Since joining the Australian-registered Pro Continental squad Drapac Pro Cycling in 2014, 24-year-old Dutchman Wouter Wippert has been turning heads with eight stage wins last year and a string of victories to start the 2015 season - including a stage 6 sprint win at the Tour Down Under to kick off the UCI WorldTour calendar in January - and most recently the opening stage of Tour de Korea on Sunday, June 7.
Between wins in Adelaide and Busan, the former Lotto-Belisol stagiaire (2012) recorded two victories at Tour de Taiwan in March and went wheel-to-wheel with the world's best at the Amgen Tour of California in May, and even recorded three podiums, including two second-place finishes to Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Mark Cavendish (Etixx-QuickStep) over stages 4 and 8 respectively.
Wippert's success can be attributed to a solid work ethic and his dedication to the sport since picking up racing at age 7. However, his Swift Ultravox TI (Team Issue) should also perhaps receive some credit.
Led by retired South African pro cyclist Mark Blewett, Swift Carbon boasts 17 bikes in its lineup and has expanded into 31 countries with more than 50 percent year-on-year growth since 2008. With 29 professional wins last year, including Wippert's eight, and a lifetime warranty on all frames, it's easy to see why the Swift is making waves.
"I'm really happy with my bike," Wippert told BikeRoar prior to the start of Tour de Korea. "They are extremely stiff for the sprints and for carving up corners. It's a great bike to descend on, yet still comfortable to climb on, too.
Wippert's TI, which is about 100 grams lighter than the Ultravox RS-1, features 25mm Vittoria Corsa CX mounted on Zipp 404 Firecrest carbon tubulars, which he often swaps the rear wheel for a deeper Zipp 808 on sprint stages, and is fully equipped with the complete SRAM Red 22 groupset including matching cranks fitted with the Quarq CinQo power meter and Speedplay racing pedals. The bike also features a 42cm Zipp SL80 alloy handlebar attached to an oversized Zipp SL Sprint stem, and a Fizik Arione ViX mounted atop a carbon Zipp SL Speed seatpost.
"Overall, I look for stiffness in the bike and smooth handling in the corners, and the wheels need to be spot on and aero," said Wippert, who is eyeing a return to the WorldTour in 2016. "To find success in pro cycling you need the best gear and Drapac provides us with everything we need to be successful and our Swift road bikes are amazing."
- Pro: Wouter Wippert
- Country: Netherlands
- Age: 24 (August 14)
- Height: 1.78m
- Weight: 75kg
- Team: Drapac Pro Cycling
- Bike: Swift Ultravox TI (51.5cm)
- Stem: Zipp SL Sprint (120mm)
- Handlebars: Zipp SL 80 (42cm)
- Seatpost: Zipp SL Speed
- Seat: Fizik Arione ViX (carbon)
- Groupset: SRAM Red 22
- Cranks: SRAM Red (172.5mm)
- Gears: 55/42 x 11/28
- Power Meter: Quarq CinQo
- Pedals: Speedplay
- Bottle Cages: Arundel (carbon)
- Wheels: Zipp 404 Firecrest (tubular)
- Tires: Vittoria Corsa CX (tubulars) (25mm)