How to Spot a Sandbagger

As opposed to the other types of cheaters, sandbaggers in general and cruisers are quite easily spotted, if you know what to look for. In a mixed category race sandbaggers will be the riders who fly off the front at start and soon enough end up in a group with the next category above them or worse, their real category. It is really easy to spot a sandbagger. 

These days there are various counter-measures to sandbagging that can be used by race organizers. This is mechanics Zwift added during the spring of 2020. Sandbaggers who go over short-term W/kg limits will get a green cone of shame over their heads and will start to suffer a power brake that will eat away some of the cheater’s unnatural advantage. Some riders get DQ’d at the finish line for going over limits. For a period Zwift also experimented with ghosting the cheaters, i.e. to make cheating riders just disappear from view to others and from the results board, only they don’t notice themselves until the finish line. But these are just desperate measures that won’t the hide the fact that Zwift came up with a uniquely weird category system and that Zwift nevertheless still allows cheating. It’s like gluing extra wings on an ostrich. It’s still an ostrich, and no, it won’t fly regardless.

Remember that with a normal category system, one based on past results rather than past efforts, sandbaggers can only go on for so many races before they get kicked to the next higher category. But we cruisers want to keep the current category system because we are best friends with Zwift. We keep winning and Zwift lets us.

Cruisers are much harder to spot than the blatant sandbaggers during the actual race. The realization will creep up on you slowly and too late, if at all. A lot of zwifters don’t even know that cruisers like me exist, because they never care to look closely at the results board and the profiles on it. I will teach you how to find us after the race in a following post.

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