Carbon on Cobbles
10 Hard Facts about Zipp at Cobbled Classics
Omega Pharma -- Quick-Step rider Niki Terpstra's stellar victory in Sunday's Paris-Roubaix wrapped up the Cobbled Classics for 2014. With that achievement, it’s worth looking back how the cobblestones of Northern Europe have become a proving ground and ultimate challenge for Zipp as well as for the world’s toughest pro racers.
1. During initial test riding of Zipp 303 in the Forest of Arenberg in 2006, riders from Team CSC busted roughly 20 prototype rims in only about 15 minutes. Back to the drawing board in Indy!
2. In 2008, the Zipp 202 becomes the first of our wheels to be ridden to the finish (fourth place) of Paris-Roubaix.
3. Zipp’s Carbon Bridge technology results in strong and wider rims for the new Zipp 303, an innovation that provided the durability to race over cobbles and eventually helped lead to the invention of Firecrest technology.
4. 2009 was the first year the Zipp 303 was ridden to a podium finish at Paris-Roubaix.
5. 2010 brought a breakthrough for carbon wheels in the Northern Classics, with the Zipp 303 being ridden to victory in the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. They were the first victories in either iconic race aboard carbon wheels.
6. In 2011, Zipp introduces the 303 Firecrest. In 2012, Tom Boonen of Omega Pharma – Quick-Step has a Spring Classics season for the age, with victories on the 303 including E3 Prijs Vlaanderen - Harelbeke, Gent-Wevelgem, Ronde Van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix.
7. Zipp is more than wheels. In 2012, Boonen became the first to win Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix riding the aluminum Zipp Service Course SL bars, stems and carbon SL Speed seatpost. Terpstra rode Service Course SL bars, stem and seatpost last Sunday.
8. At this year’s Paris-Roubaix, three Omega Pharma – Quick-Step riders (Illjo Keisse, Guillaume Van Keirsbulck and Tom Boonen) rode the carbon Zipp SL Sprint stem.
9. Also at this year’s Paris-Roubaix, the majority of OPQS riders used the carbon Zipp SL Speed seatpost.
10. Of the three Paris-Roubaix victories aboard the Zipp 303 since 2010, all have been solo wins. Aero efficiency, light weight and durability when it’s needed most.
Photo by BrakeThrough Media