VIDEO: Ollie Jones wins Zwift Pro Contract Competition
New Zealander Ollie Jones has beaten 9,200 other hopefuls to win the 2017 Team Dimension Data Zwift Academy, earning a professional contract with the under 23 Dimension Data pro cycling team
The Kiwi managed to battle his way through a six-week training program, including structured workouts, group rides and races to make his way to the final, hosted at a Dimension Data team camp in South Africa.
In the final, Jones beat fellow compatriot Sam Mobberley and Australian Nick White to take the inaugural men's Zwift Academy title after impressing a panel of judges from the Dimension Data WorldTour team and coaching company, TrainSharp.
A former speed skater, Ollie has been rewarded with a year's professional contract with Team Dimension Data under 23 development squad, the feeder to its WorldTour team.
Dimension Data team principal Doug Ryder was thrilled to emphasise the raw talent of Jones, "Of course, there’s no substitute for the tactics, bike handling, and skills a rider needs in real-world racing, but these finalists presented us with the raw materials we need to find the next generation of world class talent" said Ryder.
"This isn’t a marketing gimmick; many of our riders are passionate about riding Zwift and they’ve seen first hand what a capable rider Ollie is. We’re super proud to have him on the team."