Neve Bradbury on winning the Zwift Academy

Hi, my name is Neve Bradbury. I recently won the Zwift Academy, and a contract with Canyon//SRAM women’s racing! I’m really excited to be sharing my adventures with you in this Voxwomen blog!

2020 was a rough year for most people. I was really lucky to be living in Australia where Covid numbers were relatively low. However, living in Melbourne meant living with some of the strictest lockdown conditions in the world (at the time). There were many restrictions but the hardest one for a cyclist was that we were limited to one hour of exercise outdoors per day and no more than 5k from home. Fortunately I live at the foot of the Dandenong ranges so my 5k radius was pretty great! With only an hour outdoors, Zwift became a part of my everyday training. With no racing on, Zwift races became a part of my program too.

Our restrictions had lifted slightly when Zwift academy began. We were permitted to exercise for two hours outdoors within a 20k radius. This felt like freedom in comparison to the previous conditions! I was in two minds about entering Zwift academy, mostly because I thought I was too young to be competitive.  After chatting to a friend, I decided to give it a go…and thank goodness I did!

Just making the finals of the Zwift academy felt like a big achievement. I knew that winning would mean a pro contract with Canyon//SRAM. Being a pro was something I had dreamt of for a few years! The finals week was intense, and I enjoyed every minute of it.  When it was announced that i had won, it felt surreal. It took a few days for it to sink in. I was so excited to have won, to be a pro, and to have the chance to live, train and race in Europe. What an amazing opportunity I’ve been given!

I’m currently still in Australia. The plan is for me to arrive in Spain mid- to late-March. I’m hoping that 2021 is a much better year for everyone! It’s going to be a year of firsts for me – I’ve just raced the Tour down under riding for the Aussie team, my first time in the green and gold; I’ll be living overseas for the first time; and racing in World tour events. I’m so excited for all the experiences and opportunities this year brings, all because I entered the Zwift academy! I’d recommend to anyone looking for a cycling challenge to give Zwift academy a go! You never know, you might end up with a pro contract!

Thanks for reading my first blog! I hope you continue to follow me on this journey of many firsts! You can also find me on Instagram @neve_bradbury. Till next time, happy riding!

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