Zwift Academy is a community of fun-loving, competitive women from all corners of the globe. They are moms, daughters, doctors, lawyers, caretakers, entrepreneurs, bosses, and more, who remarkably balance training with all of life's responsibilities.
Each week, we'll tell one rider's story to uncover a little bit more of the motivations and personalities behind this inspiring group of women.
Yvonne Van Hattum has been cycling for a little over 1 year when she joined Zwift Academy to see how structured training could improve her fitness. Within a few short months, she landed on the podium for 2 stages of the daunting 'Trophee de l'Oisans' cyclosportive and earned a spot in the Semi-Finals for Zwift Academy! Here's her story...
Why did you join Zwift Academy?
It was actually my husband Jasper who pointed it out to me and suggested that I should participate. After reading more about it. I got really excited to participate in a great training program together with women from all around the world.
How has the training impacted your life so far?
It has been such a great experience!
I loved making the schedules and planning the Zwift sessions around my outdoor rides. The workouts have really helped me in making me a stronger rider and preparing me for the Marmotte cyclosportive that Jasper and I did this summer in France.
What do you do when you are not riding your bike?
Jasper and I live in Dubai since 2014 and we both have full time jobs. I am just about to change jobs from being the Quality & Training Manager at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Dubai to a Business Support Manager and HR for a non-hospitality company.
We love to hang out with friends and enjoying everything Dubai has to offer.
Do you have kids or pets? How do they feel about your Zwift station?
We have no kids and no pets. I tried to explain Zwift to some of my non-cycling friends and colleagues and I love seeing the look on their faces when I show them photos of our cycling-room ... priceless! :-)
Cyclists have to replace a lot of calories. What is your favorite post-ride treat?
In Dubai we have to leave super early for cycling outdoors (like 5am) so I love a BIG breakfast after cycling; eggs benedict, pancakes, complimented with good coffee will do the trick!
What’s one of your most memorable moments on a bike?
This summer Jasper and I participated in the 'Trophee de l'Oisans' which is a multiple day cyclosportive in France with 'La Marmotte' as the main event. Having been on the bike for less than a year it was a great goal and challenge to work towards and I absolutely LOVED riding in the Mountains.
As a big surprise to myself I finished on the podium in 2 of the 4 races and finished 2nd overall in the womens' category!
La Marmotte was a tough ride with nearly 5000 meters of climbing and 175 km long, but I really managed it well thanks to the great preparation with Zwift Academy and the support of Jasper.
Where has your bike taken you, physically and/or mentally?
I never thought that I could be a cyclist and even though I have always been active in different sports like field hockey and running, cycling was never something that I thought would suit me.
My dad has always been a cyclist and so has Jasper. When I finally got on the bike a year ago and cycled up the Alpe d'Huez, I really found my sports-match-made-in-heaven.
It really gives such a great workout every time and I love the social aspect of the cycling community. I can forget about all stressful things in life and enjoy the challenge, scenery and good company.
Describe Zwift in 5 words
Fun, Wahoo KICKR, Sweat, Pain-cave, Ride On!