Online training platform Zwift has opened enrolment for the third year of Zwift Academy.
The talent ID programme is again offering two professional contacts: one with Canyon//SRAM’s Women’s World Tour team, the other for Qhubeka Continental Team as part of U23 Men’s Team Dimension Data.
Beth Duryea, Canyon//SRAM team manager, said: “Zwift Academy is a credible talent ID programme that’s helped us discover some exciting new talent in both Leah [Thorvilson] and Tanja [Erath]. Leah is now in her second year with our team, having proven herself in her first season. Tanja has already adapted very quickly with a notably strong performance at the Women’s Tour de Yorkshire. I’m excited to see who we might unearth next!”
New to the Academy this year is a series of four unlocks, designed to encourage Zwift users to finish as much of the Academy as possible on their way to graduation. Unlocks come after completing each quarter of the series, with both in-game and real-life rewards up for grabs.
“We want to see as many people graduate the Zwift Academy as possible,” said Eric Min, Zwift CEO and co-founder. “Unfortunately I can’t win a pro contract, but I will be taking part and am keen to see how my FTP improves again this year.
“As an extra incentive for people to complete the programme, we will be donating one Qhubeka bike for every ten graduates of the Men’s Zwift Academy to support the Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka cause. It’s a fantastic programme that helps deliver better transport to remote areas of Africa. Get enrolled, get fitter and help a worthy cause in the process!”
This year, all riders will be offered free premium access to Today’s Plan for the duration of the Zwift Academy. In addition to getting the full suite of tools and analytics of Today’s Plan, a new feature will let Zwift users see how they stack up against their age group and the overall competition. Between 6th August and 30th September, those registered for the Zwift Academy programme must aim to complete a series of ten workouts, four group rides and two races.
“I still think back to that moment my name was called out at the finals and it gives me goosebumps,” said Canyon//SRAM’s Tanja Erath – last year’s winner. “It’s been a big learning curve from moving to my new home in Girona, to racing in the World Tour peloton, but I’m really enjoying settling into my first year as a professional cyclist.”