PRO RIG - Marino's Scott Plasma 3

 Oct 8, 2012 article & images by Nick Salazar

  • Scott Plasma 3
  • Scott Split helmet
  • Scott tri shoes
  • Profile Design Aeria
  • New SRAM Red
  • Zipp R2C shifters
  • Zipp 404 training wheels
MVH screaming down the Queen K on his brand new Plasma 3

Marino Vanhoenacker is one of triathlon's current crop of grade-A, top-tier contenders. He's been on the radar for some time, but established himself as a real threat in 2010 when he took third place here at Ironman Hawaii, and confirmed his dominance by setting the all-time Ironman World Record time at Ironman Austria in 2011.

We caught up with Marino during a training session in Kona. Marino was motorpacing on the Queen Ka'ahumanu highway, which is otherwise known as the Queen K. Athletes use motorpacing as a way to get in consistent training speeds without worrying about wind speed, and have a measure of protection while out on the road. It also allows for a convenient way to do intervals, jumping in and out of the moto's draft zone to increase or decrease the effort level.

Marino is on a brand new Plasma 3, painted in what is perhaps the greatest color scheme ever conceived by man, orange and white. Aside from the aesthetic qualities of this rig, which are remarkable, Vanhoenacker has also decked it out with top-of-the-line gear from sponsors SRAM, Profile Design, and Zipp (although the wheels ridden during today's trining session are older aluminum-hybrid clinchers - his race-day wheels will be different).

This Belgian Bear looks ready to race.

Vanhoenacker has long been riding with a standard Profile Design aero bottle - a choice that is born out of convenience, habit, and comfort, but could perhaps be improved with the use of a BTA setup, and now that Profile Design has unveiled their own, there's no sponsorship impediment for him to try it. Maybe next season. I also would criticize the use of a standard sidepull brake up front, which may be costing him a couple more Watts, but I'm a bit biased. The thing is, with such brutal competition coming in the form of a couple Australian former champs, Marino will need to save every last ounce of his strength for what is sure to be an all-out sprint from T2 to the finish line.

Check out the gallery for some more details on this beautiful rig, and we'll see you back tomorrow for some more coverage from the Big Island. Thanks!

  • Marino was out motorpacing, a great way to dial in specific effort levels out on the bike, and stay protected from the wind.
  • Marino looks absolutely tiny and compact compared to the moto, which is why it works well as a shield from the wind.
  • Vanhoenacker has custom colors on virtually every piece of his setup, including this new Scott Split helmet with a bear on the front.
  • Marino is using the new Profile Design Aeria, a well-designed aerobar that has also been custom-painted in white for him. He uses a standard Profile Design aero bottle, although I believe he could save a couple Watts by choosing something like a BTA setup or TorHans bottle. And he's using a standard front brake (for shame!) and might do well to consider something with less frontal area. Beyond that, this bike is set up in a very minimal, aerodynamic way to keep Marino turning the pedals over and get him to T2 quickly.
  • Marino Vanhoenacker is a huge threat on the bike, and always looks at home while hammering in aero.
  • That is one beautiful-looking bike. Marino's Plasma 3 is decked out in TriRig's favorite colors: bright orange and pure white. Here you can also see Vanhoenacker using a single Lieto-style bottle zip-tied right to his saddle. It's tucked out of the wind and serves as a great reserve bottle for refilling his aerobar-mounted hydration solution.
  • One other detail that's REALLY cool is that the orange accents on this bike are actually in two tones. I can't tell exactly what the design is, but my best guess is that it's the Belgian Coat of Arms. If I get another chance to see this bike up close, I'll take some more photos for you.
  • Marino has a fantastic bike setup, and the legs to do it justice. He's looking to improve on his third-place finish from two years ago.
  • Orange and white Scott tri shoes complete the setup. Hey Scott, wanna send one of these rigs my way?

Related Articles
We caught up with Ironman champions Marino Vanhoenacker and Jodie Swallow, as well as Plasma 5 designer Simon Smart, for interviews about this new bike.
We caught up with Macca out on a training ride to look at the bike that might have TWO spots on the podium this year.
We get up close and personal with the defending World Champion's chosen rig.
Mirinda Carfrae is in Kona looking for her second Ironman World Championship title. We got an exclusive look at her Felt DA and an interview with the 2010 champ.
We caught up with Jan Frodeno training out on the Queen K. Here's a look at his rig, including some slick custom front-end hardware.