Team TWENTY24 gives Zwifters a chance every week to get to know some of their inspiring female pro cyclists.
Members of the team lead and support the TWENTY24 Road to Tokyo group ride, in addition to joining Zwift races.
“We realize that the foundation of Zwift was built on community by community,” Nicola Cranmer says, “and while the racing is a fantastic opportunity to engage with professional athletes, we love to give back to the community.”
Nicola grew up in the south of England and found her way to America in her early twenties. A former professional mountain bike racer, she founded a women’s professional cycling team in 2004 that would later become TWENTY24 Pro Cycling. She is now owner and general manager of the road, mountain, track, and eSports Team TWENTY24.
Team TWENTY24 owner and general manager Nicola Cranmer
“While my reputation is built on our Olympic training focus, medal results, and the honors our team has received for junior and women’s athlete development,” Nicola says, “I find my greatest strengths and commitments are in the mentorship I provide through youth engagement and serving as a conduit between sport and life for our athletes and families.”
Nicola has also joined up with Kristin Armstrong, 3-time Olympic gold medalist, and fellow cyclist, along wiith Zwifter Heather Hill-Foster, to co-found KX3 Lifestyle + Coaching. They run the new KX3 Women’s Freestyle Ride on Zwift, where all women are welcome to train and learn together.
Nicola has been riding Zwift for a couple of years now. When riding outside, she mostly sticks to mountain biking and gravel riding.
We asked her about Team TWENTY24, her two Zwift rides, and the power of women in cycling. Here’s what she had to say.
(For more information, visit the Team TWENTY24 Facebook page or follow them on Instagram @teamtwenty24. Want to join them on a ride? You'll find details below!)
Zwift: When did Team Twenty24 start, and who started it?
Nicola Cranmer: I started the team 17 years ago as a regional women’s team in Northern California. The team organically grew into a UCI Track Trade Team and then a UCI road team. We have always incorporated juniors in our program. The Zwift team was formed after our participation in the Zwift KISS Super League. The athletes loved it and we’ve never looked back!
Z: What would you say the group’s core purpose and goals are? Why do you believe your group is important to the Zwift community?
N: The purpose of the ride is to support and acknowledge the journeys of our Olympic athletes but also to recognize and discuss everyone’s accomplishments no matter whether it’s in performance or life. We do like to discuss everyone’s weekly Zwift accomplishments, mom and dad jokes are welcome and encouraged, oh and of course to wave at one another, to laugh and have fun!
Z: Who are the group’s leaders on Zwift? Are there any fun facts Zwifters should know about them?
N: Amanda Coker is our community ride leader (for the TWENTY24 Road To Tokyo ride), however, she is definitely over-qualified to be riding an hour around Watopia. Here are some of her stats.
Amanda is a level 50 Zwifter and is an accomplished ultra-endurance IRL (in real life) athlete.
- World Record Holder - 8,012 miles ridden in 30 days
- World Record Holder - 86,573.2 miles ridden in a year - yes that's riding 237 miles per day for 356 straight days
- World Record Holder - 100,000 miles ridden in 423 days
Shayna Powless, Charlotte Backus, Kristen Kulchinsky, and Natalia Franco are regular TWENTY24 community ride support riders. Kristin Kulchinsky is ranked #1 worldwide on Zwift Power, and Shayna Powless is the only Native American female in the pro peloton.
TWENTY24 Road to Tokyo ride leader Amanda Coker (left) and support rider Shayna Powless (left)
Z: Is your group affiliated with a Zwift racing team?
N: We have a professional and junior racing team. We will be starting a Zwift junior club as soon as it’s an option.
Z: Sport can be a powerful platform for equality. How do you think participating in cycling can empower and benefit women and girls?
N: Participating in cycling can be really enhancing to any female’s life. Research has shown that the disciplines associated with sport prepare students for the workplace. Athletes learn many skills that will help them throughout their adult lives, from managing their time to succeeding under pressure. Successfully balancing academics and sport can prepare you for the pressures in the workplace. Forbes Magazine reported that companies should hire athletes because of their drive for success and achieving goals, inclination to take the lead, and desire to work hard, balance multiple projects, think strategically, tune into the big picture, and have long-term goals.
Z: What are the benefits of being involved in a community of women who ride?
N: My team has always been focused on high performance and juniors and it’s been an amazing experience including more women at the entry level through our Road to Tokyo weekly ride but also the KX3 Freestyle workout every Tuesday. The benefits are endless: social community, health benefits, camaraderie, knowledge-sharing opportunities, support systems.
Z: Are there any special memories or experiences with this group that you'd like to share?
N: Every week is memorable on the TWENTY24 Road To Tokyo! Mother-daughter combos riding, sports celebrities joining, cancer survivors chatting, weight loss accomplishments shared and academic victories celebrated!
TWENTY24 Road to Tokyo (mixed gender)
- Schedule: Thursdays 7:00am MST / 15:00 CET
- Length: 1 hour
- Pace: 1.8-2.2 w/kg
- Description: Join members of the TWENTY24 Women's pro cycling team for a social spin. 1.2-2.2 w/kg conversational pace. We encourage all levels including beginners. Read more...
KX3 Women’s Freestyle Ride (women only)
- Schedule: Tuesdays 7:10am MST / 15:10 CET
- Length: 1 hour
- Pace: 1-5 w/kg (Open to all. The workout is based on your FTP and the group sticks together.)
- Description: Join your coach, 3-time Olympic gold medalist, Kristin Armstrong, along with special guests and cycling mentors, for KX3 Lifestyle + Coaching’s weekly women’s group ride! Whether you are new to cycling or looking to take your riding to the next level, each unique 60-minute ride is designed to help you develop and improve upon aerobic fitness, cycling-specific strength, and fuel efficiencies, all while having FUN and learning about all things Zwift!