Zwift Academy 2017 competition for a pro contract whittled down to 20 semi-finalists

Pro contracts on offer for the men’s and women’s winners

On-line training game Zwift says that over 2100 women competed in the first round, almost twice as many as in 2016, while nearly 10,000 men took part.

The 10 women and 10 men selected for the semi-final come from a range of countries, including the UK, US, Norway and Denmark, as well as three men from New Zealand. Ages range from 18 to 46. They competed on Zwift in a structured program of group rides, races, and workouts over a six week period.

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Leah Thorvilson, last year's winner, rode a full race calendar for Canyon-SRAM ©Velofocus
(Image credit: Sean Robinson)

Next up is the Team Dimension Data | Zwift Academy men’s training camp in South Africa and the CANYON//SRAM Racing | Zwift Academy women’s training camp in Germany.

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The semi-finals will close with three women and three men travelling to week-long training camps in November and December, with the men’s and women’s winners announced at the end of the camps.

On offer to the winners will be pro contracts: with Canyon-SRAM for the women and the Under 23 Team Dimension Data Continental squad for the men. And since they obviously like riding on turbos, all the selected riders will receive a top notch trainer: a Wahoo Kickr for the women and a Tacx Neo for the men.

Last year’s winner, former US Olympic trial marathon runner Leah Thorvilson, rode with the Canyon-SRAM team, with a race calendar including La Course by Le Tour de France, the Giro Rosa and Dwars door Vlaanderen.