Race Recon: New York City Lady Liberty

Race Recon: New York City Lady Liberty

ON October 11, 2019 by Zwift

Named for New York City’s Statue of Liberty, this route actually climbs much higher than the real Lady Liberty… and that’s only in the first lap! Most races here are 2-3 laps long, and every time you hit that KOM climb it’ll be an all-out effort to attack the group or hang on for dear life.

In fact, there really isn’t much that is flat about this course. Even when you exit the glass roads of the KOM, the ground-level pavement is continuously rolling, requiring constant vigilance to hang with the front pack and secure your chance for a win.

Remember these top tips for Zwift racing (most apply outside as well!)

  1. Warm up because the start is a hard effort
  2. Use the draft to conserve energy whenever possible
  3. Attack every punchy climb to avoid being dropped
  4. Know the route so you can pace yourself, move to the front before important climbs, etc
  5. Save a useful PowerUp for the finish

What follows is a detailed look at key sections of this route from the perspective of top A racer Matt Brandt. Remember these tips so you can achieve your best results when racing the Lady Liberty route!

Lap Length: 7.7 miles // 12.4km
Elevation Gain Per Lap: 675′ // 205m

#1: The Start

With all Zwift races, it is important to be warmed up and ready for a hard effort when the countdown hits zero.

Chances are, the big moves on Lady Liberty will happen about a mile down the road when riders hit the base of the KOM climb, so for now just sit in the draft and conserve for the effort to come.

#2: KOM Climb

1.2 miles // 1.9km long, 6% grade

The route’s key climb section includes a timed KOM 0.7 miles (1.2km) long, but the actual climb covers 1.2 miles (1.9 km). According to Matt, in top A races, “… KOM times can reach low 2 minutes, but the climb begins well before the start of the KOM. Be prepared for the total length of the climb to be 4 to 4.5 minutes.”

Matt offers this solid advice on strategy and mental toughness:

“There are several flat sections on the climb to regroup and grab your breath. Often the best move is to try and gap your rivals. Everyone will be hurting so why not try to be the one hurting everyone? The steep pitches on the climb can be over 14%, believe in yourself! There is plenty of rest coming on the downhill back to the lower level of the park.”

#3: Sprint

Once you decend back to ground level, the remainder of your lap is on Central Park’s rolling, paved roads. The sprint section comes quickly after the descent from the KOM, but racers typically keep an even pace over the sprint segment unless the race is awarding sprint points.

If your race is factoring in sprint times be sure to hit the start line at full speed to give yourself the fastest possible time. This sprint is slightly downhill until the end when the road kicks up into the finish banner. Be sure to hold your power through the banner to maintain a high speed.

#4: Northward Bump

0.6 miles // 1km long, 2.7% average grade

While the big KOM fireworks may be over, you must stay vigilant on Central Park’s rolling ground-level roads. Matt says, “This is where you should watch for moves on the short steep hills from your opponents or flip the tables on them and attack.”

After the descent from the sprint, you will begin a short, steady climb which ramps up into a steep, short finish. If you want to attack, that final steep section may be the place to do it!

#4: Southward Bump

0.4 miles // 0.6km long, 2.4% average grade

The final bump before the start/finish banner is not steep or long, but it can still be used as a launchpad if you fancy a late attack instead of a bunch sprint. Looking to conserve for the finish? Just surf the wheels and maintain a good position near the front of the group.


#5: The Finish

500 meters long, slightly downhill

The final portion of the lap is slightly downhill and fast. Matt advises, “Be very attentive here for a late attack or the sprint to open up early.”

Chances are your race will end in a finishing sprint between a selected group strong climbers. How strong is your sprint today? Matt offers some pointers:

“This sprint is all about timing and position: wait too long and you won’t be able to close the gap, go too early and you will have to watch other racers fly by you just before the end. I like to position myself in the top five and launch my sprint just after .3 miles (500 meters) to go.”

We hope you’ve enjoyed this Race Recon. The goal of this series is to explain the features that make each Zwift route uniquely challenging for racers. Looking for more? See our complete list of Zwift Race Recons.