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Reviewed February 20, 2005

Michael Barry's Discovery Channel Trek Madone

Photo ©: Anthony Tan/Cyclingnews

Discovery's silent assassin

By Anthony Tan

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When the Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team announced their intention to race the Tour de Langkawi last December, many expected 2003 winner Tom Danielson to be wearing the #1 dossard as designated team leader. However, when Cyclingnews rocked up to the riders' hotel in Langkawi on the eve of the race, lucky 21 was in fact Canadian Michael Barry.

"He's the best rider here - he's our silent assassin," says Discovery mechanic Geoff Brown with a sly-dog smile, who's been wrenching for ostensibly the same team for over a decade; first with Motorola, then US Postal in 1997, and now Discovery Channel in 2005.

Earlier in January, Cyclingnews got an exclusive sneak peek of Discovery's 'Voyagers', where Trek's brand manager, Zap Espinoza, told us that the Madones are unchanged from last year, which Brown adds was also the first year the whole team switched over to the current steeds.

"Yep, it's the same bike any guy can buy from the bike shop," confirms Brown as he gleans over Barry's Madone. "Same seat tube, same top tube... no custom frames - not even Lance."

"What about the Madone SL?" I ask him.

"Well... okay," he says with a facial expression of someone who's being beaten fair and square by your overly inquisitive Cyclingnews journalist. "The SL was made especially for Lance, but you'll see some other guys on those bikes this year too, in the mountains."

When we contacted Trek's Scott Daubert about this, he told us that the whole team including Lance have started the season on the Madone 5.9. "In fact, he requested the 5.9 Madone frame this year and has two in his quiver right now," he says.

However, Daubert added that "Johan [Bruyneel] requested that we supply the team's climbers with SL frames for races that have significant climbs. This gives the climbers a slight weight advantage while going uphill when the speeds are lower, and the aerodynamics of the Madone 5.9 frame are not as important."

While the frame remains unchanged, probably the most striking feature of the Discovery bikes is their paint-jobs. The metallic blue is quite simply stunning, and does its best to make up for the team's boring as bat-poo Quick.Step-styled uniforms. "I don't care about those - I only care about the bikes!" Brown retorts when I tease him about their plain-Jane team kits.

Some other not-so-noticeable changes lie in the choice of accessories: Bontrager replaces Deda for both bars and stems (all 31.8mm in diameter); saddles are now Bontrager-branded Selle San Marcos (Michael uses the Strada); and on-board data is now courtesy of German company Cyclocomputer, Barry and the boys using their CM411 Ciclomaster model.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Anthony Tan/Cyclingnews


Full specification

Frame: 2005 Trek Madone, 60cm
Fork: Trek carbon
Colour: Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team

Critical measurements
Rider's height: 189 cm/ 6'2"; Weight: 68 kg/ 149 lbs
C of BB to C of seat tube: 570mm
C of BB to T of seat tube: 602mm
Tip of saddle nose to centre of bars: 610mm

Cranks: Shimano Dura-Ace, 175mm, 39/53
Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace 10 speed
Front derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace 10 speed
Rear derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace 10 speed
Brakes: Shimano Dura-Ace 10 speed
Levers: Shimano Dura-Ace 10 speed
Rear sprockets: Shimano Dura-Ace 10 speed, 11-23


Rim: Race X-Lite
Tyres: Hutchison tubulars, 23mm (Hutchison Fusion clinchers used in training)

Bar: Bontrager Race Lite, 44cm (C-C)
Stem: Bontrager Race Lite, 130mm
Headset: Chris King, 1'1/8"

Pedals: Shimano SPD-SL
Seat post: Shimano Ultegra
Saddle: Bontrager Strada by Selle San Marco
Bottle cages: Bontrager
Cycle computer: Cyclocomputer CM411 Ciclomaster