Zwift Academy Finalists for 2023

only six to finals

it’s here

Women’s finalists:

Katy Hill
Maude le Roux (describes herself as a ‘pro’)
Laura Simenc (grand fondo world champion sponsored by DeRosa)

Zwift Race Richmond results:
Libby Hill and 23rd Street
Hill 1:17 (6.4) and 30.2 (7.2) also had a 27.5 (8.6) recently
Simenc 1:17 (6.5) and 29.6 (7.5)
le Roux 1:22 (6.2) and 34.2 (7.0)

(last 90 days race results)5 minute power and 20 minute power

Hill 332 watts at 5.56 and 291 watts at 4.91
Simenc 299 watts at 5.07 and 275 watts at 4.66
le Roux 291 watts at 5.28 and 256 watts at 4.65

Stay tuned for February finals competition.

Definitely seems to have been scaled back considerably from prior years. Doesn’t sound like GCN will be doing the YouTube videos around the finals this year, either. I wonder if ZA will even happen in 2024.

Someone might want to move this from Feature Requests

My bad…I thought I posted under Zwift Academy.
Please change if possible.

1 Like

All of GCN coverage in the past is listed as sponsored advertising.

My favorites didn’t make it? Bummer.

…to be continued.

I have to laugh that while the women’s competition seems fair enough, the men’s is facing criticism.
It seems that the one candidate did not compete in the mandatory two races per the rules.
But, let’s talk about the women.

I questioned that one of them has had a pro contract. The rules seem only to say that you can not have a contract during the selection and finals. So, as I understand it (and yes I admit being dimly aware of the legal mumbo jumbo) as long as your contract is not a two year contract and you haven’t signed a contract (yet) for 2024, you are eligible. It isn’t the same as being an amateur, but at least they showed me that my first assumption was wrong.

When you consider the prospects, two seem fairly strong with a pretty good sprint (certainly not track material.) The other rider is great in the long run at 20 and 30 minutes running over 5 w/kg (a sort of golden standard for pro women) The trouble with some sprinters, I’m told, is that they are sometimes not strong enough to make it with the peloton over a hill in order to contest the sprint. And often, many teams have a sprinter who needs a better lead out or someone who can pull for the captain/gc rider.

As good as the one rider is, a much older rider (the great Rachael) recently rode at 5.4 w/kg in an event. Of the races I’ve had with her, I never came close to drafting her for more than a minute into the race. I knew only second place was possible, and so, I aimed at just that. Rachael has real class too. She’s the first to say some kind words to others.

Partly, the problem with the finals/competition is that I’m not really attached to any of the riders. I’ve seen them all race but I was rooting for GG who wasn’t chosen despite having better numbers. Perhaps she can take solace in that I think the pros look at her as a true mountain biker and probably felt that she wasn’t in a position to simply cross over to professional road racing.

Usually, I wouldn’t post my personal thoughts in this forum. But, I am surprised nobody has really spoken up about either competition. A little more feedback from the coach’s and judges would add a lot of dimension to all of this. This November/February experiment seem like it failed in comparison to the September/December of past years.

Honestly, I have no idea even what to say. Outside of the fact that ZA happened a few months ago, I didn’t see any news about any of the potential finalists (well, actually not any news at all) until the small list of finalists was released recently.

From my POV, there have been a real loss of potential marketing in the entire process. It’s sort of fun to take part in the process, even if most know going into it that they don’t have a chance at making the finals, but without more ‘hype’ it’s really nothing more than another Tour de Zwift or Tour of Watopia. Do the events, get the kit items, and wait for the next one to come along.

I hope they do more with it in 2024, but it feels more likely thst they’ll just drop it altogether.

It’s also funny that the fuss over whether one rider qualifies according to the rules was met with a quote from the rules that ‘all selections of the judges are final and are not subject to (public) review.’

On the men’s side honestly sad to see that there are no true “Zwifters”. Everyone uses Zwift, the development teams, junior teams, and pro teams. Thought that Zwift academy was supposed to take a “Zwifter” and turn them into a pro, not take some conti riders and take them to the next level.


The judges are quick to dismiss zwift-only results.
Honestly, outdoor results are what they are really looking at.
They just use zwift to help identify additional candidates.

What Zwift should do is start a 13 year old program and give this group five years to grow the talent pool for 2029. Give them some coaching and training programs, including outdoor riding and workouts. Think of the 12 year olds who would use zwift to get into the teen program in 2025. Or the 16 year olds that could benefit from two years in the teen academy. Sure, any fun competitions would be won by a 16 or 17 year old and there wouldn’t be hundreds of teens joining, but at least the ones that want to can get into it without joining a zwift race with all sorts of adult riders.

In women’s cycling, the pay is so awful that plenty of pro contracts might as well be considered still amateur. Someone who has to buy her own bike and pay her own way to races and change kit in a grocery store bathroom stall after the race is effectively being treated as an amateur.


Am I missing something, I haven’t seen anything then the announcement. Where can we find such info about all this what is being discussed?

Unfortunately, this is getting more attention than Zwift is.

uci 2024 world e championships

Sounds very similar to innovative Zwift race style.