Italian Bicycle Manufacturer Announces Its Sponsorship of Ironman Champ McDonald

Atlanta, GA - Designed by internationally-acclaimed aerodynamics consultant John Cobb for Italian bicycle manufacturer Wilier Triestina, the Cento Crono time trial bike has officially entered the ring of professional multisport racing. One of an arsenal of three top-end bikes utilized by the Lampre European professional cycling team, including reigning World Road Champion Alessandro Ballan, the Crono will be ridden by pro triathlete and Ironman Champion Chris McDonald in 2009. McDonald's first event on the Cento Crono will be the bike segment of the Challenge Wanaka in New Zealand on January 17th.

The choice of rider to represent Wilier on the world stage of professional triathlon was an important one, explained Angelo Cilli, co-owner of North American distributor Wilier Triestina USA. "We didn't just want a strong multisport rider and we didn't just want a likeable personality - we wanted both," elaborated Cilli. "Our brand is near and dear to us, so we wanted to find a champion who valued our heritage, as well as the revolutionary design of the Cento Crono. Chris is someone we respect as a rider and like as a person; what more could you want in a sponsored athlete?"

The Cento Crono represents a cutting edge design by one of the industry's most respected authorities. John Cobb has worked with numerous world-class cyclists, including Lance Armstrong and some of professional triathlon's best male and female athletes. Although one of the most distinctive aero bikes in the industry, Cobb explains that the look and tubing of the Cento Crono have nothing to do with aesthetics, but all about aerodynamic efficiency and airflow management. "The Cento Crono is revolutionary because it is the first time trial bike based solidly on the principles of wave form dynamics," clarified Cobb. "Turbulence eddies and ripples can slow down bodies of mass as they move through air or liquid, so it is not enough to shape a few tubes like fairings. The Cento Crono's tubing and geometry not only facilitate airflow around the frame, but utilize strategically placed 'splitters' and tube shaping to direct the flow of air efficiently through and around the frame, spinning wheels and a rider's body."

Another unique feature of the Wilier Cento Crono is how well it handles in all types of conditions and on all kinds of terrain. "I have been amazed at how well this bike rides. It is superfast on flat and rolling courses, but climbs like a high-end road bike," reported McDonald. "I am excited to be sponsored by a brand with such a rich cycling history - 103 years - and to be the first professional triathlete to race it in competition. I have sought to align myself with companies that strive for excellence, which is why I believe that Wilier and I make for a winning combination."