Watch this large RGT Cycling race to get a feel for all the unique features, dynamics, strategies, and physics of large packs... as well as some virtual cycling racing tips!
RACING TIPS from Coach Chris at 4 STAR ENDURANCE!
When it comes to virtual bike racing apps, RGT is like Flight Simulator, while Zwift is like a video game. Both have benefits and physics is different in each. Here are some key pointers and race tips...
1. JOIN EARLY. Loading time can be slow & the earlier you join, the further up in the corral you are for a better starting position - just like Zwift!
2. VIEWS - Play around and consider using your phone app to select the DRONE VIEW and rear view glance to keep an eye on other riders better.
3. SETTINGS - Consider changing TRAINER DIFFICULTY setting to smooth out resistance changes especially on hilly courses.
4. LOG BACK IN... RGT has "server side" processing, so you need a reliable internet connection to avoid drop outs or app crashes. If your app crashes, just close it and log back in and you'll re-start where you left off! This can happen in large events more than smaller events, but typically only happens if your internet connection is slow or drops.
5. SPRINT STARTS - Like Zwift, people "sprint start" races hard... so SPRINT at the start to make the break, but quickly focus on following wheels rather than trying to break away or surge ahead solo. Wait to launch real attacks until the packs get smaller... so expect a VO2 MAX effort at 150-200% of your FTP for 1-2mins at the start... some races will be more hectic for a while longer, some won't.
6. EXPECT "SURGE & RECOVER" RACING TACTICS... Expect more power spikes in effort. You have to ride harder at times to stay with a pack, but you can recover easier in an RGT draft than in Zwift... especially in larger groups. As a result, your normalized power will likely be higher in RGT, depending on how the race unfolds.
7. UNDERSTAND THE "RED WATTS" - If your power number (watts) goes RED, that means you're braking due to cornering or collisions... so don't pedal hard when RED, but anticipate and get ready to apply watts IMMEDIATELY before the middle APEX of turns when your POWER (in watts) changes back from RED to WHITE.
8. SOFT & HARD CORNERS - Note that some tight corners have braking, but some "soft" wide turns do not. Soft corners can be good opportunities to attack if other riders think they will be braking and you have the inside line.
9. DRAFT "RGT SMART" DIRECTLY BEHIND - Focus on drafting BEHIND others rather than in an "echelon" formation off to their side. It's effectively a "double draft" behind but only a "single draft" benefit on the side. You might need to go EXTRA EASIER than you think to effectively draft directly behind someone to save more watts. It's much easier to drift to the front of a pack if not paying attention and riding too hard, but you'll save more watts DIRECTLY BEHIND someone rather than on their side in an "echelon" formation. It takes time to get used to doing this well, but it's the biggest "secret" to RGT racing!
10. AVOID GAPS AT ALL COSTS & STAY IN THE MIDDLE OF ROAD - Don't ever let gaps form... they can form a lot quicker in RGT, so you have to constantly pay attention! One bike length gap means you're at risk of getting dropped and wasting watts. So don't get stuck on the outside of an echelon since gaps can form quick if someone accelerates ahead of you and the person you're drafting is not paying attention to close the gap. Especially going into a turn... try to anticipate turns and move up in the pack near the front 3 riders if you want to both maximize drafting benefit and avoid a gap. Like a game of chess, think two steps ahead & always try to get back in the MIDDLE of the road for max drafting benefit.
11. ATTACK SMART - attack coming out of corners if the pack is in an echelon & you might be able to gap anyone on the far outside. It's easier to attack in RGT, especially in small groups, so play around and don't be afraid to try to breakaway! But as a result...
12. ALWAYS PAY ATTENTION... a small gap can form quickly and it's easier to get dropped quick!
13. TRY ADVANCED TACTICS... Try "head fake" attacking by going to the back, then leverage the draft to "slingshot" to the front very fast to tempt others to accelerate and drag out an attack, then focus on grabbing a wheel and wait to launch a quick, harder counter attack to chase any breakaway that forms and quickly launch into a 2nd attack - this works well anytime an echelon is forming!
14. AVOID RIDER COLLISIONS - don't get stuck "inside" another rider (happens due to collision from behind), as your watts will go red and you'll likely get SPIT OUT IN DRAMATIC FASHION. Just like a crash in real life, you lose all your watts! Either ride hard to go through them, or back off and draft to avoid collisions or you'll be "spit out" of the back of the pack and have to sprint back up!