• Australian Jessica Pratt is the winner of the 2020 Canyon SRAM Zwift Academy program (Zwift)Source: Zwift
22-year-old Queenslander Jessica Pratt is off to the UCI Women's WorldTour next year as the winner of the 2020 Canyon SRAM Zwift Academy program.
By
Cycling Central

Source:
Zwift
13 Dec 2019 - 12:14 PM  UPDATED 13 Dec 2019 - 12:19 PM

Pratt was selected over South African Catherine Colyn and New Zealand's Samara Sheppard after enduring a series of tough endurance tests at the recent Canyon SRAM camp in Spain.

The three riders were selected as finalists from an initial field of 9000 entries. 

“For me personally," Pratt said. "I was incredibly hungry for it. It can be a very difficult route to the professional peloton when compared to the opportunities available to riders living in cycling’s homeland – Europe.

"The cost of travel alone can make things very difficult when living in Australia. To have come through and win is life-changing for me – I’m so, so happy.”

All-rounder Pratt is a recent winner of the NRS stage race, the Tour of King Valley and in 2017 won a stage of the Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l'Ardèche while riding as part of the Australian Women's Development Team. 

Pratt and Drizners crowned victors at Tour of King Valley
Jessica Pratt (Sydney Uni Staminade) and Jarrad Drizners (Inform TM Insight MAKE) took out the out the women's and men's two-stage Tour of King Valley, respectively, in tough racing over gravel roads.

“I’d say we got lucky with finding Ella and Tanja, but that really isn’t true,” Ronny Lauke, CANYON//SRAM Racing Team Manager said.

“Finding incredible talent – which these riders have in spades – is exactly what the Zwift Academy does. I know we have another great talent this year in Jessica, and look forward to watching her contribute to the team in her first World Tour season.”

Yesterday, Cycling Australia announced Pratt's selection on the Uni SA team to ride the women's 2020 Tour Down Under, a role she will likely fulfill with Canyon SRAM's participation still unconfirmed and have missed the last two seasons.