Zwift Academy 2019 Semi-Finalists Announced

Zwift Academy 2019 has entered its next phase with men’s and women’s semi-finalists being selected. Ten men and ten women will complete a mix of indoor workouts on the Tacx Neo 2 and outdoor workouts–an important step in the validation process.

Three finalists will then be chosen from each group to travel to the Zwift Academy Finals in Spain for a week-long camp to ride and complete structured drills to win a professional contract. One man and one woman will be chosen for a pro contract for the 2020 cycling season.

Here’s a little more about our semi-finalists…

Men’s Semi-Finalists

  • Drew Christensen (New Zealand): an experienced cyclist, Drew’s 5-minute power of 6.55 w/kg is impressive and shows he’s able to take on punchy climbs. ZwiftPower Profile
  • Drake Deuel (USA): an elite-level rower who recently moved to bike racing, Drake’s 5.72 w/kg 20-minute power impressive. ZwiftPower Profile
  • Kees Duyvesteyn (New Zealand): 2nd at New Zealand U23 National Road Race 2019 and took 3rd in the Time Trial, Kees has the real-world results to back up his Zwift performance. ProCyclingStats Profile
  • Luuk van Gestel (Netherlands): rode for the U19 national team last year, and has 10 years of racing experience on cross, gravel, and road. ProCyclingStats Profile
  • Brad Gouveris (South Africa): the most experienced Zwift racer of the group, Brad was a ZA semi-finalist last year as well. His 1-minute power of 9.96 w/kg makes him a powerful puncheur. He’s won multiple titles in track cycling, as well as this year’s KISS Super League Grand Finale race. ZwiftPower Profile
  • Filip Kvasina (Croatia): 2nd place in this year’s national U23 ITT, Filip is definitely a powerful rider. ProCyclingStats Profile
  • Mathijs Loman (Netherlands): one of the less-experienced of the bunch, Mathijs is going to have to prove himself in the coming weeks. ProCyclingStats Profile
  • Campbell Pithie (New Zealand): with outdoor titles on the road and track and a strong power profile, Campbell is an aggressive rider with big aspirations. ZwiftPower Profile
  • Rhys Robotham (Australia): an outdoor racer who finishes in the front pack consistently. ProCyclingStats Profile
  • Ryan Rudderham (Canada): solid 20-minute power and a strong mind to back up his legs. ZwiftPower Profile

Read more about the men’s semi-finalists on >

Women’s Semi-Finalists

  • Olivia Baril (Canada): a former competitive swimmer, Olivia took this year’s U23 National titles in both the time trial and road race. ProCyclingStats Profile
  • Catherine Colyn (South Africa): 2018 U23 National road race winner, Catherine is a strong climber with solid race intuition. ZwiftPower Profile
  • Imogen Cotter (Ireland): a former runner with national titles, Imogen has competed in track cycling and won 2nd at Irish Road Nationals. ZwiftPower Profile
  • Nathalie Eklund (Sweden): a ZA semi-finalist in 2018, Nathalie has stood on two Swedish National Podiums, is an Ironman Champion, and certainly is out to prove she’s worthy of a spot in the finals. ZwiftPower Profile
  • Veronica Ewers (USA): though not a very experienced cyclist, Veronica has the power numbers to be successful in the game. Profile
  • Emily Gass (USA): a former competitive rower, Emily has the cardio engine to put down big efforts on long climbs. Profile
  • Ione Johnson (New Zealand): a finalist in last year’s Zwift Academy, Ione is obviously a strong rider who knows how to compete at the top. ZwiftPower Profile
  • Mary Kate McCarthy (New Zealand): with more ZwiftPower races under her belt than almost any other semi-finalist, Mary Kate has the experience to perform well indoors. ZwiftPower Profile
  • Jessica Pratt (Australia): U19 National road race winner, Jessica has done a fair amount of outdoor racing including a 2017 European tour with an Australian development team. ProCyclingStats Profile
  • Samara Sheppard (New Zealand): a multi-time National and Oceania MTB champion with more plenty of Zwift races under her belt, Samara’s power profile show she’s a force to be reckoned with. ZwiftPower Profile ProCyclingStats Profile

Read more about the women’s semi-finalists on >

Final Zwift Academy Stats

Zwift released some numbers for Zwift Academy participation, and they’re quite impressive. Participation doubled from 2018 to 2019!

Eric Schlange
Eric Schlange
Eric runs Zwift Insider in his spare time when he isn't on the bike or managing various business interests. He lives in Northern California with his beautiful wife, two kids and dog. Follow on Strava
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