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Specialized Zwift Academy Triathlon returns for 2019

Chief Correspondent

Aiming for Kona in 2019? Then read on…


“World’s best supported amateur tri team” seeks EIGHT athletes

It could be you. Seriously, it could be.
But remember, you’ll need to apply first >>>

In February this year, British athlete Bex Rimmington had never even started an IRONMAN race when she first first read this article on Tri247, about debut of the Specialized Zwift Academy Triathlon Team.

In April she was confirmed as one of the four selected members of the team. In July she was the first Age-Group athlete overall at IRONMAN UK – and in October she raced in Hawaii.

Specialized Zwift Academy Tri is back for 2019. For year two – as well as an expanded level of support with the addition of Science in Sport as nutrition suppliers – the number of athletes has been expanded to eight, AND, the there is increased scope for a broader range of abilities to apply, whether you are a podium potential or aiming for your first Kona start, whatever your age category.

If qualifying for and racing at the IRONMAN World Championship is your target for 2019, you should at the very least give this 60 seconds of your reading time.

Specialized Zwift Academy Tri Returns for 2019

Zwift’s global talent ID platform set to find new members for the world’s best supported amateur tri team.

Zwift, the online training platform for triathletes worldwide, today announces the return of the Specialized Zwift Academy Tri Team with a newly expanded roster of eight. Open for application from today, Zwift will be seeking a team of amateur triathletes with a view to competing at the IRONMAN World Championships in Kona, 2019.

The Specialized Zwift Academy Tri Team will have eyes fully focused on the IRONMAN World Championships in Kona. Zwift expects to consider all candidates for selection, from a range of all ages, nationalities and abilities. For some on the team, this may mean attempting to qualify for the first time, for others, it may be the year to step onto the Kona podium.

“Before 2018, I hadn’t even completed an IRONMAN.” says Bex Rimmington, 2018 Specialized Zwift Academy Team member. “I’d always dreamed of taking part, so when I saw the announcement of the Specialized Zwift Academy last year, I knew I had to give it a shot – never thinking I’d actually make the squad! Being selected and then actually qualifying for Kona on my first attempt was like a fairytale.”

Specialized Zwift Academy Triathlon 2019

To assist the team in their training and race preparation, the Specialized Zwift Academy Tri Team has recruited the expert knowledge of triathlon legends Tim Don and Sarah True. Both Tim and Sarah will meet with the team at the first camp at Specialized’s headquarters in the Spring and will provide support throughout the 2019 season.

“It was a wonderful experience mentoring the team last year, and for me it was somewhat therapeutic.” says Tim Don, multiple IRONMAN champion. “Kona is another level from anything else out there – it’s a combination of the heat, wind and the pressure of being at a World Championships. It’s difficult to get right. I’ve had mixed fortunes there over the years, but I look forward to sharing my experiences with the new team members in 2019.”

Specialized Zwift Academy Triathlon 2019

Alongside expert guidance, the team will be supported with some of the best equipment the industry has to offer from brands including Specialized, Wahoo, Roka and Science in Sport. “I’m once again blown away by how much support has been invested in the team.” comments Eric Min, Zwift CEO and Co-Founder. “The level of support provided by Specialized for example, really is something only reserved for their very best athletes. This is one of the very best supported amateur teams in triathlon.”

Specialized returns as headline sponsor and will be supplying the team with bikes, helmets and shoes. In addition, the team will also benefit from the ‘money can’t buy’ experience of time in the Specialized ‘Win Tunnel’ at their headquarters in Morgan Hill, CA. Here, the athletes will perfect their position on the bike to ensure the maximum aerodynamic gains are found.

“We are stoked to be back for the second year of the Specialized Zwift Academy.” says Mark Cote, Head of Global Marketing and Innovation at Specialized. “Last year was an exciting year, from seeing the team for their aero testing here in Morgan Hill right through to seeing them once again at the launch of our new Shiv at the IRONMAN World Championships in Kona. This year, with a bigger team, we will improve the performance of more riders. They will all be on the new Shiv Disc, and we look forward to seeing them go faster than ever before.”

Specialized Zwift Academy Triathlon 2019

Joining Specialized as a returning sponsor is Wahoo, as the official training hardware supplier. Wahoo will be supplying all members with a full pain cave setup including Wahoo KICKR, CLIMB and HEADWIND. In addition, team members will be supplied with Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT bike computers and TICKR X heart rate straps.

Roka also returns and will supply the team with Maverick X wetsuits, Viper swimskins for Kona, a selection of eyewear along with the official team tri suits.

New to the team this year are Science in Sport. SiS are welcomed into the team as nutrition suppliers.

“We’re delighted to be partnering with the Specialized Zwift Academy Tri Team.” says  Ashley Read, Managing Director at Science in Sport. “The fuelling demands of indoor training is an area we’re interested to explore and through working closely with the team we’re excited to get started. We’ll be providing the team with a full range of Science in Sport products including our patented GO Isotonic Energy Gels & HYDRO range. We’ll also support with a number of concept products currently in beta testing.”

Applications for the 2019 Specialized Zwift Academy are now open. Entrants must be level 12 cyclists and level 3 runners or above on Zwift.

For more information and to enter, head to

Specialized Zwift Academy Triathlon 2019

John Levison
Written by
John Levison
TRI247's Chief Correspondent, John has been involved in triathlon for well over 30 years, 15 of those writing on these pages, whilst he can also be found commentating for events across the UK.
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