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Zwift Academy Announces Semi-Finalists To Compete For Professional Cycling Contract

Zwift’s talent identification program, the Zwift Academy, uncovers 20 promising athletes pursuing seats on professional cycling teams CANYON//SRAM Racing & Team Dimension Data.


(Long Beach, CA, 20 October 2017) – 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.


About Zwift
Zwift is a company of dedicated fitness enthusiasts that also happen to be experienced software and video game developers. Combining that passion and deep understanding of the fitness world, Zwift is the first company to use massive multiplayer gaming technology to bring the outdoor experience indoors. Athletes from around the globe can train and compete with each other in rich, 3D-generated worlds simply by connecting their existing devices & hardware (e.g. cycle trainers, power meters, treadmills heart rate monitors, etc) wirelessly via open industry standard ANT+ and BLE. From friendly competition, to racing & structured training programs, Zwift is building a community of like-minded athletes united in the pursuit of a better social fitness experience.

About CANYON//SRAM Racing
Launched in 2016, CANYON//SRAM Racing is a professional women’s cycling team racing at the UCI Women’s WorldTour level. From the solid foundation of experienced riders to the go-getting attitude of the younger riders, this diverse group of women seem to feed off and inspire each other. With a team motto of ‘better together’ when they are aligned they are part of something special, and even more extraordinary, these women create something special to watch.They generate a momentum and atmosphere that is unique to CANYON//SRAM Racing. They promote women’s professional cycling, they inspire people to ride all around the globe, and they are committed to delivering incredible stories. https://www.wmncycling.com

About Qhubeka
Qhubeka’s mission is to move people forward with bicycles. “Qhubeka” is an Nguni word that means “to progress,” and, with a bicycle, a person can travel faster, and move further, and carry more, whether it’s to a job, a school, a clinic, or a place of clean water and abundant food. The bicycles we provide also have a crucial role in initial emergency response for disaster relief. Based in South Africa, but operating across the entire African continent, children and adults in rural communities earn our Buffalo Bikes through our Learn-To-Earn and Work-To-Earn programs, moving them forward towards a more secure and richer life.

About Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka is Africa’s first ever UCI World Tour team, starting its first season in 2016. After three successful years in the Pro Continental ranks, the team has enjoyed considerable success as a World Tour team, competing at the highest levels of the sport. Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka continues to operate a U23 Continental team as well, nurturing junior talent and developing the World Tour team’s future athletes. The Qhubeka project remains at the core of our setup and the very reason why our team exists. Team Dimension Data creates a platform for awareness about Qhubeka and garners international support for the project, so that Qhubeka may continue to mobilize the African people, giving the team a sense of purpose beyond competition. Team Dimension Data wholeheartedly believes in the #BicyclesChangeLives campaign and that it will remain a driving force behind our success.

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