How to get a pro contract from your basement with Zwift Academy – Bike Magazine Australia

After the popularity of partnership with the CANYON//SRAM racing team in 2016, Zwift will once again offer Zwift Academy – a program that offers amateur cyclists a shot at joining a pro team without leaving the house. 

Through Zwift Academy, hundreds of undiscovered cycling talents can challenge for a real-life professional contract by completing a series of more than 20 virtual trainer-based workouts.

Last year, Tasmania’s Bel Flint reached the semi-finals of the worldwide competition, before American elite-runner-turned-cyclist Leah Thorvilson won the team slot after months of crushing the Zwift challenges and then attending a CANYON//SRAM training camp.

The workouts for the programme – meant to develop and expand the women’s racing community – include a variety of virtual group rides and a structured training program. 

The next round of team challenges should open in June 2017, and the qualification phase will start in September. New for 2017 is a competitive virtual program known as ‘eRacing,’ through which contestants will advance to the the semi-final stage in November.

One of the coolest things about Zwift Academy is that it’s challenging the traditional course of a cyclist’s career: Most riders start out with a local team, or a developmental team, in order to eventually achieve cycling greatness in the pro peloton. With Zwift Academy, amateurs with serious talent have an opportunity to skip the first chapters of their career and go right to the big leagues. 

However, seeing elite dreams come true isn’t the only amazing thing riders can get out of the program. Competitors will benefit even if they don’t win the contract, because after months on the trainer, they’ll be in top-notch cycling shape with plenty of cycling friends around the world.

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