Online cycling/fitness platform Zwift has announced the return of Zwift Academy community training programme which is best known for its talent identification having helped nine riders progress to professional teams.
Enrolment is open now with the Zwift Academy Road training programme getting underway on 30th August. Zwifters must complete a series of six workouts, two recovery rides, and new for this year, two benchmarking rides: the Baseline Ride and the Finish Line Ride.
“The Baseline Ride should be completed at the start of Zwift Academy and will see Zwifters challenged to set PRs on dedicated segments designed to test sprint, anaerobic and aerobic efforts,” says Zwift.
“The Baseline and Finish Line rides will be held as events on new custom event only routes in Watopia. There will be two distances available:
• Standard rides will be held on the new ‘Legends and Lava’ route, starting in Fuego Flats and will include the Titans Grove Reverse KOM: 0.9km / 6.6%, the Sprint Forward: 0.4km, and finally the Volcano KOM: 3.8km / 3.2%.
• Advanced rides will be held on the new ‘Climber’s Gambit’ course, starting on Watopia Pier before tackling the Sprint Reverse: 0.2km, Titans Grove Reverse KOM: 0.9km / 6.6% and finally the Epic KOM Reverse: 6.3km / 6.3%.
If you’re new to Zwift Academy you’ll also have the option of an Orientation Workout, a 25-minute low-intensity aerobic ride designed to take you through all the Zwift Academy basics.
Zwift Academy isn’t all about talent ID, it’s designed for anyone who wants the challenge of completing a training plan. It covers many basic principles of training and is designed to be fun and rewarding.
That said, there are two professional cycling contracts up for grabs with Alpecin Fenix and CANYON//SRAM.
If you’re looking for a pro contract you must complete the full Zwift Academy programme and complete a few compulsory checks. You must wear a heart rate monitor, be paired to the game with a smart trainer or power meter, connect your account with Today’s Plan, and ensure you complete the ‘Advanced’ Baseline and Finish Line ride events. Get all the details you need for competing here.
“In addition, budding pros must also complete the two ‘Pro Contender’ events - the Pro Contender TT Race and the Pro Contender Workout,” says Zwift. “The TT Race takes place on Zwift’s Road to the Sky course. Riders will be on TT bikes and challenged to set their best time up the Alpe. The Pro Contender Workout is an advanced workout designed to push these riders to their limits.”
Last year’s Zwift Academy winner Jay Vine is currently competing for Alpecin-Fenix in La Vuelta a España.
The Zwift Academy Road programme begins on 30th August and ends on 24th October 2001. For more information, head to zwift.com/academy
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.