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by Mark Zalewski
December 20, 2016
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Brailsford finally discloses nature of 2011 Sky mystery package for Wiggins, yet questions linger; Zwift Academy rider Leah Thorvilson wins Canyon-SRAM contract; Elite racer turned orthopedic surgeon to conduct extensive concussion and injury study among pro, amateur cyclists; Vansummeren on life after racing; Funvic Soul Cycles-Carrefour team suspended for multiple doping positives; MPCC sponsors call for additional commitment to fighting other kinds of cheating; American Owen to skip cyclocross to focus on road; Young Aussie champion Alex Morgan steps away from cycling; Team Sky dines on Norwegian salmon prize at camp; Backlash over New Zealand brewery’s ad promotion with Lance Armstrong; British track sprinter Williamson to return after serious crash; Documentary: ‘From the South UP.’
Canyon-SRAM has announced the winner of its novel approach to talent identification, the Zwift Academy. Beating out 1,200 participants world-wide, American Leah Thorvilson has been awarded a pro contract with the Canyon-SRAM UCI team.
“I hope that I can live up to the team and be developed into something special,” said Thorvilson.
Thorvilson, 37, is a former US Olympic Marathon Trials runner who fell in love with cycling only a year ago after injuries prevented her from running.
“I was told [in 2015] that I might not ever be able to run again, so for sanity’s sake, I begrudgingly bought a bike. I never expected to enjoy cycling. I was terrified of it. One ride in, July 2, 2015, and I was hooked,” she told Zwift. “I have logged nearly 12,000 miles since and loved every bit of it.”
Thorvilson was one of 1,200 women who enrolled in the Zwift Academy, which had riders complete structured training and testing sessions for several months using Zwift. Part training tool, part multiplayer online game and part social network, Zwift enables cyclists to virtually ride together in real time and compete on the virtual copies of famous race courses while never leaving their own home.
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