Zipp Bolsters Triathlon Sponsorships
Zipp Speed Weaponry, makers of the world’s fastest wheels and components, have strengthened their already star-studded roster of sponsored triathletes with new signings and key contract extensions.
Joining the Zipp family will be husband-and-wife teams Greg and Laura Bennett, and Michael and Amanda Lovato, plus 2012 Olympic hopeful Jenna Shoemaker. Virginia Berasategui, Terenzo Bozzone, Michellie Jones, Sarah Haskins, Rasmus Henning, and Matty Reed have all extended their agreements with Zipp.
Zipp Sponsorship & Events Coordinator Greg Kopecky commented, “Greg, Laura, Michael, Amanda, and Jenna bring a lot of experience and energy to the table, and we’re looking forward to working with them and all the racers that are continuing with us. Overall, we couldn’t be more excited about the group of athletes who will be riding Zipp in 2010.”
So far this year, that group of athletes has produced five Ironman and three Ironman 70.3 wins, courtesy of Mirinda Carfrae (Ironman 70.3 Oceanside), Patrick Vernay (Ironman Australia), Belinda Grainger (Ironman Malaysia and Ironman 70.3 China), Jo Lawn (Ironman New Zealand), Luke McKenzie (Ironman China), Marino Vanhoenacker (Ironman Malaysia), and Amanda Lovato (Ironman 70.3 Pucon).
Laura Bennett (USA) has been a consistent presence on the ITU World Cup circuit for over 10 years. She is a former winner of the Hy-Vee Triathlon in Des Moines, Iowa, and placed fourth in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Greg Bennett (Australia) is best known for taking home the biggest single paycheck in triathlon history by sweeping all 5 races of the Life Time Fitness series in 2007. In 2009, he finished second overall in the Race to the Toyota Cup series and won the New York City event. In addition to riding Zipp wheels, the Bennetts will use the company’s Tangente aero tires along with Zipp handlebars, bottle cages, and brake pads.
Michael Lovato (USA) has finished 9th at the Ironman World Championships in Kona on three occasions (2003, 2007, and 2008) and has posted wins at Ironman Coeur d’Alene and Ironman Arizona. His 2009 season included a victory at Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island. Amanda Lovato (USA) is a versatile athlete and competes in everything from 5k runs to Ironman-distance triathlons. She got off to a fast start in 2010 by winning the Ironman 70.3 event in Pucon, Chile, in January. She and Michael will ride Zipp wheels for the 2010 season. Michael will also use Zipp’s VukaAero integrated aerobar, VumaChrono crankset, and Tangente tires.
Jenna Shoemaker (USA) had an excellent 2009 season at the Pan-Am level and will step up to a worldwide ITU schedule in 2010. An Olympic hopeful and part of USA Triathlon’s Project 2012 development program, Jenna will ride Zipp 303s in ITU races and the Sub-9 disc for non-drafting events. She will also use SRAM components in 2010.
Long-course star and 2009 Wildflower champion, Virginia Berasategui (Spain) will again compete on Zipp wheels and Tangente tires, and SRAM components. She will add the VukaAero to her setup for 2010.
A rising star of triathlon’s next generation, Terenzo Bozzone (New Zealand) will continue with Zipp wheels and SRAM components in 2010 while adding dimpled Tangente aero tires.
One of triathlon’s most storied athletes, Michellie Jones (Australia) recently extended her long-running relationship with Zipp through 2010. She races on the 404 front wheel with a 1080 rear or Sub-9 in disc-legal events and trains on 303 clinchers. Michellie also rides Zipp’s 21mm Tangente tires and SRAM components.
Defending Race to the Toyota Cup series champion Sarah Haskins (USA) will be riding Zipp wheels and SRAM components through the 2012 Olympics in London.
One of the world’s top short-course triathletes, Rasmus Henning (Denmark) placed fifth in his Kona debut in 2009 while competing with a broken hand. He’ll continue on Zipp wheels and SRAM components through 2011.
2009 Race to the Toyota Cup series winner Matty Reed (USA) will continue on Zipp wheels with Tangente tires and VumaChrono cranks through the 2012 Olympics.
Notable returning athletes
Continuing with Zipp under existing contracts are two-time Ironman Hawaii champion Normann Stadler (Germany) and the Commerzbank Triathlon Team, Beijing Olympic champions Jan Frodeno (Germany) and Emma Snowsill (Australia), and 2007 Ironman World Champion Chris “Macca” McCormack (Australia). Macca is on form early in the season, breaking is own course record by over a minute at Lavaman in Kona. Expect Macca to be one of the favorites heading in to next month’s Ironman 70.3 New Orleans.
A complete list is available at http://www.zipp.com/athletes
Photo of Chris "Macca" McCormack by Jay Prasuhn