Zwift Academy Finals on GCN [2022]

The time has come!!! The Zwift Academy Finals are live on GCN’s YouTube. You can check out the playlist here or watch the first episode here. I will be updating this thread daily with the newest episode or you can watch on GCN’s YouTube until the final episode on December 16th!!!


It’s time for episode 2!

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@manda_F How much say does Zwift get in how this process runs? Personally, I would like to see everyone stay the full time, with the winner picked from the full complement of invitees at the end. People have bad days, but might impress on a day after they would otherwise have been eliminated. I think the extra competition each day would be great, too.


Episode 3 is here!!

@Nigel_Tufnel - Thank you for the feedback! I will share this with the team :slight_smile:

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Would love to see some people of color too, representation matters.


This is an interesting comment, Mike. I don’t disagree in any way, but I’m not sure how to achieve this (at least from a Zwift POV). In theory, at least, the selection of the finalists is colorblind, and based on performance during the ZA process. So it would seem that in order to have a more diverse group of ZA finalists we would also need a more diverse group of Zwifters. And to have a more diverse group of Zwifters means we need a more diverse group of cyclists, in general. A complex issue, for sure. Perhaps Zwift (or another sponsor) could subsidize some ZA activities in certain parts of the world, but I’m not sure what else can be done. (There are probably a lot of things, they just aren’t coming to me right now.)


Cycling is certainly a very white sport with a very high cost barrier of entry. The only thing I can think of is reserve spots based on region, having one male and one female from African/Caribbean region, Central/South America, Europe, Australia/New Zealand, Asia, etc… I don’t know?

Canyon supports cycling teams at HBCU’s so seems like they already have some interest in this area, and obviously support the ZA… seems like a good fit!

Look at GCN videos on YouTube. They almost never have a brown face. All of their “beginners” and “enthusiastic amateurs” and other guest riders are white.

The last time I recall a brown face in a GCN video was when they interviewed a rider who was planning on riding around the USA or something.

sounds about white


GCN doesn’t choose the finalists though… they just produce the youtube content right?

They choose the presenters. Their entire presenting team (UK at least) is white.

Isn’t this just the aftermath of the whole issue, though, since all (or at least most) of their presenters are ex-cyclists?

There’s no reason they need to be though. GCN has been around for nearly a decade. Sure, ex-racing cyclists was the attraction that helped get it off the ground, but it’s long been established now.

But sure, I take more umbrage at the “beginner” and “amateur” people they put in their videos. Are there really only white people around Bath or wherever it is they’re based?

The guests too. OK, Andrew Feather is white, Mark Beaumont is white, that fixie guy they have on sometimes is white. Those people aren’t at fault. But I’m sure GCN could do more. There’s BCN they could do things with or use for contacts. There’s Brothers on Bikes. No doubt there are other people they could speak to.

They’re in a prime position to change the perception of cycling as a sport for white people. Instead, they perpetuate it.

Of course, it’s not Zwift’s fault, but it is Zwift’s fault they choose to partner with GCN for these videos; and Zwift could use their influence to drive representation. Use the Legion connection to get a guest presenter in there perhaps.

A little off topic, I appreciate, but I have a real bee in my bonnet about GCN and representation. =)


Episode 4 is live in 10 minutes!

Time for episode 5! Who do you think will win the Zwift Academy Finals?