The 2020 Zwift Academy winners have been announced, as two more riders join the pro peloton thanks to the online training platform.
This year’s edition of the talent scouting competition was held entirely online due to the global coronavirus pandemic, as the finalists had to take on a number of daily challenges, all culminating in a live final held on Saturday, (December 19).
The winners of 2020 Zwift Academy are Neve Bradbury in the women’s competition and Jay Vine in the men’s, both from Australia.
Bradbury will be given a spot on Canyon-SRAM, while Vine will join Mathieu van der Poel at Alpecin-Fenix.
Bradbury, 18, from Melbourne, said: “I was stoked to make it to the finals in the first place.
“After the first day I wasn’t sure how I was going to go, but as the week went on I started to feel more positive. It’s so exciting. I’m stoked to have a coach, to use all of the equipment, and just to experience as much as I can. I know there’s a lot to learn and improve on but I’ll just try to help the team as much as I can.”
Vine said: “I didn’t think it was going to happen this year, this is just incredible. I just had to focus on giving as good as I could and make no mistakes. I can’t wait to get over there to Europe – when do I start?! It’s incredible. I don’t know what I can say… when can I start?”
The Zwift Academy sees thousands of riders from across the world complete a series of training rides on the indoor platform, with the best performers making it through the semi-final round.
Traditionally riders are then whittled down until there just three men and three women remaining, and they then travelled to Spain for a training camp, the final step in the process.
But this year the competition took on a different format, as seven finalists took on challenges from their own homes like ‘speeding dating’ with their potential new teams, and events like chasing down pros Kasia Niewiadoma and Van der Poel.
The climax of the competition took place in a live-streamed event last weekend.