Zipp News

Back 7.27.2011

Contador Fifth at the Tour; Tollakson wins Lake Placid

Ah, the Tour de France has finally come to a close.  The 2011 edition was one of the closest and most dramatic races in recent memory.  Zipp-sponsored Team Saxo Bank-Sungard fought valiantly to support defending champion Alberto Contador.  And despite a run of bad luck with crashes and injuries, helped the Spaniard achieve a solid fifth-place overall.  The team rode a variety of Zipp wheels over the course of the race: the workhorse 404 Firecrest Tubular on the flat and rolling stages, 202s and 303s in the mountains, and the venerable 808 Firecrest / Super-9 Disc combo for the all-important time trials.  The team used SRAM Red components for reliable drivetrain performance. 

Though they were hoping to defend the title, both Saxo and Contador put in impressive performances throughout the Tour.  Of particular note was Alberto Contador's valiant charge on Alpe d'Huez, which nearly got him a stage win, and allowed him to claw back valuable time.  El Pistolero also put in an impressive performance at the Grenoble time trial, taking third on the day to and besting every GC rival other than overall winner Cadel Evans.  The performance would secure his fifth-place finish in the Tour, and leave rivals wondering what would happened had his luck been a little better earlier in the race.

Back in the States, super biker and Zipp athlete TJ Tollakson took the win at Ironman Lake Placid, nearly breaking the course bike record with his amazing 4:33:33 bike split.  A bit of a standout, Tollakson prefers clinchers over the tubulars that most pros ride.  The Iowan rode an 808 Firecrest Carbon Clincher up front, with a 900 Clincher Disc in rear.  And just like he did last month when he stormed to the victory at the 70.3 Eagleman, Tollakson mounted those wheels to a vintage Zipp 2001 frameset.  The 2001 is one of the most radical frames ever produced for triathletes, and still one of the fastest even 15 years after being discontinued.  Yet even after his fantastic bike performance, Tollakson had fresh enough legs to clock the third-fastest run on the day with a 2:56:45 marathon split.

Second place at Lake Placid was 2010 defending champion and Zipp athlete Ben Hoffman, who also won last month's Ironman 70.3 in Boise, Idaho.  Ben rode an 808 Firecrest Tubular up front with a Super-9 Tubular Disc in back.  The Hoff was nearly as fast as Tollakson on the bike, posting a split just one minute slower than TJ.  And his run was impressive as well.  By the time Hoff hit the finish line, he had gapped third place by nearly fourteen minutes.