Zwifters are already quite familiar with the Zwift Academy Road, a global talent ID program that has recruited multiple men and women onto pro teams. (In fact, the latest winners were announced just last month: Alex Morrice of Great Britain and Luca Vergallito of Italy!)
Red Bull has just announced their “Junior Brothers” talent scouting program which aims to place two riders on BORA-hansgrohe’s U19 team, Auto Eder. The program – the first of its kind as far as I’m aware – is global in scope and includes a Zwift component. Let’s look closer…
A Strava-Based Program
The Junior Brothers scouting program will use selected Strava segments to collect performance data from 17-19 year-olds. A small number of the strongest riders will then participate in a test camp where they will undertake a full performance analysis.
Two riders from this elite group will receive a contract to race for BORA-hansgrohe’s development team, as well as a Red Bull athlete partnership deal.
Red Bull and Strava are working together to identify climbing segments all over the world for riders to go out and complete in order to be considered. And that’s where Zwift comes in…
The Zwift Component
With many young athletes unable to travel to specific locations to ride selected Strava segments, Zwift will play a key role in the program as selected virtual Strava Zwift segments (all climbing segments) will be used just like the outdoor Strava segments in the program.
The list of segments is not yet available, but I assume they will be announced on February 1st.
Ralph Denk, BORA – hansgrohe Team Manager said; “This is the first time that Red Bull is involved with a project in road cycling globally, and I am proud that they are doing this together with BORA – hansgrohe. In addition, the program itself is also a milestone for us in terms of scouting. Through the Red Bull Junior Brothers, we can search for talent worldwide and even reach those who might not otherwise take part in races at all.”
Key Dates and Age Requirements
Participants can compete for their chance to become a Red Bull Junior Brother by riding the selected outdoor and/or Zwift segments between February 1 and May 31, 2023.
Participants in the program must be under 19 years old and born between 2006-2007.
- Log your rides on Zwift/Strava: February 1-May 31, 2023
- Complete the application form at redbull.com/juniorbrothers: June 1-30, 2023
- Strongest riders participate at a test camp: August 2023
- 2 riders signed: September 2023
Visit redbull.com/juniorbrothers starting February 1, 2023 to find out more about the program.