Zwift has just released the list of 10 finalists for the Zwift Academy Road programs – 5 women and 5 men. These riders will now be competing for a spot with a pro road team for the 2021 season!
The 5 finalists competing for a spot with CANYON//SRAM are:
- Neve Bradbury, Australia – 18 years old – 55th ranked woman on ZwiftPower
- Nicole Coates, UK – U23 rider, 77th ranked in UK
- Eva Marie Hering, Germany – 27 years old, 12th in 2020 Germany Nationals Road race
- Kate McCarthy, New Zealand – 25 years old, 5th and 4th in 2020 New Zealand Nationals Road race and ITT, respectively
- Natalia Franco Villegas, Colombia – 25 years old, rider with Team Twenty20
The 5 finalists competing for the contract with Alpecin-Fenix are:
- Damien Clayton, UK – 28 years old, pro rider with Ribble Weldtite
- Jochem Kerckhaert, The Netherlands – 20 years old, 25th in 2020 Netherlands Nationals Road race
- Oliver Moors, UK – 24 years old, pro rider with Ribble Weldtite
- Jay Vine, Australia – 25 years old, 5th in GC for 2020 Herald Sun Tour
- Lionel Vujasin, Belgium – 31 years old, 12th ranked on ZwiftPower. Lionel rides for Canyon Esports and is one of the most well-known racers on the platform
The 2020 Zwift Academy Road finals will run from December 13-19th. Unlike previous years where the Zwift Academy Road finals were held at team training camps, the 2020 finals will be held entirely remotely with each finalist in his or her home location. The Zwift Academy coaches at Dig Deep Coaching as well as the team coaches will be analyzing all performances of the finalists.
Though COVID has reshaped the structure of this year’s finals, the virtual format presents a new opportunity to bring viewers closer to the action than ever before and take a peek behind the scenes! Each finalist will be shadowed by a videographer as they show us their home roads, undertake their final tests, perform workouts, and of course race both onboard their Tacx Neo 2T Smart Trainers on Zwift, and outdoors.
Not only will the finalists be judged on their data, but they will go ‘speed dating’ with their prospective new teams. It’s important for a professional rider to gel with their teammates. The contenders will face daily challenges, with special guests dropping in via video link to encourage the finalists and share last-minute motivation. The finals will culminate in a live final show hosted by ex-pro Matt Stephens and streamed on Saturday, December 19.
A Banner Year for Zwift Academy
According to Zwift’s press release, a record-breaking 125,000 riders took part in Zwift Academy Road this year. Wow!
Best of luck to the 10 finalists!