After months of gruelling indoor workouts, three women have made it through the Zwift Academy to join CANYON//SRAM on their Majorca training camp. One of them will be selected to ride for the team in 2017.
Now in its second year, the team paired up with Zwift in January 2016 to launch a unique, never before tested method of finding their final rider. Aside from the Zwift rider, and the addition of multiple World Champion Pauline Ferrand-Prévot, the roster of nine remains unchanged as of the 2016 season.
In March, over a thousand female riders began following a series of tough indoor workouts and groups rides. The indoor riders formed a community, but they were all competing to make it through to the semi-final selection of just ten hopefuls. Now, the academy has reached its final stage and just three remain.
The three riders are Jessie Donovan, Leah Thorvilson, and Yvonne van Hattum.
Donovan is a professional triathlete, with three Ironman Wins under her belt. She has three children, and also works as an analyst at the University of Vermont. Donovan has always been strong on the bike, having claimed fastest bike split at several events and taken part in competitive cycling races – so is looking to see how far she can go on two wheels alone.
Ex-runner Thorvilson bought a bike in July after running 8 marathons and a 50 miler in 6 months led to a series of injuries that required surgery. She quickly fell in love with the bike, often getting up at 4am to squeeze a ride in before work.
Signing up to the academy with just over a years’ worth of bike riding under her belt, Van Hattum who lives in Dubai used Zwift to complete structured training and found herself on the podium after two stages of the French multiday sportive 'Trophee de l'Oisans' cyclosportive.
All three riders are now settled in Majorca for a week - and Zwift have shared the first video in a series on their Facebook page. Check it out here.