The 2017 men’s Zwift Academy has come to a close, and Team Dimension Data has a new team member for their U23 squad. Following the successful talent search for the Canyon // SRAM women’s race team with Leah Thorvilson taking the win in 2016, the Zwift Academy was back for 2017 to give junior men a shot.
This time, 9,200 cyclists signed up for the Zwift Academy which took place over six weeks – all within the virtual confines of Zwift. Ten U23 finalists were selected for a two week long semi-finals, with both indoor and outdoor competitions. From there, three finalists were chosen to attend the Team dimension Data end of season team camp in Cape Town, South Africa. While there, Ollie Jones (New Zealand), Sam Mobberley (New Zealand), and Nick White (Australia) all competed head to head to win the single spot on the roster for 2018.
When the actual dust settled, it was Ollie Jones who went home with a new riding kit stating, ““To say this is a dream come true is the understatement of the year. It’s a life changing experience and I still can’t believe it’s happening. Nick and Sam were incredible competitors in the Academy Final and, after this camp, good friends. Now I’m onto the next challenge of making the move to a new home in Lucca, Italy and doing everything I can to support my teammates in the season ahead.”
Who says video games are a wast of time?