This is the longest route on the New York City map, and a wonderful way to see our futuristic take on NYC as it covers nearly every bit of NYC road, often in both directions. With two KOM segments, Everything Bagel is a route for the climbers. But punchy riders who can hold on over the top will have a big advantage in the flat, fast finish!
Remember these top tips for Zwift racing (most apply outside as well!)
- Warm up because the start is a hard effort
- Use the draft to conserve energy whenever possible
- Attack every punchy climb to avoid being dropped
- Know the route so you can pace yourself, move to the front before important climbs, etc
- Save a useful powerup for the finish
What follows is a look at key sections of this route complete with racing tips from A+ racer George Mills-Keeling, a U23 pro cyclist who races IRL for Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling. Follow his tips to achieve your best results on the Everything Bagel!
Length: 21.3 miles // 34.2km
Elevation Gain: 1722' // 525m
#1: The Start
"The start is like all Zwift races, flat and fast," says George. "But it is very important you get the front quickly as the first ascent of the climb is within the first few minutes!"
Hopefully you picked up a lucky feather PowerUp to help you up the fast-approaching reverse KOM. Hold your ideal pack position, and get ready for the fireworks!
#2: Reverse KOM
0.7 miles // 1.1km, 5.9% average grade
Just minutes after starting, you will hit the biggest climb of the day. This is where the first major splits will happen. Can you make the front group?
George says, "The stated gradient and length could lead some riders into thinking that its just a small bump in the road, yet the lead up to the climb is not included on the segment so it's much longer. This paired with maximum gradients of 15.6% and the fact it goes up in steps, it's harder than it may first seem. The most important part of this climb is the last step, which is the steepest. This is where we really need to dig deep."
#3: Descent to Ground Level
You made it through the KOM banner. Now comes the fun part: the descent!
"Perfect time for a drink while supertucking in the draft," says George. But he also delivers a word of warning: "At the bottom of the descent you will start the many miles of 'flat' roads in central park, but don't be fooled. There are false flats and steep risers that you need to be aware of. This is not the time to go to sleep! Especially on the climb before the sprint point, this is a tough one."
#4: Forward Sprint
150 meters, -4.3% grade
If your race is tracking sprint points, you will want to be careful as the sprint is tricky in this direction. You will ride up a short kicker before the sprint start line, and you will need to hammer through this climb to keep your speed high if you want to take the sprint. Then the road tips downward, making the actual sprint section fly by quickly.
In many ways, this sprint is won before it begins. Mind your position and maintain momentum!
#5: Up to the High Road
800 meters, ~8% grade
As we make our way toward the forward KOM climb, we hit a ramp to transition us from the paved ground-level roads to the elevated glass skyway. This ramp is the third-longest climb on course (behind the two KOMs), and it's steep!
Push hard to hang with the pack even if you're struggling. This climb will be over quickly, and you're only halfway done with your race, so it's crucial that you hold onto that draft advantage.
#5: Forward KOM
0.8 miles // 1.7km, 6.4% average grade
We've arrived at the final climb of our race - if there are any more selections to be made, they will probably happen here. The Forward KOM is a bit longer than the Reverse KOM, but George says, "This in my opinion is an easier climb. There are flatter parts to it compared to the reverse, with a whole section at 0%."
This climb has two especially steep sections where the gradient goes over 15%. The first is near the middle of the segment, and the second near the end. The final ramp is especially important if you're on the pointy end of a race. "The last part of this climb is where the race is won or lost," says George. Make sure you've got a little something left for that final kick to the top!
#6: Descent to Ground Level
Grab a supertuck as you descend, but be careful because you will come out of the tuck each time the road levels out! This is your last chance at a bit of rest before we hit the final several kilometers of rolling tarmac for the finish.
#7: Reverse Sprint
230 meters, 0% average grade
The reverse sprint begins just after we leave the elevated glass roads. It's a longer sprint section which begins slightly downhill, then pitches up to 4% in the final meters. If you want to cross the line first, save a little something for those final uphill meters, because that's where the power really matters.
This sprint's uphill finish can be used as a launchpad for an attack, especially if you've got a powerup to help you get away. And even if you don't fancy an attack from way out, you should expect one from someone else here on the sprint or on the two short ascents which follow.
George explains, "There are two notable risers, one starting at 28.8 km (17.9 miles) with a max grade of 9% and the other at 31.5 km (19.5 miles) with a max of around 4%. Although these are nothing compared the main KOM, they are very close to the finish. Don't be surprised to see an attack from a rider who doesn't trust their sprint."
#8: The Finish
500 meters, slightly downhill
"The sprint is a fast one with speeds up to 70km/h as it's downhill. This means that heavier guys who get over the hills have a massive advantage," George explains. He talks us through the final kilometer:
"Coming into the finish, we go over the last rise, around a right-hand corner with a slight downhill, then into the home straight. There is a long section of slight descent before the finish, so you can't see the finish banner yet. Then we have a slight left-hand corner and this is where you need to open up the sprint from about 500 meters out."
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.