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by Shane Stokes
August 2, 2017
In today’s Daily News Digest: Ewan wins stage four of the Tour of Poland; Landa takes stage one of the Vuelta a Burgos; Aru to lead Astana team at Vuelta a España; Hermans recovering from concussion and multiple fractures; Kennaugh and Oss ink contracts with Bora-hansgrohe; Movistar signs Argentinian climber Sepúlveda; Dunbar to make pro debut with Aqua Blue Sport; Cookson expresses confidence about re-election chances; Zwift Academy expands to men’s cycling, contract with Dimension Data under 23 team up for grabs; Wahoo Fitness launches new ELEMNT MINI bike computer; Merida announces voluntary fork recall: 2017 Scultura CF2 models; Video: Phil Gaimon’s “Worst Retirement Ever,” Episode 6: Mt. Hamilton
Having previously been involved in the awarding of a pro contract by the Canyon/Sram Racing Team to newcomer Leah Thorvilson for this season, Zwift is taking a similar approach to men’s racing. Former marathon runner Thorvilson secured her slot through strong performances with the online Zwift Academy, and the company announced on Tuesday that it will do the same for the men’s peloton.
Zwift has partnered with Team Dimension Data and its charitable partner, Qhubeka. Starting on September 1, the graduates of the 2017 Team Dimension Data/Zwift Academy will unlock charitable donations to Qhubeka, funded by Zwift.
It said that the top performing graduates under 22 years of age will then battle it out for a contract on the Team Dimension Data Continental Squad for 2018. “Zwift has proven itself to not only be a rigorous data and training platform, but also a place where cyclists around the world can come together, engage, and become better riders,” says Team Dimension Data Team Principal Doug Ryder.
“We want to take part in this unique experience to not only identify and discover talent, but also to educate others about our charity partner Qhubeka, an organization that works to bring rural communities across Africa closer to nutritious food, clean water, schools, employment, and health care by providing them with utility bicycles.”
The first phase of the Zwift Academy will see participants engage in a six week structured training program designed by elite coaches, plus a roster of group rides and races. An anticipated 5,000 graduates will then be narrowed down to ten under 23 riders, who will complete an additional two weeks of riding and training. After that three finalists will go to the team training camp in Cape Town, South Africa, in November, with one then being selected for the team contract.
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