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Tour de France Tech August 1, 2005
Edited by Anthony Tan
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Cadel Evans' Davitamon-Lotto Ridley Damocles
The Talented Mr. Ridley
Australians Michael Rogers, Bradley McGee and Cadel Evans all went into the 2005 Tour de France with the objective of a top 10 finish in Paris, but only one of them got there.
Fracturing his collarbone in a high-speed crash one month before the Tour, it appeared Evans would once again fail to realise his dream of riding La Grand Boucle. But the 28 year-old Victorian kept his head screwed on during his recovery phase, riding his home trainer until it was safe to resume training out on the road, and at the Tour de Suisse, his form gradually improved each day.
By the time the opening time trial in Fromentine came around, he managed to place 35th, 1'41 down on David Zabriskie. One week later, in the first real mountain stage that finished at Courchevel, Evans finished eighth and became the best placed Australian on GC in 13th spot. And from there, things only got better: on Stage 16 to Pau, he towed a four-man breakaway virtually all the way to the finish line, where he jumped into seventh on GC; two days later, he led home another four-man lead group on the final hill-top finish in Mende, cheekily outsprinting none other than Lance Armstrong himself.
Although he dropped a place in the final time trial in Saint-Etienne to eventually finish eighth overall, Evans was more than satisfied with his first outing at Le Tour, and with a far more level playing field next year, 2006 may well be his year to crack the podium.
It also seems he's happy riding his Ridley Damocles, an all-carbon machine of semi-compact design. There's little change to Cadel's bike we reviewed shortly after the Tour Down Under [see separate story], except that the wheels he was using on the mountain stages of the Tour were Campagnolo's Hyperon carbon tubulars, weighing just 1,200 grams per pair, and the front fork is now slightly curved, rather than being straight. Cadel's also stuck with the Selle San Marco Arrowhead saddle with the cutout centre that he began trying out at the beginning of the season, so obviously his 'boys' agree with the change, too.
Otherwise, no change; as the saying goes, when you're onto a good thing, stick to it.
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Images by Anthony Tan/Cyclingnews.com