Enrollment is now open for Zwift Academy 2019!
This is the fourth year of Zwift’s groundbreaking mass training/global talent ID program. Last year 35,000 men and women took part, and this year Zwift expects over 100,000 participants.
For some, this is a unique opportunity to earn a professional cycling contract, but for many more, it’s a unique community-based program that encourages its members to get fitter and faster while having fun along the way.
Zwift Academy provides a way for talented riders to get noticed by pro teams. Last year’s women’s winner Ellsa Harris says, “I grew up in New Zealand where it’s incredibly hard to get noticed as we are so far removed from the professional scene–especially that in Europe. Typically I would have to travel long distances to races. However, Zwift allowed me to prove my ability on a global stage from the convenience of my home.”
Just like 2018, this year two professional cycling contracts are up for grabs: one with Women’s World Tour team, CANYON//SRAM Racing, and one with the U23 Men’s Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka Continental Team.
This year, all semi-finalists will receive a Tacx Neo 2 Smart Trainer for use in the next phase of testing in the competition. Zwift Academy semi-finalists will be announced in early October.
Dates and Graduation Requirements
Zwift Academy will begin August 5th and run through September 29th.
To graduate, Zwifters must complete a series of 8 workouts and 4 races or social rides. This is a slight change from previous years, to allow Zwifters to tailor the program to their own personal preferences or goals.
Those enrolled in the Zwift Academy are incentivized to continue to progress with special in-game unlocks for completing each quarter of the program.
- At 25%, Zwifters will unlock the unique Zwift Academy Socks
- at 50% Zwift Academy Shoes
- at 75% the Zwift Academy Cap
- and for those who graduate, the complete Zwift Academy Kit.
For those who continue to complete an additional 4 social rides or races, extra credit will be awarded: a unique Zwift Academy paint job applicable to the BMC SLR01 for the men, and to the Canyon Ultimate for the women.
Supporting a Cause
Again this year, Zwift has pledged to donate one Qhubeka bike for every 10 graduates of the Men’s Zwift Academy, with the ambition of seeing at least 10,000 men graduate the program this year. That’s a lotta bikes!
“Zwift has been incredibly supportive of the Qhubeka cause,” says Doug Ryder, Team Principal for Team Dimension Data. “Every year, we travel to Cape Town for our end of season camp and get to hand over the bikes to the community, and it’s incredible to see how much of a difference basic transport can make to the lives of those people.”
Today’s Plan Premium
All those enrolled in Zwift Academy will be offered free premium access to the online training platform 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, Zwifters will be able to see how they stack up against their age group and the overall competition.
Note: all those in the hunt for the pro cycling contracts must sign up to Today’s Plan.
How to Enroll
Enrollment for the 2019 Zwift Academy is now open. To register, head to www.zwift.com/academy and choose your academy, or sign up in game.