recommendations from experienced zwifters hugely appreciated!
  • Thanks Matt. The free ride definitely changed the tactics. My biggest watts were just chasing Dave's blistering attacks!
  • Just had a look at second hand trainers. What a minefield. Seems to be no great value to be gained. If I was to buy my first gen Cycleops Hammer now I would pay more than I paid for it two years ago! I would go budget brand new and surf the reviews and find the deals. (But definitely go direct drive).
  • Direct Drive & smart.. defo Will.

    Elite Direto has been good for me, cheap and I think much more reliable than Tacx Flux from stories heard. A few question marks over accuracy, however I know three of these running well tho (mine, Bro in law - bought 2nd hand, and Dan)

    If I were to buy another, I would prob go Wahoo, but pricey
  • edited October 12

    Thanks Matt - my only hope was to keep attacking to try and tire out Matt P - that really didn't work, and I couldn't match his 11+ WperKG sprint to finish...

    Will - thanks for the advanced warning - we'll all start building up our FTPs...
    I use a Tacx Flux S - other than a creaking noise starting every few months, which goes away if I take it apart and give a basic service, I've not had any trouble, and power is reasonably consistent with a power meter, but I'm aware of a lot of other people having issues with them and getting returns - possibly the latest version (Flux 2) has sorted out some of these issues. We bought an Elite Zumo at the start of lockdown for Jenny, but the power calibration was apalling, and we ended up taking it back after a few months - I think some of the other Elite turbos (like the Direto) have a better reputation. Wahoo generally well thought of - they do hold their value second hand, though.

    A good place to research is -they've just put together their 'Smart Trainer Index' - a database of people's experiences and ratings of different turbos - generally the site is a great resource for starting (or trying to improve) on Zwift.
  • For a slightly different take on it, I use rollers. I have a set of rollers that have up to 900-1000W resistance, which is more than enough for me! You can buy a smart set of rollers that adjusts the resistance based on terrain, but I'm not sure it's necessary (not on mine) I use the power meter on my bike, which has the advantage of being directly comparable with my outdoor rides. Personally I dislike being locked into position on a trainer. Plus the rollers help my bike handling. (Try riding @ 300W on the aerobars of a TT bike on rollers, and you'll see what I mean!)
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