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Thomas De Gendt kicked out of Zwift race for being too strong

Belgian rider met with a message asking if something is wrong with his equipment

Joe Robinson
3 Apr 2020

Breakaway King Thomas de Gendt was booted from a Zwift race for being too strong. The Lotto-Soudal rider was rolling around the virtual island of Watopia in an attempt to keep fit during the coronavirus pandemic and pro cycling hiatus.

Having entered a race, the Belgian began to lay down the watts but was met with a surprise when he started pushing 550w for a considerable amount of time. 

A message popped up on the screen stating: Either you missed your calling as a pro, or there is something wrong with one of your devices.

The rider then turned to Twitter to contact Zwift and query why his avatar had been reduced to a snail's pace despite the huge numbers.

'I got thrown out of a race because of my superhuman power. Can you fix the stats for me?'

'You may still pedal so hard, but you are still set at a low speed. That's a bit of a shame when you're on a race,' De Gendt explained to Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad.

While professional cycling takes its enforced break due to the coronavirus pandemic, many teams, Lotto-Soudal included, have turned to virtual racing to keep kit. De Gendt, at the time, was showing teammate Tim Wellens how to use Zwift ahead of the duo partnering for future races.

'On a climb, I just did the numbers that I more or less push in a race. Suddenly I was blocked and neutralised by the game,' De Gendt added.

'The numbers were not so special. For a while 500 to 550 watts. As a cycling tourist it may be unrealistically high, but for us as pros it is more or less normal if you want to win a race.

'It is only a game of course on Zwift, but I have a logo behind my name that I am a pro, so I hope those values can be lifted a bit.

'Those races on Zwift are just perfect training for me. Training in blocks outdoors is a bit difficult here with all those flat roads. While on the rollers you can ride a short race, so that is perfect for riding 17km full gas.'

De Gendt, known for his ability to push monumental watts in solo breakaways, will likely have his wrongs righted by Zwift soon as he returns to the Watopia racing scene.