How does the chance to join a professional women’s cycling team sound as a motivation for giving it your all when training? Give it some welly with Zwift training, and you could end up on the start line in Canyon//SRAM team colours.
The new women’s road cycling World Tour team, which launched in 2015, has announced a partnership with the online virtual training program Zwift to find a new team member for 2017. Zwift is a social game-based system which uses a massive multiplayer-style format to allow people from around the world to ride and race against other cyclists and the pros.
Named the ‘Canyon//SRAM Racing & Zwift Academy Project’, the call for entrants will open in March 2016, and will be open to female riders from around the world. The program is supported by team partners Rapha, Wahoo Fitness, Zipp and Quarq.
Canyon//SRAM rider Tiffany Cromwell launched the program earlier today at the Tour Down Under in Adelaide, during a live virtual ride on Zwift.
“Unfortunately the development pathways for female riders don’t compare to the men’s side of the sport,” Cromwell stated. “But rather than swim against the tide, we’re taking the bull by the horns and shaking things up with Zwift. Cycling’s stars possess extraordinary physical attributes and we’re confident one or two of those rough diamonds are out there to be unearthed on the Zwift platform.“
How will the rider be selected?
Canyon//SRAM and Zwift are working together to develop a series of tasks – including group rides and training programs – which will help identify potential candidates.
“Over the course of the year, the numbers will be whittled down until only three remain. These three will then compete on real and virtual roads for a place in the 2017 Canyon//SRAM team. More information on participation will be released closer to the launch date.
Zwift are excited at the prospect of using their technology as a way of identifying the cycling stars of the future. “We’ve been working on a similar concept for some time so we were blown away when (Canyon//SRAM Racing director) Ronny Lauke suggested it to us,” said Zwift CEO Eric Min.
“The world is full of young cyclists with raw talent that we may not be noticing,” Canyon//SRAM racing director Ronny Lauke added. “That’s a huge problem for the sport and we want to challenge this as much as possible.
“Of course, there are other criteria to becoming a pro cyclist, like attitude, bike handling and a good tactical brain, but without an exceptional engine you won’t get too far. This is going to be an exciting adventure with Zwift.”