2020 CANYON//SRAM Zwift Academy winner Neve Bradbury will debut tomorrow at Dwars Door Vlaanderen in Waregem, Belgium. Neve joined the team in Europe last week and races alongside Alice Barnes, Elise Chabbey, Ella Harris, Kasia Niewiadoma and Alexis Ryan for the UCI 1.1 race.
In December, Neve won a professional contract with the team for the 2021 season after triumphing in the finals of the fifth CANYON//SRAM Zwift Academy. After winning two medals at the U23 road national championships in Australia in February, Neve had a short break before preparing to join her teammates in Europe for the spring races. The 18 year old from Melbourne, describes the last 4 months as a whirlwind.
“It has all been very fast moving forward. Before December, my plan was to study and race in Australia this year with my longer term goal to be a pro rider in the future. I was looking for opportunities to race overseas to get exposure to European racing. Winning Zwift Academy sped up that process and made the road to get here much shorter,” said Neve.
Based with the team in Belgium, Neve says she is steadily taking everything in and learning from her teammates.
“Obviously I’ve never been a part of an international team before let alone a World Tour team so it’s all new. It’s exciting to be around people who have so much experience in cycling and I want to learn as much as I can. The team has made me feel very welcome. There are so many different people from different places in the world, and it’s refreshing and interesting to listen to their view on things.”
Tomorrow’s 122 kilometre race has 3 cobblestone sections and 10 climbs. Neve was part of the team’s Dwars Door Vlaanderen course recon last Sunday and hopes the experience will be valuable.
“It’s really helpful riding course recons with the team as I am very unfamiliar with the cobbles, and relentless wind. I’m already learning a lot from my teammates. Considering tomorrow is my first race with the team, and it’s the warm-up race for Tour of Flanders for most of the peloton, I’ll set myself relatively low expectations. If I can help out the team in some way, that will be a win in my eyes,” explained Neve.
Racing action starts at 11:00CEST on Wednesday 31 March and can be followed on Twitter with #DDV21. The race will be broadcast live from 12:25CEST on Sporza, Eurosport and GCN+ app.