Karla Williams’ favorite part of cycling is riding with others, whether it’s a friendly group ride or a competitive race. And she enjoys Zwift routes that let her put her sprint to good use in a group.
She is the director and manager of Aeonian Race Team and one of the organizers of the Warrior Games, which runs the women’s Tour de Boudicca, the men’s Tour de Spartacus, and the Iceni Women’s Series. She loves to support and encourage women to race, push their limits, and have fun doing it!
Williams, who is originally from Peru, lives in the United Kingdom. She started riding around 6 years ago, “just to get some fresh air with my husband in the Suffolk countryside.”
After the birth of her child, she used cycling as a way to get back into shape. She joined the local cycling club and got hooked by the social nature of riding with a group.
“I started using Zwift in April 2016, as a way to keep me in form during the English winter, and I found it very fun and social which is one of the things I enjoy the most about cycling,” says Williams. “I initially started with group rides, before getting involved in races, which added another dimension to the training and now I am an addict! The Zwift community is amazing. That plays a big part for any new person joining Zwift. They make you feel welcome and help you understand every little trick.”
Williams is at the Level 50 maximum. While she’ll collect double XP like everyone in Tour of Watopia 2021 events, she won’t level up right now. What she’s excited about this Tour is riding with her fellow Zwifters and earning not one, but two in-game kits!
Karla Williams’ three favorite routes in Watopia include two sprinters’ favorites and a rolling loop. She’ll give you tips for racing these routes and what to look out for when you’re on a ride. Explore them for yourself in an event, on your own, or in a Meetup with friends:
Volcano Circuit CCW
Short, fast, and brings the heat.
- Length: 4.1 km (2.5 miles)
- Elevation: 17 m (56 feet)
- Lead-In: 3.4 km (2.1 miles)
Why she loves it: “Volcano CWW is just the kind of race that will keep you on your toes with each lap - taking advantage of each little incline to make a nice breakaway and play tactics all the way. It is such a short course but nice to practice your sprinting.”
Landmarks: “I like the downhill towards the volcano. If you pay attention on the right, you'll see a sea snail which is quite funny. Also (I like) going back towards the glass tunnel too.”
Alternative: For a different ride on the same route, reverse it and try some laps of Volcano Circuit.
When you can’t wait to get to the green banner.
- Length: 6.3 km (3.9 miles)
- Elevation: 39 m (128 feet)
- Lead-In: 3.0 km (1.9 miles)
Why she loves it: “I love the fast and furious pace up into that sprint and blowing your legs off. Seaside Sprint is one of my favourite ones for emptying the tank on each lap.”
Spot the wildlife: “You have to always say hello to the deer that is eating grass on the left.”
Race tips: “If you join a race on this course, firstly make sure you know the route.
- Have a good warm-up prior to the race.
- When the race starts, make sure you stay with the group and try to draft as much as possible, so you can unleash your mighty power in sprints/ finish line or attack on the small inclines!
- Use your PowerUps wisely: Feather for the inclines (reduces your weight by 10% for 15 seconds.), Aero for the sprints (makes you more aerodynamic (reduces your CdA by 25%) for 15 seconds.), Draft Boost to catch those slipping away (increases the draft effect you are experiencing by 50% for 30 seconds)
- Last but not least, remember to have fun! Whatever your results, you’re already a champ!
- Ride on!”
Sand and Sequoias
With ups, downs, and flats, there’s something for everyone.
- Length: 20.2 km (12.6 miles)
- Elevation: 146 m (479 feet)
- Lead-In: 2.4 km (1.5 miles)
Why she loves it: “I also like Sand and Sequoias as it has the flat and the short bumps. I actually like Titans Grove KOM and the ups and downs afterwards towards the desert.”
Landmarks: “Lovely scenery with the dinosaurs and Jarvis the bear, and of course the rubber duck.”
Race tips: “Sand and Sequoias is a route that has it all! A nice flat section, to position yourself in the pack and draft while you enjoy the views of the oasis where you’ll see the waterfall and the dinosaur fossils. After that you’ll need to get ready for the gradual inclines towards Titans Grove QOM - remember... position is key! Make sure you spot Jarvis the bear! And make sure you save your power up for the QOM. At the top of the QOM, quick surge to reach 57kph and get the much-needed rest… and supertuck! As you go down, you’ll face some ups and downs. Keep the momentum to get you up the hills each time. Don’t forget to spot the rubber duck! Keep in the group as you leave Titans Grove and recover in the draft before you blow your legs with the super sprint finale!”