Garmin-Chipotle’s Dave Zabriskie defended his US Pro Championship time trial title on August 30 using fi’zi:k’s prototype time trial saddle, the Ares. The Ares first made its unannounced debut at the Tour de France on the bikes of Zabriskie's teammates David Millar and Ryder Hesjedal.
“We pushed for a prototype TT saddle under pressure from Jim Felt as he was preparing Dave’s new TT bike for the Giro,” explained fi’zi:k’s US marketing manager, Suzette Ayotte. "He requested a lower profile from the older fi’zi:k Chrono TT and something significantly lighter. The project was delayed in order to finalize details on a similar [to the Ares] new ultra-weight road saddle being introduced at Eurobike and Interbike.”
The prototype was finally ready for the Tour de France, but Zabriskie was still recovering from a broken back after Stage 1 of the Giro. Both Millar (2007 British national time trail champion) and Hesjedal (2007 Canadian national time trial champion) opted to ride the Ares prototype during the Tour de France.
Seated on the new saddle in time for his Olympic run, the feedback from Zabriskie was simple but clear: “I love it.” The recovering Utah native finished 12th in Beijing. This past Saturday, Zabriskie showed up at the start gate with the Ares time trial prototype and the pressure that comes with defending a title. His 40.39 minute ride over the technical 20.7 mile/33.4 km course was the last and fastest run of the day; good for the unreleased Ares’ first national title and Zabriskie's third consecutive.
The Ares is currently scheduled for winter production with a 2009 spring release. In order to adhere to International Cycling Union (UCI) regulations that dictate the saddle’s 5cm position behind the bottom bracket, the saddle measures 24cm in length and 4cm across the nose. With fi’zi:k’s proprietary k:ium rails and new CX padding, the targeted weight is 135 grams; pricing is to be determined.
For more information, visit www.fizik.it.