Zipp News

Back 10.10.2011

Counting on Zipp at Kona

Zipp Speed Weaponry again was the wheel of choice in Kona -- and for that we say a heartfelt “mahalo.”

About 60 percent of all aero wheels used by athletes at the Ford Ironman® World Championship in Hawaii were made by Zipp, according to Lava Magazine’s annual Kona Bike Count. 

Zipp had 1,907 of the 3,157 aero wheels: That’s more than seven times the second-place brand. In fact, Zipp has been the single most popular brand of aero wheels at Kona since the first spec count in 2005.

And many of the athletes aboard those Zipp wheels recorded swift bike times and top finishes Saturday.

Defending women’s champion Mirinda “Rinny” Carfrae, whose Felt frame was equipped with Zipp 404 (650c) wheels and a SRAM RED drivetrain, pushed eventual winner Chrissie Wellington throughout the day before eventually placing second. Breaking her own course record on the run with a time of 2:52:09, Carfrae of Australia finished less than 3 minutes behind Wellington. 

Also, Switzerland’s Karin Thürig, with a time of 4:44:20, set a course record on the challenging 112-mile cycling leg. That broke her 2010 mark, also set on Zipp wheels. Zipp also holds the men’s course record of 4:18:23, set in 2006 by Normann Stadler of Germany.

This year Thürig rode Zipp 404 and 808 Firecrest wheels, SRAM RED and R2C shifters. She finished in 09:15:00, sixth among the women.

In the men’s pro race, Australian Pete Jacobs -- riding a Boardman frame with Zipp 404 and 808 Firecrest wheels and SRAM RED -- placed second behind the record-breaking time of 8:03:56 set by countryman Craig “Crowie” Alexander. With energy saved from his aero-bike ride, Jacobs set the fastest run time of the day covering the 26.2 miles in 2:42:29.

Many age-group athletes also rode Zipp wheels in strong performances at Kona. Brazilian Vitor Meira, a professional driver on the IndyCar circuit, covered the course in 12:24:02.

Two age-group athletes featured last week on put in strong performances in their first tries at Kona:

  • Michael D’Hulst, a 31-year-old Belgian living in Taipei, Taiwan, placed 39 out of 171 in the men’s 30 to 34 age group (and 140th overall) with an overall time of 9:24:24. D’Hulst became a triathlete just a year and a half ago.
  • Colin Reese, an engineer who lives near Washington, D.C., came to Kona after winning one of the prized lottery spots in the race. Reese, 40, finished with a solid overall time of 12:16:34.
Photo credit: David Ripley