The Zwift Academy is back bigger than ever with another professional cycling contract on offer at CANYON//SRAM Racing next season. The team’s partner Zwift, the online global fitness platform, made the announcement today of the Zwift Academy which is both a unique talent identification programme and Zwift’s biggest and most inclusive community training programme.
Each year since 2016, thousands of people have taken part in the Zwift Academy, challenging themselves to graduate from the eight-week training programme and even to vie for a professional contract.
“This is our team’s sixth year with the Zwift Academy and we have had fantastic talent come through the programme,” says Ronny Lauke, Team Manager CANYON//SRAM Racing.
“Each year the competition seems to get closer and closer. This makes the decisions tough but shows the strength and depth in the programme. I look forward to meeting the ‘Class of 21’ later this year.”
With enrolment open from today, the program officially starts on 30 August. Zwifters must complete a series of six workouts, two recovery rides, and new for this year, two benchmarking rides – the Baseline Ride and the Finish Line Ride. These two rides will provide Zwifters the chance to see how their fitness translates to the road and will be held as events on new custom, event-only routes in Watopia. The Baseline ride should be completed at the start of Zwift Academy and will see Zwifters challenged to set personal bests on dedicated segments designed to test sprint, anaerobic and aerobic efforts.
“Zwift Academy is known for its successful talent ID programme but it’s so much more for thousands of riders each year”, says Stephen Gallagher, Co-Founder of Dig Deep Coaching and designer of the Zwift Academy workout plan.
“We’ve designed the programme to offer even more for those looking to take on the challenge of completing a training plan. The programme covers many of the basic principles of training and should be a fun and rewarding experience for all abilities. The segment rides offer a new dynamic – everyone knows what it’s like to beat their personal best on a climb or sprint, so we’ve introduced this element to bring a bit of fun to the ‘testing’.”
Who will join the list of former winners Leah Thorvilson (2016), Tanja Erath (2017), Ella Harris (2018), Jessica Pratt (2019), and Neve Bradbury (2020) to win a contract at CANYON//SRAM Racing in 2022? We can’t wait to find out! However, those seeking a professional cycling contract must go the extra mile with Zwift Academy this year. Pro Contenders must complete the full Zwift Academy programme making sure to complete a few mandatory checks. All the details on how to compete for a pro contract can be found at zwift.com/zaroad/road-pro-contender-requirements.
The Zwift Academy Road programme begins on 30 August and ends on 24 October. Alongside the women’s contract on offer at CANYON//SRAM Racing, there is also a contract on offer for the men’s team Alpecin Fenix. Find out more information on all of the programmes at zwift.com/academy.