We are pleased to announce the 10 Semi-Finalists of the inaugural Zwift Academy!
These women have distinguished themselves with stellar all-around performances in the Qualifying Stage. Today, they advance to the next round of the competition, edging even closer to the the Grand Prize: a pro contract with CANYON//SRAM Racing for 2017. Hailing from all corners of the globe, they are mothers, businesswomen, artists, students and highly accomplished athletes.
Our partners at Wahoo and SRAM will be awarding each Semi-Finalist with a Wahoo KICKR Snap Trainer and a Quarq Power Meter to help drive them through this next stage of Zwift Academy. Between now and December 1st, they will be challenged to a series of Zwift Structured Workouts, Zwift Group Training Rides and Outdoor Workouts designed by the coaches at TrainSharp. These 10 contenders will be competing for 1 of 3 Finalists spots who will be invited to CANYON//SRAM Racing's team training camp in Mallorca at the end of the year.
Congratulations to all participants! Without further adieu, here are this year's Semi-Finalists...
An Insight Manager for BCMS, Rachael hails from Newbury, Berkshire in the United Kingdom. Rachel played violin professionally for a year and now plays in quartets and leads the Newbury Symphony. A former runner who has done a few triathlons, she has been cycling now for 4 years, including winning the Brompton World Championship twice.
Bel is an Early Intervention Teacher working with young children with developmental delays and disabilities from Tasmania, Australia. She is mom to two children, a boy and a girl, and has a diverse athletic background, competing in marathon, netball and basketball. She has been cycling for 3 years.
A recent Graduate from University of Texas with a B.S. in Geosystems Engineering, Becca now lives in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with her husband. She is currently training full-time and coaches a children’s triathlon program. An accomplished collegiate triathlete, Becca has been cycling for 6 years. Her athletic background includes equestrian, track and soccer.
Yvonne van Hattum
Originally from Netherlands, Yvonne currently resides in Dubai, UAE, with her husband. She is the Quality & Training Manager at The Ritz-Carlton. A former field hockey player, Yvonne started running in 2008 before she turned to cycling just last year.
Luisa Daniela Hernandez
Our youngest competitor at just 19 years old, Luisa Daniela hails from Bogota, Colombia where she is concentrating on racing her bike. She has been in the sport for 4 years after switching from speed skating.
Out of Ann Arbor, Michigan, Kaitlyn is a 1st year Medical Student at University of Michigan. A life-long endurance athlete, she raced Division 1 collegiate cross country and track before transitioning after college to triathlon and eventually mountain biking. She has also competed in cross country skiing. Kaitlyn has been cycling now for 4 years.
Mara lives in Mill Valley, California, with her husband and son. A former college soccer player with a Fine Art degree, Mara has competed in running and triathlon in addition to road racing. When she's not riding her bike, she has dreams of becoming an artist. She has been cycling for 15 years.
Currently living in Atlanta, GA, but originally from Bucharest, Romania, Clara is mom to 3 children, all of whom she home schools. She is a former High School Spanish Teacher with a Masters Degree in Linguistics and Spanish. Clara, who also ran, speed skated and played basketball and tennis, started riding in 1996, but took a 13 year break before coming back to cycling just this past year.
Leah lives in Little Rock, Arkansas, where she is a Development Officer at her alma mater, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. An accomplished distance runner, Leah ran in the US Olympic Marathon Trials in 2012. She has been cycling for just 1 year.
Clare Treharne McGreevy
A mother to 3 children, Clare lives in St. Ouen, Jersey in the Channel Islands where she is a partner at an accountancy firm. Clare began riding her bike just 3 years ago and started racing almost immediately, representing Jersey in the Island Games in 2015. She balances out her competitive efforts and busy lifestyle with Ashtanga yoga.
From all of us at Zwift HQ, we'd like to recognize the incredible effort that the women of the 2016 Zwift Academy have demonstrated. Your determination, enthusiasm and overwhelming support of one another have inspired us beyond all expectations. Today, 10 Semi-Finalists are moving forward, but thanks to everyone, Zwift Academy is here to stay :)