Ella Harris wins 2018 Canyon-Sram Zwift Academy and earns professional contract
Dec 17 2018 11:22 pm CET

Ella Harris wins 2018 Canyon-Sram Zwift Academy and earns professional contract
Ella Harris wins 2018 Canyon-Sram Zwift Academy and earns professional contract
Image: Canyon-SRAM logo

Ella Harris from New Zealand has been the winner of the 2018 Canyon//Sram Zwift Academy and will sign a contract with the team for 2019.

This is the third year of the innovative talent identification program and its numbers raised, reaching a total of 5000 participants. The last week had the finals at the team's first training camp in Malaga, Spain and there Harris showed to be the best of them all.

"What another fantastic year it’s been for the Canyon//Sram Zwift Academy," commented Kate Veronneau, Women’s Zwift Academy Lead at Zwift. "While the champions of the Zwift Academy receive the headline, and rightly so, it’s important to highlight the thousands of women who took part in the Academy - many with very different objectives to the winner. It’s fantastic to be a part of such a community and championing women’s cycling."

Harris, Ione Johnson of New Zealand and Mary Wilkinson of the United Kingdom were the three finalist after structured workouts, testing and training, and were then put through serious challenges on and off the bike.

"The Zwift finals were very rewarding, challenging, and incredibly insightful," said the 20-year-old. "It was a very tough and demanding competition throughout the week, that tested me both mentally and physically. Despite being the most significant challenge I've ever completed, being immersed in the team for a week has taught me so much already.

"In 2019 I'm aiming to make a positive contribution and really add value to the team, both on and off the bike. I hope to learn and improve as much as I can by experiencing different races and also through being surrounded by a wonderful team and learning from everyone involved, both staff and riders."

The rider follows the steps of Leah Thorvilson and Tanja Erath, who won in 2017 and 2018. "Ella is another great prospect who showed her all-round abilities during the week here in Málaga," explained Ronny Lauke, Team Manager of Canyon//Sram. "No doubt she will learn a lot from next year on how to adapt to life as a professional rider away from home. I really look forward to welcoming Ella to the team and what she can do out on the road next season."
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