Wellens wins Tour of Guangxi, Sperotto takes women’s event: Daily News Digest

by Shane Stokes

October 25, 2017

Wellens wins the Tour of Guangxi, Gaviria takes four of six stages; Sperotto takes Tour of Guangxi Women’s Elite World Challenge; Gaviria helps earn ‘all-time best’ tally for QuickStep Floors; First Zwift Academy Winner Leah Thorvilson Extends Contract with Canyon-Sram; Varnish may have route back to British Cycling track programme; Boulder Valley Velodrome up for sale; Video: Tour of Guangxi 2017 | Stage 6 highlights

First Zwift Academy Winner Leah Thorvilson Extends Contract with Canyon-Sram

by Aliya Traficante, Ella Intern

The American ex-marathon runner, Leah Thorvilson, will continue with Canyon-Sram in 2018 after riding herself to a year-long pro contract as the first Zwift Academy winner. Truly being thrown into the “deep end”, Thorvilson was released into the pro peloton without any previous race experience. The question was whether she would sink, or swim. While she still has a long road of development ahead of her, she certainly stayed afloat.

“Prior to Zwift Academy, I’d never have guessed this was possible,” said Thorvilson. “Fast forward 12 months and I feel I’m only just getting to grips with life in the peloton. There’s still a lot for me to learn and I’ll be dedicating this winter to improving my technical skills, before returning to Europe in the springtime. I’m so grateful for the opportunity and I can’t wait to begin this next chapter with the Canyon/SRAM Racing team.”

Thorvilson will contribute to the team goals and, personally, hopes to see herself on the podium at Belgian and Dutch national level races.

“Last season I worked very hard, but I think I also gave myself some grace with the end result. Everything was new and I kept looking only at the positives. This coming year I will be holding myself to a higher standard. I was given this chance because people believe in me and that I can be more. I aim to prove them right.”

“Leah’s first season was a baptism of fire,” said team manager Ronny Lauke. “She’s an incredible athlete but that’s just the first part of the jigsaw puzzle. Her resilience and character has won the admiration of team staff and we’re committed to investing in her talent through 2018.”