German Tanja Erath has been announced as the winner of the Zwift Academy Women to earn a professional contract in 2018 with Canyon-SRAM. The 28-year-old former triathlete beat more than 2,100 competitors, including Siri Hildonen and Bri Torkelson in the final, for a place on the roster.
"I started this confident in my skills as a cyclist and a racer, but had no idea it'd end with me here in Koblenz with a WorldTour schedule ahead of me," said Erath. "It's been such a journey and I'm humbled by the talent I've been up against, especially with Siri and Bri. I'm so overwhelmed!"
Erath follows in the footsteps of Leah Thorvilson in winning the Zwift Academy Women and earning a contract with the Canyon-SRAM team. Erath is likely to make her racing debut with the team in the spring of 2018 and, with the example of Thorvilson to follow, team manager Ronny Lauke is confident of success.
"We took a chance with the Zwift Academy last year and we're very happy with what it brought to our team," said Lauke. "Leah is a great addition and, seeing Tanja's dedication, drive, and strength only reminds us we've got a great program here to bring talent into the women's peloton."
The Dimension Data for Qhubeka Continental team also utilised the Zwift Academy in 2017 to identify young talent and add winner Ollie Jones to its roster. The Zwift Academy will again return for 2018.
Erath completes the Canyon-SRAM roster for the 2018 season, joining her new teammates Alena Amialiusik (Blr), Alice Barnes (GBr), Hannah Barnes (GBr), Elena Cecchini (Ita), Tiffany Cromwell (Aus), Pauline Ferrand-Prévot (Fra), Lisa Klein (Ger), Kasia Niewiadoma (Pol), Leah Thorvilson (USA), Christa Riffel (Ger), Alexis Ryan (USA) and Trixi Worrack (Ger).