Zwift’s talent identification program, the Zwift Academy, uncovers 20 promising athletes pursuing seats on professional cycling teams CANYON//SRAM Racing & Team Dimension Data.
Zwift, the global online fitness platform for cyclists, has seen its first round of 2017 top graduates emerge from the Zwift Academy to move closer to a professional cycling contract with top ranked men’s and women’s teams.
The 20 semi-finalists, 10 men and 10 women from around the world, completed a structured program of group rides, races, and workouts over a six week period, exclusively in the online cycling environment of Zwift. Starting Saturday, October 21 for Team Dimension Data | Zwift Academy and Wednesday, November 1 for CANYON//SRAM Racing | Zwift Academy, these 20 athletes will continue to the next round of cycling tests to determine who will advance to the finals at their potential team camps held in Cape Town, South Africa and Koblenz, Germany, respectively.
Over 2100 women competed in the first of the CANYON//SRAM Racing | Zwift Academy, almost double the participants from 2016. Previous CANYON//SRAM Racing | Zwift Academy graduate Leah Thorvilson just completed her first successful season with the CANYON//SRAM Racing this past summer, taking part in races like La Course by Le Tour de France.
The 10 CANYON//SRAM Racing | Zwift Academy Semi Finalists are: Tanja Erath, 28 (DE); Chloe Fraser, 24 (UK); Siri Hildonen, 46, (NOR); Helen McKay, 39, (UK); Sarah Portella, 34, (US); Ruth Summerford, 27, (UK); Brianna Torkelson, 29, (US); Christie Tracy, 38, (US); Rosie Wayland, 28, (UK); and Hayley Wickstrom, 27, (US).
Semi-finalists from the Team Dimension Data | Zwift Academy program rose to the top of a pool of nearly 10,000 cyclists from across the globe. These riders are after a spot on the team’s Continental squad as an Under 23 rider. Of the 10 strongest candidates, three of them emerged from New Zealand, casting a new light on land of the long white cloud.
The 10 Team Dimension Data | Zwift Academy Semi Finalists are: Nick White, 20, (AUS); Ryan Christenson, 21, (NZ); Ollie Jones, 21, (NZ); Ollie Peckover, 19, (UK); Sam Mobberley, 21, (NZ); Harrison Bailey, 21, (AUS); Luke Derksen, 21, (GER); Jake Cullen, 21, (CAN); Byron Munton, 18, (RSA); and Greg de Vink, 19, (RSA).
CANYON//SRAM Racing | Zwift Academy riders will receive Wahoo Fitness’ top line KICKR trainers and participants in Team Dimension Data | Zwift Academy will receive Tacx’s Neo Smart trainer as they move toward the next round of riding and racing.
At the close of the semi-final round, six finalists (three from each program) will travel to their respective week-long team camps in late November and early December. From their experiences riding and training with their potential future teams, one winner from each Academy will be announced at the close of each camp.