Tanja Erath wins pro contract with Canyon-SRAM after impressive Zwift performance

Former triathlete Tanja Erath focussed on cycling after an injury meant she could no longer run, now she's landed herself a ride with the Canyon-SRAM women's team for 2018

Tanja Erath.
(Image credit: Zwift/Canyon-SRAM)

Tanja Erath has secured a place on the top-level Canyon-SRAM women's team for 2018 after an impressive performance on online training system Zwift.

The German former triathlete and nurse only started focussing on her cycling a year ago after an injury ruled her out of running.

Erath was selected by judges from a field of 2,100 women on Zwift to ride for the German-registered Canyon-SRAM team. Members of Canyon-SRAM, Zwift and TrainSharp coaching selected a short-list of 12 riders before deciding on the winner.

“I started this confident in my skills as a cyclist and a racer, but had no idea it would end with me here in Koblenz with a World Tour schedule ahead of me,” said Erath.

“It’s been such a journey and I’m humbled by the talent I’ve been up against, especially with [Zwift Academy finalists] Siri [Hildonen] and Bri [Torkelson]. I’m so overwhelmed!”

>>> 21-year-old lands professional contract with Dimension Data after impressing with rides on Zwift

Erath will join the previous year's Zwift Academy winner, Leah Thorvilson at the Canyon-SRAM team, as Thorvilson has been handed a one-year contract extension for 2018 with the team

Canyon-SRAM racing manager Ronny Lauke praised the performance of Thorvilson over the past season, and is looking forward to welcoming Erath.

“We took a chance with the Zwift Academy last year and we’re very happy with what it brought to our team,” said Lauke,

“Leah is a great addition and, seeing Tanja’s dedication, drive, and strength only reminds us we’ve got a great programme here to bring talent into the women’s peloton.”

Erath will make her Canyon-SRAM racing debut in the spring, and like her team-mates will benefit from the full coaching and training support from the squad.

Zwift will link up again with Canyon-SRAM towards the end of 2018 to run the initiative again and select a further rider.

In November, Zwift announced that 21-year-old New Zealand rider Ollie Jones had become the first male rider to earn a place on a professional cycling team via the Zwift Academy.

Jones beat more than 9,000 riders to gain a place on Dimension Data‘s development team.