One man’s quest to end cheating in virtual cycling

September 22, 2023

Pollastri was riding in his basement on Zwift, a multiplayer virtual training program that lets cyclists train together at home. He’d been riding in the Zwift Racing League, the largest competition on the platform, against riders all over the world.

Pollastri is a self-described data freak, so on the heels of his team’s loss that day in February 2022, he called up the stats of his competitors. He wanted to see what they’d done differently.

Right away, he realized a discrepancy. The power recording on Zwift, determined by dividing a rider’s wattage output by their self-reported weight, was way higher than it was on Strava, another cycling app that tracks rides simultaneously. The Hustle