According to a post today on CyclingTips.com:
UCI Women’s World Tour team Canyon-SRAM is taking a novel approach to talent identification, on Thursday announcing it will partner with Zwift and use the social fitness platform to help pick a member of its squad in 2017.
The search for a rider, labelled ‘The Canyon-SRAM Racing and Zwift Academy Project’, is set to start in March 2016 with riders who enter completing a series of tasks on Zwift to identify their physical attributes and potential. The field will be reduced through 2016 until only three riders are left. The final remaining female amateur athletes will then compete on virtual and real roads for the chance to become a professional.
This is a wonderful bit of news, and just the beginning of a trend we’ll see a lot of in coming years I believe. And it only makes sense to start with female riders because, as Canyon-SRAM rider Tiffany Cromwell so astutely puts it, “Unfortunately the development pathways for female riders don’t compare to the men’s side of the sport. But rather than swim against the tide, we’re taking the bull by the horns and shaking things up with Zwift. Cycling’s stars possess extraordinary physical attributes and we’re confident one or two of those rough diamonds are out there to be unearthed on the Zwift platform.”
Kudos to Canyon-SRAM and Zwift for leading the pack and making it happen.