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Maddie Le Roux and Louis Kitzki awarded contracts with CANYON//SRAM Generation and Alpecin-Deceuninck Development team for the 2024 season

For the eighth year, the Zwift Academy talent identification and training program, in partnership with Alpecin-Deceuninck and CANYON//SRAM, has awarded professional contracts to two athletes who distinguished themselves above all others. South Africa’s Maddie Le Roux will join CANYON//SRAM Generation and Germany’s Louis Kitzki will join the Alpecin-Deceuninck Development Team. These two talented riders will add their names to a glittering list of Zwift Academy alumni, including Neve Bradbury and Jay Vine.

Maddie and Louis set themselves apart from more than 108,000 Zwifters who participated in the 2023 Zwift Academy. They were among the finalists - three women and three men - who were invited to their respective team camps for finals in Denia.

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At the finals, all the finalists participated in challenges and races on the road as well as a Zwift race, met with coaches and team staff as well as joined the group rides with athletes from their potential future teams. Maddie distinguished herself by having strong power numbers and high-level race experience. Viewing this as her last opportunity to take her cycling career to the next level, Maddie approached each challenge with intense focus and a calm demeanor.

Adam Szabó, Team Director at CANYON//SRAM Generation says: “Maddie excelled in many of the challenges but where she stood out from all the finalists was supporting her designated leaders during the Zwift race. This moment was a turning point in the week, and we were sure this was what we were looking for in our team. We’re excited to welcome her to the team.”

“I’m excited to finally be able to share the news, it still feels unbelievable, to be honest, but I’m sure it’ll sink in soon,” said winner Maddie Le Roux. “It’s been a whirlwind since coming back from finals, but I am looking forward to joining the team in Europe and getting the season started.”

Louis impressed the coaching staff at finals with his raw talent, ambition and determination showcasing a huge amount of development potential. The youngest of the ZA Finalists, Louis took advantage of his exposure to the team’s coaches and the innovative talent identification opportunity Zwift Academy presents.

Kristof de Kegel, Performance Manager at Alpecin-Deceuninck says: “This edition, the finalists were the closest ever to compare on a physical level. Louis has the combination of a young age with the belief and awareness that his ‘weak points’ are only working points, which gave him the advantage over the other finalists. All three had massive physical capacities but Louis in our opinion the most workable profile in the long term.”

“The Zwift Academy Finals was such a unique experience riding with the team and getting to spend that time with the coaches, it is such a great way to really test if you can handle the professional cycling lifestyle,” said winner Louis Kitzki. “I am so excited to join the Alpecin-Deceuninck development team for the coming season, to learn from some of the world’s best cyclists, and hopefully follow in Luca’s footsteps!”

Maddie and Louis have been settling into their new teams since January. They’ve been enjoying riding on their specially designed Zwift Academy Canyon Aeroad and are looking forward to representing their new teams at the early season races.

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Eurosport will air a four-episode series covering the Zwift Academy finals, beginning 20th February 1930CET. The winners will be unveiled at the end of the final episode on 23rd February. The series will also be available globally on the Eurosport YouTube Channel, with each episode published immediately after the broadcast episodes.

To learn more about the finalists and to see how you can stay up to date with the latest Zwift Academy news, read more here.

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About Zwift

Zwift is the fitness company born from gaming. We’re dedicated fitness enthusiasts, experienced video game developers, and disruptive thinkers. Play is in our DNA and we know fun fuels results.

Zwift utilizes massively multiplayer online gaming technology to create rich, 3D worlds ripe for exploration. Join thousands of cyclists and runners in immersive playgrounds like London, New York, and Paris as well as our very own Watopia.

Our app connects wirelessly to exercise equipment: bike trainers, treadmills, and more, so your real world effort powers your avatar in the game.

From friendly races to social rides and structured training programs, Zwift unites a diverse community in pursuit of a more fun, immersive and social fitness experience.

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