We just received the awesome update of the new Watopia Fuego Flats expansion and there are some very interesting hints at an upcoming round 2 with more new roads. Here are a few of my thoughts and a lot of speculation on what will be included. Also included is the evidence that points towards this hopefully accurate theory (unlike my Hollow Zwift Theory… HA).
Since this is theory, I’m naming it the Watopia National Park update. Because I believe it is going to be based off California National parks. Keep reading to find out why I’m convinced this is going to be true!
Mapped Route is Already Public
As shared by Eric Schlange at Zwift Insider and Jonathon Levie at Zwift Hype there have already been maps of this new stretch of road shared far and wide across the internet. Eric at ZI says that this was originally shared in Zwift’s own “Jet to the Desert” announcement! Basically a confirmation that this is an upcoming release.
If you study the minimap while riding the Fuego Flats you will see that this road is clearly visible and looks to be in somewhat of a completed form, although barren of zwifting traffic. It’s very curvy and looks like it may have quite a few switchbacks.
Fuego Hilly Route Profile
Once you are on the Fuego Flats take a look at the minimap and the elevation profile. It’s clear that the flat section ends and there are three rises in the elevation profile. The side closest to the Pueblo Ruins seems to be rolling terrain similar to the Esses or New York courses. Meanwhile the side closer to the Redwood Forest appears to have a much more steady grade to it.
When riding on the Fuego flats this elevation profile disappears and changes to a flat profile just as you pass the Redwood barricade. If you are going counterclockwise on the Fuego Flats this profile will appear just as you pass this same barricade. This confirms that the roads we’ve got are not the end of this route.
This brings us to point #3.
Currently if you are heading for Fuego Flats from downtown Watopia there is a right turn just prior to the desert. This goes to enter this new hilly section is barricaded and blocked.
Further down the road as you are about to exit the redwood forest at the end of the new Fuego Flats before getting to the Epic KOM bridge there is another right hand turn barricaded away.
Where Are All the People?
Further evidence that the Fuego Flats update is not quite complete is the lack of pedestrians across the new towns. Saddle Springs appears to be quite the hot-spot of the Watopia community. Every turn has bike racks stacked to the brim with bicycles. Even the Desert Flats old west town seems strangely empty (I suppose it could be a “ghost town”). Riding through each area it just seems like there should be pedestrians and fans to cheer you on. London has pedestrians and so does New York.
So where are the pedestrians in Watopia? Especially in a place like Saddle Springs it seems like there should be somebody present in such a nice area. The reason they aren’t there is because the finishing touches are still yet to be added including the Watopia National Park hilly road.
Ready for Racing!
** Speculation beyond this point **
Here is where we get to the speculation. None of this can be confirmed… yet, but we can put the pieces together with a pretty high level of confidence.
Clearly based on the elevation profile cutting off as you pass the redwood forest this is intended as a cohesive route combining what I will call this “Watopia National Park” route with the Fuego Flats. Once unlocked there will be a new leaderboard for this entire route.
Events on the route will start from the new starting pens on the north side of the Fuego Flats.
Scenery will be based off of different national parks in California such as Yosemite, Sequoia and Redwood National Park. Filled with granite outcroppings, Redwood forests and just maybe a little hot springs action similar to Yellowstone National Parks geysers. What makes me think this?
Here’s my evidence:
- At the barricaded entrance closest to the Pueblo ruins you can see steam rising up off of what looks like a body of water.
- In the center of the above map there is a large stone outcropping, perhaps similar to Yosemite’s El Capitan?
- And obviously we already see the redwoods or sequoia’s at the beginning and end of the Fuego Flats
Put it all together and it sure looks like this may be a section based off of the American National Parks and forests.
** UPDATE! **
Jonathon Levie from Zwift Hype has worked his magic and somehow rode the Watopia National Park / Fuego Flats loop. Confirmation that they link together to create a 12 mile route with 571 feet of climbing. This is going to be an AMAZING race loop. Enough punch to create gaps, but nothing as steep or harsh as the Watopia KOM. The majority of the climbing will be at a 3-5% incline. Very much reminding me of the Esses or the second half of the Watopia KOM reverse. There will also be a few steep kickers at 8-10%.