Zipp, SRAM ready for Levi's GranFondo
Levi’s GranFondo is Saturday, starting in Levi Leipheimer’s hometown of Santa Rosa and rolling out to some of Northern California’s most beautiful and challenging countryside. We caught up with Levi, of the Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team, to ask him about this year’s events and also to find out what Zipp and SRAM gear he’ll be riding Saturday:
Zipp: How excited are you about the growth of Levi's GranFondo? It has to be satisfying to help out charitable organizations by getting a bunch of people together to ride bikes near your home.
Levi: The GranFondo has affected our community in a big way the last three years. We’ve been able to raise a lot of money for some very worthy causes like the Forget Me Not Farm for at-risk kids. We are all looking forward to this weekend more than ever. The fact that we can get 7,500 people to agree to go on a bike ride together is epic and it’s the best experience you can have on a bicycle. There’s a lot of love around the event and our community is buzzing for a long time afterwards.
Zipp: Could you describe how your Zipp wheels feel on those Northern Cali climbs, especially when used in combination with a SRAM RED – 2012 WiFli Rear Derailleur?
Levi: I will be riding the perfect NorCal Sonoma County setup on Saturday -- the new 2013 Specialized Roubaix SL4 with 202 Zipp Firecrest Carbon Clinchers and SRAM RED WiFli with a 53/39 chainrings and an 11-32 cassette. I’ve ridden numerous bikes, wheels and components in my career so I realize that having a frame with vertical compliance, torsional stiffness and racing geometry coupled with such a lightweight, wide-rimmed wheelset that allows for lower tire pressure and a wide range of gears for the steep, rough and technical roads of Northern California is the absolute ideal set up. I keep telling all my friends that’s THE Sonoma County Bike.
Zipp: What can a new rider at your GranFondo expect? What tip would you give?
Levi: First and foremost, I want everyone to have a safe, fun ride. The point of Levi’s GranFondo is about going home with a story to tell and a newfound sense of adventure that comes from pushing yourself and taking on one of the most difficult routes you can find. So go ahead and give it everything you’ve got; we'll be there to make sure you're well taken care of along the way.
If you’re going to Levi’s GranFondo