3 Riders. 1 Pro Contract. Welcome to the 2017 CANYON // SRAM Racing Zwift Academy finals.
The Zwift Academy is now in its second year after a tremendously successful 2016 Academy. Leah Thorvilson won the inaugural Academy last year and was awarded a one year contract with Wahoo sponsored team Canyon // SRAM. Leah has since signed a second year with the team, proving that not only can the Academy identify potential pro tour talent but that it can send women to the pro peloton for the long haul.
The 2017 Academy sought to bring together a global community of women cyclists committed to building new fitness and new friendships. In order to graduate each rider would need to do the following:
– Complete 5 group rides with the Academy community.
– complete the Academy training program in Zwift.
– complete two races on Zwift
The results from the group rides, training and races ten semi- finalists would be selected. The semi- finalists would then go through additional training, group rides and races with the Canyon // SRAM cycling team. From that group of riders three would be chosen by the team doctors, coaches and directors to join the team for training camp.
Here are the finalists experience at team camp and the most important job interview they will have.
If you watched the video then you know who the winner is. The original 2,159 women who started the Zwift Academy has been slowly narrowed to just this one rider. Welcome Tanja Erath from Dortmund, Germany to the team and the Wahooligan community of athletes.
Erath, who recently finished her Medical degree said “I started with the dream of becoming a pro and saw the Zwift Academy as a “last chance” to make the dream come true before starting to work full time as a doctor. I didn’t really expect I could make it to the finals but told myself “if I could at least make it to the semi-finals I have my own Wahoo indoor trainer and one of those gorgeous Rapha team kits that the semi-finalists win!”
We look forward to following Tanja’s progress over the 2018 season with Canyon // SRAM Racing and will be rooting for her success.
Want to test your abilities and get the most out of your training? Check out the new KICKR SNAP Wheel on Trainer. The team uses them, the Zwift Academy uses them, why not you too. Choice of Champions!
Tell us your thoughts on this new way of identifying pro level talent in the comment section below.