Monday, September 14, 2009

Guru vs Cervelo update (spolier, Guru won!)

Andrew pre race at a local Starbucks. Gotta love it!

Several months back a posted about a project to get an already fast guy faster. From a Cervelo to a Guru to prove that custom/fitting is more important than shear aerodynamics. Yes I threw down the gauntlet and staked my business and reputation on the line.
Ironman is the distance that defines triathlon. Being in the game for a while I have had the privilege of meeting so many great people in this sport and even the honor of working with them...slow or fast...racer or rec rider, I appreciate everyone that trusts me with their hobby/addiction.
One such relationship I have had the honor to have is with my friend Andrew Strong, first of all this is one of the most honorable guys I know...but also one of the fastest. We all like riding with him...but hate it when he gets to the front cause you know its on...for longer than what you would want. Andrew in his first year of triathlon did 3 Ironmans. (sick I know) His first, he was hooked, his second he got a roll down slot to Kona and of course had to go. The next year he raced again and again got a roll down to Kona. This was all done on a Cervelo P3C that was even fitted in the wind tunnel by John Cobb himself. The guy was fast...but we wanted to be faster. So with much thought and due diligence Andrew, myself, and Robert at Guru came up with a frame that we thought would do the trick. We decided on a Guru Merus, a titanium rig for several reasons. One, Andrew is HARD on this gear, he is a busy guy trying to maintain a family along with a career and train for Ironman. When he is done with a ride he throws his bike in the back of his FJ and takes off to the next part of his day. Also with traveling to races he just doesn't want to have to worry about the frame. Titanium frames are indestructible and love abuse. Plus Guru is able to fine tune the ride of the frame for each rider through proper tube selection. We built the bike and as all the custom frames I sell the fit was pretty easy. We tweaked a little since and got it dialed in. The first test was Ironman Brazil earlier this year. At mile 70 Andrew wrecked in a turn around with a bagel in his hand and had to stop for about 15 minutes to get med check. Still he finished the bike but on the run he called it quits after a couple yards in a smart move to error on the side of caution and wait to race another day...
"another day" became Ironman Canada. A very hard course and while I have all the faith in the world in Andrew and his ability I was a little worried since, one I had not ridden with him as often as before to witness his power or heard many reports from Trent about their epic 3 jogs through Houston at 6 minute miles with surge after surge. Andrew made a big change professionally that while good for him, at first glance it didn't seem good for training at all. All you can do is what ever we have time for and hope its enough.
Race day came and he said he was ready so all I could do is log onto Ironman Live and update all day looking for splits. Swimming has been he weak spot in the past and things started off well with a 5 min pr (1:15ish) for the swim. Wow...he actually got in the pool a couple times since Brazil. Then the bike...following those updates were the best and worse. I was so happy to see the good times but stressed between each one hoping that what we did was correct...and also fighting my worse fear....that the bike I just built doesn't fall apart. Most people might wake up at night in a cold sweat thinking what if they lost their job, if their 401K dropped to nothing...I worry about client's fits. Did you see when Macca pulled out of a race due to busted rear derailleur cable or when Fabian Cancellara pulled out of Paris Roubiax due to a busted chain? Oh be that mechanic to last touch that about a bad day at the office. It drives me to pay attention to every detail of every bike I build and fit. Just my little quark on race day. haha So the bike was fast...really fast. 5:09:09 bike split, the fastest in his AG. Then his run...was sick. Good enough to get him into a sub 10. 9:55:44 which of course was a PR in every way. Third in his AG and 58th OVERALL!!!! A-FREAKIN-MAZING!!!! What a killer performance! Of course we were all happy for him, again, I got a text the next day talking about how great the bike was and what an amazing day he had. Also text messages asking when I am flying into Hawaii in October to support him there. I gotta go...just after I sell enough bikes to pay for it.

Thank you Andrew for all your hard work, dedication, and your trust in me and the bike I built for make me very proud!

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