51 | Ella Harris Pro Cyclist for Canyon SRAM racing and Zwift Academy winner

Ella Harris is a professional rider for UCI Women's WorldTeam Canyon-SRAM and a Zwift academy winner. She was a competitive child growing up, and have tried swimming, running, triathlon, and finally cycling when she joined a cycling club. Cycling inspired her.

When asked "when you got into cycling, were you always really good?" She responded with

"I always charge a little bit of potential in the bike. I rode a lot with old riders at home – masters, and they taught me all about cycling, and they made me really strong – mentally as well as physically. In junior riding, I was always get a top 5. I was always pushing for a podium, but podiums to me is never guaranteed. If I got a top 5, I’ll be happy. If I got a podium or top 3, I’ll be stoked."

She describes herself as a 'champ' because even if she is not always winning a game, she sees herself winning in her mind. Therefore and I quote "I am a champion". In the podcast, she was asked about what she felt to not be winning in the junior cycling league, and she responded with

"I have never really won anything before so it wasn’t that I knew what I was missing out on. Third place is great for me. My parents never put pressure on me, and I never put pressure on myself."

They tackled about her experience between juggling leaving school, studying in the university, and continue her cycling career. We knew that there was a huge amount of pressure for students finish a degree course after high school, which was amplified on student-athletes who have a professional sports career. It was either college-sport's career, just your college degree, or focusing fully on your professional career and dropping out of university.

Due to the current global situation, most competitions are suspended until further notice. With the pause in their official training sessions, Ella Harris' team continued their team session playing Zwift racing.

What is ZWIFT racing?

Just remember 4 words - interactive,

indoor cycling esports. You are competing with other bikers in real time on a virtual platform.

As seen in the picture, Zwift allows players to ride their stationary bicycles while navigating through virtual world maps available for the players to enjoy.

Harris also give us a couple of tips to remember or avoid in Zwift racing.

These are the following:

1. Know your capability and limits

You would not want to experience a 30 kilometers continuous, rigorous race that your body cannot handle because that would be an absolute nightmare.

2. Be prepared

All things you need should be within your arm’s reach. Place your laptop on a table where you can activate your power-ups and check your status. Positioned the fan where you can reach them if you needed to turn it on in the middle of the race.

Make sure that you have a water and towel ready in case you need them. Remember to eat at least an hour before the race.