We promised more than a talent ID contest, and the women of Zwift Academy delivered!
September 1st marks the end of the Qualifying Stage of the inaugural Zwift Academy, and we have good reason to celebrate. The numbers paint a pretty impressive picture of what has transpired in the last 3 months, as 1200 women from 51 countries accepted our challenge to complete a series of structured workouts and group rides for a chance of winning a pro contract with CANYON//SRAM Racing.
The stats are remarkable, but they don't tell the full story. You just can't gauge the strength of this community purely on numbers. On September 7th, we'll announce 10 Semi-Finalists whose performances make them viable candidates to compete at the highest level of women's cycling, but at this moment, we'd like to recognize the outstanding effort and enthusiasm of this entire community.
The women of Zwift Academy are an inspiration. They showed dedication and perseverance, juggling the intense workouts with the demands of careers and kids. They dealt with injuries and setbacks. They honed their strengths and targeted their weaknesses. In their unwavering support of one another, they demonstrated that you can be both a fierce competitor and a team player. Just like that, they turned a competition into a community.
What's next? The riders that completed the Qualifying Stage by the August 31st deadline will receive a commemorative 2016 Zwift Academy Graduating Class Virtual Kit, as well as a special bonus from our partners at Rapha - a real life, limited edition 2016 Zwift Academy cycling cap, inspired by CANYON//SRAM Racing.
We also decided to extend graduation, due to the overwhelming positivity and hard work of the participants. Riders who reach 100% by September 30th will still graduate with the class of 2016 and earn the 2016 Zwift Academy Virtual Kit (sorry the Rapha cap is limited to riders who finished by the original deadline of August 31st). We'll also continue those popular group training rides to keep the community together!
Stay tuned for the next chapter of Zwift Academy, as 10 Semi-Finalists are challenged to new workouts, interviews, on-site rides and testing to determine if they have what it takes to compete at a world-class level.