Ironman World record holder and one of the favourites for this year’s World Championship Marino “Blink” Vanhoenacker has unveiled his custom Scott Plasma 3 that he will ride in Kona this year. The black, yellow and white paint scheme matches that of the team sponsors Commerzbank but differs to previous team bikes with an all new white front end.
One of five athletes from the Commerzbank team to qualify for Hawaii this year (along with Jan Raphael, Timo Bracht, Mathias Hecht and Maik Twelsiek) Vanhoenacker smashed the 14 year old world record of fellow Belgian Luc van Lierde to set a new Ironman record of 7:45:58. As a tribute to this the boys from Scott bikes have put his split and finish times on his top tube!
The Wolfgang Berner's unique rear derailleur modification, which comprises a longer pulley cage and oversized 13T/15T upper/lower pulley wheels spliced onto an otherwise standard SRAM Red rear derailleur require the chain to bend less as it makes its S-shaped path back up to the cogs, thus creating less friction.
The Ritchey intergrated and inline stem’s top surface (which holds the white Profile Design Prosvet basebar) is flat and lies perfectly flush with the Plasma's top tube, meaning that air should pass more smoothly from the front to the back of the bike. The trade-off is that the Profile Design T2+ Cobra handlebar extensions need to be raised to accommodate a 'normal' flat torso time trial position.
Another nice personal touch is Marino’s name on the kinked seat tube, although it may be there for more practical reasons! Posting on his Facebook he said “We also put my name on it because in transition I will be standing next to my Commerzbank Teammate Jan Raphael, so this way I should be able to pick the right bike”.
Pictured with Zipp 404’s it is unlikely that this is the combination he will start with on October the 8th, (possibly 404/808), could this be the bike that will propel Marino Vanhoenacker to the Ironman World Championship and possible new Kona Record? In less than two weeks we will know.
Thanks to our British correspondent Danny Ward for this story.