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Photo ©: Sirotti

Daniele Nardello's Pinarello Prince LS

A piece of cycling royalty
Photo ©: Tom Balks

Regally refined

By Anthony Tan

Power up!
Photo: © Tom Balks
Click for larger image

After seven seasons with various permutations of la squadra Mapei, Daniele Nardello made the switch to join German powerhouse Team Telekom, and in doing so, changed his trusty steed from the ubiquitously known and admired Colnago C-40 to another piece of bicycle exotica, the Pinarello Prince LS.

For all you tech-heads and Pinarello junkies out there, what you see here is in fact the 2002 model lightweight Prince; as I write, the Treviso-based firm is still busily pumping out custom-built 2003 model frames for each of Team Telekom's 25 riders, and with five to seven frames per rider, it's not an overnight job. However, apart from the radical S-shaped ONDA carbon fork and seat stays, the tubing for the main triangle on the 2003 model Prince SL does not differ from its predecessor.

It's a kind of Magic
Photo: © Tom Balks
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Pinarello has a long association with the tubing gurus at Dedacciai, so not suprisingly, all of Pinarello's most sought-after (and most expensive) frames - the Dogma, Prince SL/LS, Prince and Opera - use custom-drawn variations of Dedacciai's pipes. Both the 2002 Prince LS and 2003 Prince SL use Dedacciai SLX1X tubing, which is over half a pound lighter (at 1,320 grams) and claimed to be a stronger and harder material than the Deda SC 61.10A tubes used for the standard Prince frame.

Time for Impact
Photo: © Tom Balks
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Maintaining the Italian connection is Campagnolo's Record 10 speed group and lightweight Neutron wheels that remain unchanged for 2003. Although Japanese rival Shimano has finally decided to keep up with the Joneses with the introduction of a 10 speed group for 2004, thankfully we haven't seen any evidence of Campy upping the ante and launching an 11 speed group next year. And thank heavens for that - quite frankly, the whole thing was starting to get a bit silly.

Also falling on the other side of silliness is Team Telekom's decision to use the proven strength of Deda's Magic 6061 T6 aluminium alloy bars and stems rather than their carbon fibre counterparts. Come July, the extra 50-70 grams will be well worth the assurance when descending the Col du Galibier at 90 clicks an hour.

Photo: © Tom Balks
Click for larger image

One of the stalwarts of the saddle game, the Selle Italia Flite, is the choice for one of the stalwarts of the cycling game, Daniele Nardello - although Dani prefers the addition of gel inserts to keep his tush extra happy on those long rides, with Pinarello's odd-sized 31.0mm carbon seatpost holding the powerful rider from Varese up high.

Finally, something peculiar. Apart from Sigma Sport's trusty cyclocomputers and Continental tyres from Germany, the only time the rest of bits and pieces originate from outside Italy is with the use of Time's new Impact pedals (France) and bottle cages by Cateye (Japan). Pedals I understand, but plastic bottle cages from Japan?

Swap those cages for some shiny silver ones and you've got a piece of cycling royalty.


Images by Tom Balks/www.tombalks.com

Full specification

Frame: Pinarello Prince LS, 1,320g
Fork: Pinarello Vola
Colour: Team Telekom

Cranks: SRM Powercrank 53/39
Bottom bracket: Campagnolo Record
Chain: Campagnolo Record 10s
Front derailleur: Campagnolo Record 10s
Rear derailleur: Campagnolo Record 10s
Brakes: Campagnolo Record
Levers: Campagnolo Record
Rear sprockets: Campagnolo Record, 11-23

Hubs: Campagnolo Neutron
Spokes: Campagnolo
Rim: Campagnolo Neutron
Skewers: Campagnolo
Tyres: Continental tubular, various

Stem: Deda Elementi Magic 31.7 Ahead, 150g
Headset: Campagnolo Record integrated
Bar: Deda Elementi Magic 31.7 Anatomic 6061 T6 alloy, 247g

Pedals: Time Impact Magnesium, 300g
Seat post: Pinarello Carbon, 31.0mm
Saddle: Selle Italia Flite Genuine Gel, Ti rails, 265g