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Moolman-Pasio flagged for having 'super human numbers' on Zwift

VENTURA CALIFORNIA MAY 16 Ashleigh MoolmanPasio of South Africa and Team CCC Liv competes during the Amgen Tour Of California Womens Race 2019 Stage 1 a 965km stage from Ventura to Ventura AmgenTOCWomen AmgenTOC on May 16 2019 in Ventura California Photo by Sean M HaffeyGetty Images
Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Image credit: Getty Images)

Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio is the second professional cyclist this week to have been pulled from the virtual riding app Zwift for posting numbers that were too high. The CCC-Liv rider took to social media channels Friday in search of advice on how to re-join the platform for training.

"Hello @GoZwift can you please help me? I've just been flagged for super human numbers while doing my VO2 max intervals in Watopia? I promise it's the real deal," she wrote in a post on Twitter.

Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) was also flagged when he hit 550 watts in a Zwift race this week. His avatar slowed to a stop despite him pedalling because the online virtual cycling platform suspected foul play, and pulled him out of the race. 

As Cyclingnews reported, Zwift relies on people being honest about their weight, as their speed is judged by their power-to-weight ratio. To try and prevent people cheating, it sets limits for what is considered realistic power output.

The coronavirus pandemic has forced a global sports shutdown and as UCI races are cancelled until at least June 1, many professional cyclists are training indoors and using virtual platforms like Zwift to stay in shape.

In Moolman-Pasio's case, she said she was in the middle of VO2 Max intervals when her avatar slowed to a halt. Although she had reached out to De Gendt for advice on how to fix the problem, she also received an immediate reply from Zwift.

Zwift explained that it normally sets up different power thresholds for professional riders, but that the issue is the result of a bug in the software. 

"Hey Ashleigh! We're really sorry about this, it's a bug we're aware of and a fix is coming very very soon," Zwift wrote in a post on Twitter. 

It wasn't long before Moolman-Pasio was back up and riding.

Moolman-Pasio is currently living in Spain, one of the nations under full lockdown to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. 

She recently published a blog on her website proving six things she learned about about riding indoors: adjust your power, focus on the feeling, cadence around 80-90 RPM, reduce the volume, don’t forget to fuel, and let go of perfection.

"A long period of indoor training is a big mental challenge. You might be used to structure and nailing each session, but accept that indoor training is different and allow your training and expectations to adjust," she wrote.