Zipp Takes Four Tri Wins and the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic
It was a blockbuster weekend for Zipp athletes across the globe. Zipp athletes took wins on three different continents, in drafting triathlons, non-drafting triathlons, and a UCI stage race.
In Madrid, Alistair Brownlee and his younger brother Jonathan took the first and second spots on the podium, respectively, at the Dextro World Championship Series Olympic-distance triathlon. The WCS races are often known for their explosive and decisive run finishes, but the Madrid course in particular has a grueling bike leg. The Brownlee brothers, aboard Zipp 404 Firecrest Tubular wheels and SRAM Red components, hammered away in an elite breakaway group that put nearly two minutes into the chasers by the time they rolled into T2. After unleashing a run that was said to be ''on a different level,'' the Brownlees crossed the line hand-in-hand for the one-two finish.
On the Women's side in Madrid, Zipp athlete Paula Findlay stormed to her second WCS victory of the year. Findlay rode the feathery but responsive Zipp 202 Tubular wheels over the tough course, and SRAM Red components, keeping her in the lead pack on the bike, and keeping her legs fresh legs for the run. She surged to the front of the run pack straight out of T2, and slowly dropped off all competitors over the course of the 10k course. With 400 meters to go, she put in one last surge to drop Helen Jenkins and claim the win. With the WCS points earned with her victory in Madrid, Findlay extends her lead as the number-one ranked triathlete on the ITU circuit.
Half the world away in Australia, Ironman World Champion Chris McCormack took a huge win at Challenge Cairns, taking the race by nearly thirteen minutes from second-place Matty White. Though many competitors were running disc rears, McCormack chose to use the same 808 Firecrest Tubulars, front and rear, that he used to claim his 2010 World Championship title in Kona. His wheels were wrapped in Zipp's own Tangente Tubular Tires, and the bike completed with SRAM Red components. McCormack positively hammered the bike course, cruising into T2 more than five minutes ahead of the chase pack. Yet despite the blistering bike split, McCormack had fresh enough legs to pull ahead even further during the marathon, putting three more minutes into his rivals by the halfway point in the marathon, and extending another four minutes on the way home.
Wrapping up another triathlon victory for Zipp was Yvonne Van Vlerken, taking the win at the half-iron-distance Challenge Kraichgau in southwestern Germany. Van Vlerken started the bike leg behind the faster swimmers, but riding the 404 Firecrest Tubular, Super-9 Disc Rear and SRAM Red components, she caught them over the 56-mile ride, coming into transition twenty seconds up on Diana Riesler. She held her lead on the run to finish nearly a minute ahead of second-place Julia Wagner.
Finally, the Mount Hood Cycling Classic in Hood River, Oregon, Zipp was well-represented by the Peanut Butter & Co. Team Twenty12 group led by Kristin Armstrong. The PB&Co. women took stages 1, 3, and 4 (Alison Starnes, Katie Antonneau, and Kristin Armstrong, respectively). Armstrong's win over the Three Summit final stage earned her the overall title for the race. The team rode a variety of Zipp wheelsets, including 404 and 808 Firecrest Tubulars with Super-9 Tubular Disc rear wheels for the time trials, and the ultra light 202 Tubular wheels for the summit stages. Those wheels got wrapped in Tangente Tubular tires, and the road bikes were finished off with Zipp Service Course handlebars and stems, adorned with SRAM Red components.
Hats off to all of Zipp's athletes for the fantastic showing in these multiple disciplines and venues.