NeXT pb Enshored announces the formation of an elite Women's Cycling Esports Team and calls for like-minded female athletes to join the squad.
It’s here! As you probably know by now, NeXT esport p/b Enshored is launching a Women’s Team alongside their current men’s team. I am proud to be a part of leading this effort!
The NeXT esport and Enshored p/b Pedal Power men’s teams merged in 2021 to form NeXT esport p/b Enshored. They immediately established themselves as a top-level elite team. The focus is 100% on esports. The goal is to race at the highest level while fostering a sense of community within the team and growing the sport for everyone.
As an outsider watching the men’s team over the past couple of years, it appeared to be the very definition of TEAM. It is abundantly clear that there is much preparation and planning before each race to achieve the best result possible. In addition to having a wealth of talent and strength, the entire team rides with an incredible amount of intelligence and selflessness.
The team approached me with the idea of launching a women’s team earlier in the year and asked if I would like to be a part of creating it. My overwhelming feeling was one of exceptional honor.
I’m enthusiastic for the opportunity to construct a positive, supportive, and dedicated esports culture. The demands of work life and parenting are incredibly high and time-consuming. Yet many talented individuals now find esports a viable option in pursuing high-level sport. I personally know that I would never have had many of the opportunities or experiences I have enjoyed if not for the growth of this unique discipline.
As a woman, I understand how challenging it can be to get into cycling. Racing, even riding outdoors, can be highly intimidating. It can also be tough to find high levels of competition without dedicating significant time and money to travel. Virtual racing allows individuals to race people of various fitness levels in a safe, controlled environment.
Esports racing is special. It attracts a different type of cyclist than many other disciplines. This discipline is also continually changing as we adapt to create a unique niche corner of cycling.
My goal is to find and develop more women riders so that we can continue to grow this sport and share our passion. NeXT esport p/b Enshored shares this same vision.
Liz Van Houweling
Let's Meet the Team
Gravel racer at heart. Marisa is the 2022 Unbound 100 and Gravel Locos champion. While she does not have a great deal of Zwift racing experience, she’s got the strength to light up a race.
Like many of us, Morgan found eracing during the pandemic. She now mixes IRL and virtual racing and is not afraid to suffer and bury herself for the greater good.
National level figure skater, turned speed skater, turned esport racer. Maria has got it all-explosive and sustained power and race craft. She’s excited to see how far she can go!
Hill climber extraordinaire. Courtney is the 2022 Mount Washington Hill Climb champion and raced esports World Championships twice, finishing 8th in 2022. Whenever the road tilts up, watch out.
Still relatively new to the sport but getting better every year, Fiona has experience on a variety of platforms. She was a finalist in German Cycling Academy and landed a continental contract in 2022 after some strong performances.
Commuting turned into XC MTB and road racing. Now she’s a rising esports talent. Heather won the 2022 road series overall in Scotland and will bring a great deal of strength and race IQ to the team.
Another accomplished off road star in MTB and CX, Jill has podiumed in Leadville, Breck Epic, Transrockies and Transalpes over the years. We’re excited for Jill to bring her talents to the virtual world.
Interested in being a part of our team? Reach out and tell us why you think you would be a great fit! We are currently recruiting riders who are eager to participate in high level esports races and be a part of a team effort.
Semi-retired as owner and director of his private Orthopedic Physical Therapy practice after over 20 years, Chris is blessed with the freedom to pursue his passion for virtual cycling and writing. On a continual quest to give back to his bike for all the rewarding experiences and relationships it has provided him, he created a non-profit. Chris is committed to helping others with his bike through its work and the pages of his site.
In the summer of 2022, he rode 3,900 miles from San Francisco to New York to support the charity he founded, TheDIRTDadFund. His “Gain Cave” resides on the North Fork of Long Island, where he lives with his beautiful wife and is proud of his two independent children.
You will read him promoting his passion on the pages of Cycling Weekly, Cycling News, road.cc, Zwift Insider, Endurance.biz, and Bicycling. Chris is co-host of The Virtual Velo Podcast, too!