When Chrissie Wellington recently stormed to a second place overall finish at the Alpe d'Huez triathlon she put her competitors on notice that the Ironman Hawaii win wasn't a fluke. More keen observers had already noted her fast bike split in Hawaii and that she rode a Cervelo P2C and not on the flagship P3C. What blasphemy. The assumption was that moving forward Chrissie had "earned the right" to be on a P3C, but as of today she still rides a P2C and will be on a P2C in Hawaii. For our "the bikes of the pros" series we take a closer look at her Cervelo P2C as she rides it outside of Hawaii.
ST: We recently interviewed Brett Sutton and it sounds like he has quite a bit of input when it comes to your bike. How much do you decide or actually care in that regard?
Chrissie: As I am so new to triathlon, Brett has had a big input into everything I do, and the bike is no exception. He told me to ride the P2 rather than the P3, as he thinks I am better suited to it. I don’t question or argue – I just follow orders! This is an autocracy, not a democracy…☺ No seriously, I trust his judgment and am happy to stick with the P2. I feel comfortable on it, and it is what I am used to – which gives me peace of mind. Regarding the set up, again I trust Brett. I agree with his view that my bike handling skills are not good enough for me to get the benefits out of a TT set up, on most courses other than Hawaii, which is why I have road bars. This means that I don’t lose so much time on descents and corners as I would do if I was on a full TT set up.
I do care about the set up, but only in terms of comfort. I play around with the position of the saddle and the bars, and have enough of a ‘feel’ for the bike to know what is right for me, although Brett has also given his input on this, and tells me to go up/down or forward/back.
ST: What bike did you ride prior to the Cervelo we saw you on in Kona?
Chrissie: A blue shopper, with a basket and a nice big bell! Hee hee… No, my first road bike was a third hand Peugeot, which I bought in 2004 from a friend for the bank-breaking price of £300 - which I thought was very expensive at the time! It had toe clips (and still does), and now has pride of place in my parent’s garage. My next bike was a Klein. It was purple and called Calvin. I bought it second hand (I was as tight as a ducks butt when it came to investing in my ‘ride’!) from a friend for £600. I still have the frame, and the 105 components. This was the bike that I won the World Age Group Championships on in 2006 and I rode it until June last year, when I was given the Cervelo Soloist, which was quickly replaced by the P2 when I won IM Korea and we realized I needed to get my butt on a TT bike for Hawaii.
ST: Will you be on a different bike in Kona in terms of setup and paint?
Chrissie: I will have the P2C in Kona, but with TT bars. As for a paint job….perhaps, if it will make me go faster!
Chrissie Wellington bike details and numbers:
- frame: Cervelo P2C 2008
- size: 54
- bar drop: 15 cm
- saddle setback: 1.5cm in front of BB (tip to center of BB)
- saddle height: 72.5cm (center of BB to center of saddle)
- fork: 3T FUNDA
- seat post: Cervelo carbon
- saddle: Fizik Arione Tri 2
- stem: 3T ARX Team, 115mm
- bars: at the moment 3T Ergos Team
- extensions: Profile Design T2+
- cranks: 172.5 SL-K Light FSA (hollow carbon) 39-53
- rear derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace
- front derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace
- shifters: Shimano Dura-Ace STI
- cassette: Shimano training in Switz 12-25 and racing 11-23
- chain: Shimano HG
- brake levers: Shimano Dura-Ace STI
- brakes: Shimano Dura-Ace
- wheels: training on HED Ardennes (clinchers) and race on HED JET 60s (clinchers)
- tires: training on Continental Grand Prix (raced on these in Alpe D’Huez), race wheels have Continental 4000
- bottle cages: Elite Carbon
- pedals: Look Keo Carbon