Caitlin Conyers still in the race for professional contract
Caitlin Conyers survived the first elimination stage of the Zwift Academy finals where the female finalists were reduced to four after the three points race in Mallorca, Spain, today.
Conyers, who was named rider of the day during the hill climb in Thursday’s second race of competition, advanced through to tomorrow’s second elimination round with Imogen Alton (Australia), Maud Oudeman (Netherlands) and Rachael Wales (Australia), as Willemijn Prins of the Netherlands was eliminated.
It means she remains in the race for a professional contract with one male rider gaining the chance to compete for Alpecin-Fenix and one woman a place with the Canyon-SRAM team.
The programme, a virtual app that helps cyclists, runners and triathletes maximise their training, is designed to identify new cycling talent and award two riders a contract with a top World Tour team.
The opportunity for Conyers came through a twist of fate when she was forced to withdraw from the Bermuda team for the prestigious UCI Road World Championships, in Belgium in September after receiving a positive Covid-19 test prior to departure.
“I only decided to do it this year because I had to quarantine and luckily I had no symptoms,” she told The Royal Gazette ahead of the competition.
“I was stuck in my room with my bike set up with Zwift. Essentially, Zwift set workouts and group rides that have to be completed in a certain time period.
“There is also additional stuff to complete but throughout the whole process they don’t disclose anything about the data or performances so you have no idea how you are doing.”
In what would have been the off-season, the 31-year-old was forced to switch her focus to competing against other top riders.
“It definitely gave me a whole new motivation,” Conyers added. “It kick-started my season again. Normally I’d be in my off-season but I’ve been in full training mode again.
“This opportunity is absolutely huge and pretty unbelievable. Especially considering I have the potential chance to be part of a World Tour cycling team; it’s huge.”