YOUR ROUTE TO COMPLETING THE CW5000
CYCLING WEEKLY|January 13, 2022
Racking up 5,000 miles in 2022 won’t be easy, but we’ve compiled some ways to get you there and make it fun as you ride
Vern PittPhotos Daniel Gould, Chris Catchpole

START INDOORS

If you’re looking to rack up mileage then there are few faster, more efficient ways to do it than on the trainer on Zwift (other platforms are available). To get the best bang for your watts you’ll need to do two things: keep climbing to a minimum to maximise your average speed and get the most aero kit you can afford (in the game that is).

Zwift’s flattest routes

Stick to the flattest routes you can; in Zwift those are Tempus Fugit in Watopia (16m climbing in 17.5km), Beach Island Loop in Watopia (44m of climbing in 12.8km) and Tick Tock in Watopia (44m in 16.8km).

Slippery kit

This isn’t going to save you oodles of time but every little helps. The most aero frame in the game according to the researchers at Zwift Power is the Cervélo S5, followed by the Trek Madone and the Canyon Aeroad. You’ll need to be at least level 10 to get the last of those. Below that level the Focus Izalco Max or the Zwift Aero frame are your best bets.

You’ll want some fast wheels too, and the best you can get are the DT Swiss ARC 1100 Dictu Disc wheel, but you’ll need to be level 42 to get it. The best non-disc wheel is the Zipp 858 available at level 37 but the improvements over the Zipp 808, Enve SES 8.9 are more incremental than transformational.

Indeed if you can get to level 13 and get the Zipp 808 you’re most of the way there and for racking up the miles won’t be at any real meaningful disadvantage to those on fancier digital rigs.

Great group rides

The best way to maximise all this is to ride with a group, either of your friends, a club or an open event.

From January through to the end of March Cycling Weekly is running rides every Wednesday morning at 6.30am. You can meet fellow CW5000 challengers and quiz CW editor Simon Richardson, whose idea the whole thing was. They average a manageable 2-2.5w/ kg and you get the Cycling Weekly heritage kit in the game too. Myriad other group rides are scheduled on Zwift if this doesn’t suit.

You can also join ‘pace partners’ on many courses, which has the added benefit of earning drops to spend in the shop quicker.

GET INTO RACING

Nothing inspires getting out during the week than knowing it’ll help your chances of winning at the weekend. Many regions require you to complete a day or two’s training before you can race but after that a BC licence – or maybe just membership of your local CTT-affiliated club – should see you on your way for £40. Even if your area doesn’t require this it’s a good way to build your confidence before taking to the start line. Some places do them immediately before races which can help you keep your new skills fresh in your mind. Here’s some more tips to help you get into racing.

Choose a course that’s less technical – an airfield or a race track will stand you a better chance of making it round in the bunch.

Remember, if the person in front of you goes around the corner you can too.

Look the part. It’s good for your own confidence and the feeling that you belong there. Know how to pin a number on; it’ll take five minutes, have a practice before race day. Take your saddlebag off (easy to forget with nerves). Don’t forget your lights if you’re doing a TT.

Don’t write yourself off. It’s easy to go in thinking you have no chance of getting a result but on the start line everyone is equal. Working out who’s strongest is what the race is for.

Know that more experienced riders will often try and drop newer ones as soon as possible so be prepared for a hard start.

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