Wir trafen Chris Lieto in Kalifornien, Los Angeles, auf der Hoteldachterasse, bei strahlender Sonne und klarer Sicht, um mit ihm über dies und das zu reden und natürlich auch über das Trek Speed Concept Triathlonrad. Das ist dabei herausgekommen.
Zuerst eine Frage zum Frühstück….
Chris: I went to the hotel for breakfast and had some eggs, roasted potatoes and a bagel with Nutella for breakfast. And some orange juice.
….und dann zu seinem Speed Concept Rad
Chris: I’ve had the prototype version of the Speed Concept for almost a year and it was phenomenal. The production version that I’ve had for a week now is even better. The prototype was custom made for me so that was amazing and when I got the production version I was worried I wouldn’t be able to get in the exact same position but the way the bike is built there are so many options that it’s easy to dial the measurements in to whatever position you desire.
The bike itself is low to the ground, it handles amazingly, you can ride it as though you’re riding a road bike the way it turns and handles. I don’t think there’s any other triathlon bike out there that you can ride with no hands, feel as confident on the corners as the Speed Concept so I feel confident on it. The research also shows how aerodynamic it is, especially in a cross wind. It gives me confidence when I race that I’m on the best bike in the world. I almost feel like it’s unfair sometimes. I gave some feedback on the bells and whistles.
Two and a half years ago I sat down with Trek and they showed me drawings of different frames they were looking at and I gave my thoughts, how they were going to deal with carrying equipment and how to make the bike user friendly. You need to be able to ride it every day. In my peer group everyone needs to make a living so they look for what they can get in terms of sponsorship. I think Trek is the best company to be with and that’s why I sought them out six years ago. Knowing they’re prepared to spend time and money to make the best bike gives me confidence, and if people don’t ride this bike, they are almost giving time away.
The bike and price points starting at intro level to high end – even the intro level bike is much better than some of the high end models that are out there. There’s no reason to ride anything other than a Trek with the fit and accessibility. Everyone will fit this bike because it’s so adjustable and should take a serious look at it. It will give you both a performance edge and a mental edge. Ironman in particular is about having the right mental focus and staying on top of things mentally and when you have the research behind you, it’s easier to keep pushing. Over a 112 miles reckon it could save you five minutes to 14 minutes compared with some TT bikes that are out there. That’s amazing, a solid block of time.
Michael Raelert is a phenomenal athlete but he hasn’t been known for being a top cyclist and on this bike he’s been performing amazingly. He’s had the fastest bike times at his last two half-Ironmans and he’s not known for that. He’s more confident, which will make him more aggressive and give him a mental edge and he’s riding a bike that is faster. He knows that putting in effort on the Speed Concept translates to a winning time. This bike could effect the way people approach races because it does give you the confidence to be aggressive. I’m glad my competitors in Hawaii this year won’t be riding the Speed Concept – since they’re locked into other sponsors – because if they were on the Speed Concept it would be tighter.
triathlon.de: What’s your goal for Hawaii this year?
Chris: The goal is to perform the best I can and take the victory. The one goal I still want to accomplish is to be world champion. There are some things I need to work on but it’s well within my grasp and I’m going to work on that this year.
triathlon.de: How are you going to achieve this?
Chris: I don’t think I need to do much different than I did last year, stay injury-free, last year was a good day for me but not perfect – I’ve had better runs – so I’ll focus on running strong.
triathlon.de: Sleep in or get up early?
Chris: Sleep in
triathlon.de: Cap or visor?
Chris: Visor – even though I’ve got no hair and I have to worry about burning my head.
triathlon.de: Aero helmet or normal helmet?
Chris: Good question – last year I almost went with a non-aero helmet but I’ll have to look at it again this year. So far I’ve always worn an aero helmet.
triathlon.de: Compression socks or not?
Chris: I think they work for recovery but you won’t see me racing in them. Wear them under jeans but don’t wear them with shorts or sandals.
triathlon.de: Race or train?
Chris: I love both but I wouldn’t do it if I couldn’t race. I love competition.