Chris “Macca” McCormack is one of the fastest runners in Ironman triathlon, but he isn’t the fastest. Macca knew he would need an advantage after the bike in order to win the 2010 Ironman World Championship over pure runners such as Andreas Raelert and Craig Alexander. Macca worked with the other strong cyclists to push the pace in the middle segment of the bike leg in order to get that advantage over Alexander. Raelert was still hanging tough, though, as the bike leaders approached town, so Macca attacked again in the final miles to earn an 80-second lead on Raelert at the start of the run. He orchestrated the decisive breakaway aboard this Specialized Shiv.
Specialized Shiv frame The Specialized Shiv is a marvel of integration. It has a rounded nosecone protruding off the front of the frame that conceals the front brake and smoothly connects the aerobar with the frame. Specialized says this design is particularly aerodynamic in crosswinds, which is exactly what Macca faced on the Queen K Highway.
SRAM Red components Macca’s component group included a Sram Red crank, rear derailleur, chain and cassette. His front derailleur has a steel cage, rather than the standard titanium cage, and he uses carbon Sram 900 Shifters in place of Sram’s top-of-the-line R2C Aero shifters. Every component on Macca’s Kona-winning Shiv can be found on the shelf in a bike shop.
Hydration Most of the top athletes in Kona brought as much to drink as possible on the bike. Nearly every pro used a behind-the-saddle hydration system, frame-mounted bottles and a bottle between the aerobars, but Macca went for a leaner setup. He carried a single bottle on the frame and a second bottle in a Profile Design cage mounted between his aerobars with zip ties. He also had two Saltstick capsule dispensers attached to his aerobars to carry electrolyte supplements.
Zipp 808 Firecrest wheels Macca rode Zipp’s 2011 Firecrest 808 tubular wheels with custom decals. The stickers are a nice aesthetic touch, but the real story behind these wheels is the rim shape. Zipp was able to drastically reduce the aero drag on these wheels compared to the previous generation by shaping the rim to create an aerodynamic unit of the wheel and tyre in combination, not just the wheel itself.