Zwift announces Academy winners who will join pro teams in 2023

Alex Morrice and Luca Vergallito have both won pro contracts for next season

Alex Morrice and Luca Vergallito pose in front of an orange background
(Image credit: Zwift)

British cyclist Alex Morrice and Italian Luca Vergallito have today been announced as the winners of the Zwift Academy and will join top-level cycling teams in 2023. 

The duo were among more than 160,000 riders who participated in this year’s competition, and have now won one-year contracts with Canyon-Sram and Alpecin-Deceuninck respectively. 

In a statement shared today, Zwift said: “Alex and Luca distinguished themselves for having exceptional athletic talent, impressive on-bike skills, and the necessary demeanour to learn what it takes to succeed at the highest levels of racing.”

This year, Zwift Academy contestants had to complete a baseline ride and eight workouts, testing their threshold power and VO2 max among other performance markers. Ten finalists were then selected, and travelled to Denia, Spain, where they met the team coaches and rode with their future team-mates. 

Morrice, 22, who competed this year for British team LDN - Brother, said: “It was such a privilege to get to go to Spain and spend a week with the incredible women on Canyon-Sram racing. 

“Everyone made me feel so welcome and I couldn’t be more excited to race alongside these ladies in 2023 and beyond.”

Canyon-Sram’s lead sports director Magnus Bäckstedt said he was “impressed during the whole week” by Morrice. 

“Alex impressed me with her current power numbers for the type of rider we were hoping to find for the team,” Bäckstedt said. “She also displayed a good understanding of tactics, with a real feeling for the race moment and she still has room to develop.”

Men's Academy winner Vergallito won the Italian junior road title in 2015, but cut back on his cycling in 2017 to concentrate on his studies. The 25-year-old will now join Alpecin-Deceuninck’s development team for the coming season. 

“Even for someone who lives so close to the heart of professional racing, it can be very hard to get noticed by the big teams,” Vergallito said. “I’m so grateful that Zwift gave me a way to get noticed.” 

Now in its seventh year, the Zwift Academy is an annual talent program, held on the indoor training and racing platform, that offers one male and one female rider the chance to win a pro contract. Previous winners include Tanja Erath, Neve Bradbury and Jay Vine, who won two stages at this year’s Vuelta a España

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