Cannondale is not without superlative athletes aboard its bikes. Kona World Champ Faris Al Sultan, 70.3 World Champ Mirinda Carfrae, and Ivan Basso and the Liquigas cycling team, all ride the Cannondale Slice.

Cannondale

But there’s a connection between Lance and his Treks; Zabriskie aboard his (then) Cervelo and perhaps his (now) Felt; Normann aboard his (then) Kuota and perhaps his (now) Scott; that not all companies and their athletes enjoy.

Has that rare connection been there for anyone aboard a Cannondale Slice? I don’t think so. Will Ms. Wellington do for Cannondale and its Slice what Merckx did for Colnago? Who knows? Maybe her answers below will tell us whether there’s chemistry a-brewing.

SLOWTWITCH
In keeping with today’s theme, that is, the advent of a new bike sponsor, I have five or six questions, and most revolve around you and Cannondale. I have had occasion to fit some of the Team TBB gals aboard their tri bikes, but they’re usually a bit shy about that fact getting out. Brett, they’ve told me, is in general uncomfortable with other folks fitting his gals aboard their bikes. Who fitted you aboard your Cervelo previously? Brett? Or one of the guys at Bike Boutique? And who is responsible for your fit aboard your Cannondale Slice?

CHRISSIE
First I’d like to talk about Cervelo. I really enjoyed my time on the Soloist and the P2, they were great bikes, and it is a great company. My move to Cannondale had to do in part with the bike, which I love, and I test rode a lot of bikes over the past two months. I entertained several offers. Cannondale represents both a bike and a relationship. I can ride a bike aboard which I’m comfortable, and powerful, and that handles really well. I also sense that I’m able to run fast off this bike. And, I can be with a company that is responsive, and requests and respects my input. That’s why I made this decision.

About fit: The Soloist I set up myself. I got the P2 five weeks before Hawaii. I was set up on it by Ben Distel [a F.I.S.T.-trained fitter from The Bike Boutique] but I’d never been on a tri bike before, so I was tweaking that bike right up to Kona. Afterward, but prior to this year, I was doing my own set up, but with Brett as an advisor. It was a partnership, a shared responsibility.

SLOWTWITCH
Okay, now, let’s talk about your position aboard your Slice.

CHRISSIE
I got the Slice, it’s a 54cm, same as the Cervelo, Simon [Lessing, Chrissie’s new coach] and I set it up, almost the same measurements as the P2, at Colorado Multisport in Boulder. So it wasn’t a totally new bike fit, mostly moving the P2 coordinates over. Having said that, I’m slightly lower in the front on the Slice, but I’m still comfortable and powerful. It’s super comfortable. The position was worked out with Simon, and [Colorado Multisports F.I.S.T.-trained fitter] Ryan Ignatz.

SLOWTWITCH
I note that you are riding Profile Design aerobars in the photos we’re attaching to this interview. Is this what you expect to ride? Have you made up your mind on another aerobar maker? Or are you still deciding on your choice of aerobar going forward?

CHRISSIE
For Ironman Australia I’ll ride the bars you see in the picture [Profile T2+Cobra]. I signed a wheel deal with Hed, I’m incredibly happy about that. They’ve been super supportive. So I’ll talk to them about the handlebars as well. What’s important to me is optimal bike handling. Australia, Roth, these courses have lots of turns, I’m not the best bike handler. In Hawaii I anticipate riding the bars I’ve ridden the past two years, and that’s a Hed bar [Hed one-piece]. Last year I had road bars in Frankfurt, Alp d’Huez, Timberman.

SLOWTWITCH
If you found a tri bar with a pursuit position that gave you the confidence and handling characteristics you were happy with, would you use that in every race?

CHRISSIE
I don’t know that there’s going to be one bar for every race for me. But I really like the flat Hed bar for Kona. On a technical course, I don’t know. But on the non-technical, flatter courses, that Hed bar is very nice.

SLOWTWITCH
We have a place on slowtwitch where our members type in their fit coordinates. It’s part of the profile they establish for themselves, and it’s a way for triathletes to archive their coordinates for future reference, and also for other readers to learn. Quite a few pros have availed themselves of this. Would you be willing to publish your coordinates, so that our readers can see how it is you ride your new Cannondale Slice?

CHRISSIE
I’d be more than happy to do that. It might not be right away, as in, perhaps not within the week, but certainly within the month.

SLOWTWITCH
What bikes will you get from Cannondale, that is, will you get a Slice, and a road race bike? What bikes in total?

CHRISSIE
A couple of Slices, a road bike, and a mountain bike, perhaps a run-around bike, which might be the mountain bike or a commuter bike. I don’t need too many bikes, I don’t need six new bikes a year, and I am more than happy with what Cannondale are providing.

SLOWTWITCH
You live in Boulder, now, correct? How are you adjusting to your new surroundings?

CHRISSIE
Obviously the past five months have been a huge change for me. There have been a lot of changes in my life. I’m extremely happy to be settled in one place, that’s important for me. I really like working with Simon. It took a long time for me to place my trust in Brett [Sutton, her old coach, of Team TBB], and I’m still building my relationship with Simon. But we get along great, I really enjoy the training, it has changed from what I’ve been doing under Brett, but not significantly. A lot of my training is with Simon, which I’m really enjoying, and I’m training with [British triathlete] Julie Dibens, and a couple of others.

I’m confident, I’m strong, and in terms of the lifestyle, I really like Boulder. It’s not home yet, but I’m settling in. And I’ve made some new friends, and a little social life keeps me fresh.

SLOWTWITCH
Simon Lessing as your coach, is that mostly his coaching philosophy, or how much is it the chemistry that comes with British culture and sensibilities you might have in common?

CHRISSIE
A coach-athlete relationship for me is not just about the coaching program. It’s a lot deeper and wider than that, I enjoy spending time socially with him and his family, his British sense of humor appeals to me.

My running is under Darren De Reuck [husband of former world class footrunner Colleen De Reuck). Along with running with Simon, I run with Darren’s runners, the run training is quite varied, different from what I’ve done before.