Zwift, the online training platform for triathletes worldwide, has announced the return of the Specialized Zwift Academy Tri Team with a newly expanded roster of eight athletes. Open for application from today, Zwift will be seeking a team of amateur triathletes with a view to competing at the 2019 IRONMAN World Championships.
The Specialized Zwift Academy Tri Team will have eyes fully focused on the IRONMAN World Championships in Kona on October 2019. Zwift adds that it expects to consider all candidates for selection, from a range of all ages, nationalities and abilities. For some on the team, this may mean attempting to qualify for the first time, for others, it may be the year to step onto the Kona podium.
“Before 2018, I hadn’t even completed an IRONMAN,” said Bex Rimmington, 2018 Specialized Zwift Academy Team member. “I’d always dreamed of taking part, so when I saw the announcement of the Specialized Zwift Academy last year, I knew I had to give it a shot – never thinking I’d actually make the squad! Being selected and then actually qualifying for Kona on my first attempt was like a fairytale.”
To assist the team in their training and race preparation, the Specialized Zwift Academy Tri Team has recruited the expert knowledge of triathlon legends Tim Don and Sarah True. Both Tim and Sarah will meet with the team at the first camp at Specialized’s headquarters in spring 2019 and will provide support throughout the 2019 season.
“It was a wonderful experience mentoring the team last year, and for me it was somewhat therapeutic,” said Tim Don, multiple IRONMAN champion. “Kona is another level from anything else out there – it’s a combination of the heat, wind and the pressure of being at a World Championships. It’s difficult to get right. I’ve had mixed fortunes there over the years, but I look forward to sharing my experiences with the new team members in 2019.”
‘Alongside expert guidance, the team will be supported with some of the best equipment the industry has to offer from brands including Specialized, Wahoo, Roka and Science in Sport.’
“I’m once again blown away by how much support has been invested in the team,” said Eric Min, Zwift CEO and Co-Founder. “The level of support provided by Specialized for example, really is something only reserved for their very best athletes. This is one of the very best supported amateur teams in triathlon.”
Specialized returns as headline sponsor and will be supplying the team with bikes, helmets and shoes. In addition, the team will also benefit from the ‘money can’t buy’ experience of time in the Specialized ‘Win Tunnel’ at their headquarters in Morgan Hill, CA. Here, the athletes will perfect their position on the bike to ensure the maximum aerodynamic gains are found.
“We are stoked to be back for the second year of the Specialized Zwift Academy,” said Mark Cote, Head of Global Marketing and Innovation at Specialized. “Last year was an exciting year, from seeing the team for their aero testing here in Morgan Hill right through to seeing them once again at the launch of our new Shiv at the IRONMAN World Championships in Kona.
“This year, with a bigger team, we will improve the performance of more riders. They will all be on the new Shiv Disc, and we look forward to seeing them go faster than ever before.”
Joining Specialized as a returning sponsor is Wahoo, as the official training hardware supplier. Wahoo will be supplying all members with a full pain cave setup including Wahoo KICKR, CLIMB and HEADWIND. In addition, team members will be supplied with Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT bike computers and TICKR X heart rate straps.
Roka also returns and will supply the team with Maverick X wetsuits, Viper swimskins for Kona, a selection of eyewear along with the official team tri suits.
New to the team this year is Science in Sport, which is on board as the team’s official nutrition supplier.
“We’re delighted to be partnering with the Specialized Zwift Academy Tri Team,” said Ashley Read, Managing Director at Science in Sport. “The fuelling demands of indoor training is an area we’re interested to explore and through working closely with the team we’re excited to get started. We’ll be providing the team with a full range of Science in Sport products including our patented GO Isotonic Energy Gels & HYDRO range. We’ll also support with a number of concept products currently in beta testing.”
Applications for the 2019 Specialized Zwift Academy are now open. Entrants must be Zwift level 12 cyclists and level 3 runners or above.