PezCycling News - What's Cool In Road Cycling : 2018 Canyon//SRAM Zwift Academy Winner Announced

2018 Canyon//SRAM Zwift Academy Winner Announced
Ella Harris to join CANYON//SRAM on a one year professional contract in 2019. Zwift, the global online fitness platform for cyclists, has confirmed Ella Harris as the winner of the third annual CANYON//SRAM Zwift Academy Program. Ella will be joining last year’s winner, Tanja Erath at the World Tour outfit, CANYON//SRAM Racing for the 2019 season.

Participation in the CANYON//SRAM Zwift Academy has continued to grow since the first iteration back in 2016. The 2018 edition saw 5,000 women take part, more than double the number the previous year. While completing the Zwift Academy is a challenge, many seize the opportunity simply to improve fitness through the 10 structured workouts, find new Zwift friends through the social rides, or even try their hand at racing for the first time.

“What another fantastic year it’s been for the CANYON//SRAM Zwift Academy.” Comments Kate Veronneau, Women’s Zwift Academy Lead at Zwift. “While the champions of the Zwift Academy are the ones who grab the headlines, and rightly so, it’s important to highlight the thousands of women who took part in the 2019 Zwift Academy - many with very different objectives to the winner. It’s fantastic to be a part of such a community and championing women’s cycling.”

For a few, this ​is​ a unique opportunity to make it to the very top of the sport. This year saw Mary Wilkinson, Ione Johnson, and Ella Harris make it through to the Zwift Academy finals at the CANYON//SRAM end of season training camp in Málaga, Spain. All three women impressed, but it was Ella of New Zealand who emerged victorious.

“I can’t believe I did it! I’m so happy,” says Ella Harris. “I’ve followed Leah and Tanja and what they’ve achieved the past two years, and it’s inspired me to push myself during the Academy this year. I entered hoping, and wanting, to win but when I heard my name called out, it was a feeling of complete shock! Now I’m going home to celebrate with my family and friends before focusing on training for my first year in the World Tour. It’s unbelievable.”

“Ella has been fantastic - huge congratulations!” adds Eric Min, Zwift Co-Founder and CEO. “I’m extremely excited to see how she gets on in her first season at CANYON//SRAM at the World Tour level. Tanja did us proud last year and delivered on her potential out on the road. I’m sure she will serve as a great mentor to Ella throughout 2019.”

All three CANYON//SRAM Zwift Academy finalists had to undergo a strict series of workouts and races not only in the main draw, but also throughout the semi final and final stages of the competition. Completing the workouts in Zwift gave the Academy’s panel of expert coaches the opportunity to look at each rider’s power profiles, allowing them to precisely ascertain where each of the rider’s strengths and weaknesses lie. The live finals meanwhile, provide an opportunity for the CANYON//SRAM team to watch how the girls handle the bikes on the road and interact with fellow riders.

“This is our third year with the Zwift Academy, so for us it's a proven form of talent identification,” comments Ronny Lauke, CANYON//SRAM Racing Team Manager. “Leah proved herself to earn a contract renewal for 2018, and we’ve seen the same through Tanja this year. We’re delighted she has chosen to remain with us through 2019.”

“Ella is another great prospect who showed her all-round abilities during the week here in Má​laga. No doubt she will learn a lot from next year on how to adapt to life as a professional rider away from home. I really look forward to welcoming Ella to the team and what she can do out on the road next season!”


About Zwift
Zwift is a company of dedicated fitness enthusiasts that also happen to be experienced software and video game developers. Combining that passion and deep understanding of the fitness world, Zwift is the first company to use massive multiplayer gaming technology to bring the outdoor experience indoors. Athletes from around the globe can train and compete with each other in rich, 3D-generated worlds simply by connecting their existing devices & hardware (e.g. cycle trainers, power meters, treadmills heart rate monitors, etc) wirelessly via open industry standard ANT+ and BLE. From friendly competition, to racing & structured training programs, Zwift is building a community of like-minded athletes united in the pursuit of a better social fitness experience.

About CANYON//SRAM Racing
Launched in 2016, CANYON//SRAM Racing is a professional women's cycling team racing at the UCI Women's WorldTour level. From the solid foundation of experienced riders to the go-getting attitude of the younger riders, this diverse group of women seem to feed off and inspire each other. With a team motto of ‘better together’ when they are aligned they are part of something special, and even more extraordinary, these women create something special to watch.They generate a momentum and atmosphere that is unique to CANYON//SRAM Racing.

They promote women’s professional cycling, they inspire people to ride all around the globe, and they are committed to delivering incredible stories. ​


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