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Reviewed February 12, 2005

Cadel Evans' Davitamon-Lotto Ridley Damocles

Photo ©: Anthony Tan/Cyclingnews

Every gram counts

By Anthony Tan

The seat cluster;
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Cadel's trying the new Selle San Marco Arrowhead saddle
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FSA's bar and stem
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Vredestein's handmade Fortezza Pro tyres
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Internal cable routing
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When Belgian superteam Quick.Step-Davitamon split into Quick.Step and Davitamon-Lotto end the end of 2004, one team stuck with Time's Special Pro carbons, while the other went searching for a new bike sponsor.

Davitamon-Lotto manager Hendrik Redant was the one who went looking, and decided to go Belgian - but not the brand many thought he would choose - bringing Ridley on board for their first year as a ProTour team.

Not everything's Belgian in Redant's mind, however; he's recruited no less than four Australians in his squad, largely due to the efforts of sprinting superstar Robbie McEwen, who's taken an active interest in upping the Aussie-ante within the team. One of the team's biggest signings is 27 year-old Victorian Cadel Evans (28 tomorrow; happy birthday, Cadel!), where he'll act as the team's one and only rider for the general classification in the major stage races.

Looking at his machine, the all-carbon Ridley Damocles, Evans certainly looks like he's set in the tech department, but when I ask head mechanic Steven Van Olmen how Cadel likes his bike, it's a bit of a yes and no answer.

"Cadel says it is a very strong bike, but maybe a bit too... " (pushing his hands in a downward motion)

"Heavy?" I say, totally surprised.

"Belgian guys, you give a bike to them, that's it," says Van Olmen, who worked as a wrencher for Bodysol in 2004. "Australian riders... they ask you to change all the time!" he laughs. "Before the Tour, he will probably have a lighter bike with carbon stem and bars."

Like the Giant he rode at T-Mobile the past season, the Ridley Damocles is an off-the-shelf design and designed totally with road racing in mind. The seat is jammed right back, and the FSA seatpost has plenty of setback, but no special modifications were required to provide Cadel with his preferred set-up. And like most ProTour teams, each rider receives four road machines and two chrono (time trial) bikes.

Speaking of seats, it was interesting to see Evans opting for Selle San Marco's Era Arrowhead saddle with the distinct cutaway mid-section, designed to relieve pressure in the perineal area. Whether this works for him or not, we'll just have to wait and see if he's still using the saddle as the season progresses.

Still shocked that those few extra grams between his current and former steeds are really that noticeable, I speculate that it's got more to do with Cadel not being in optimal condition at this time of year. After all, Le Tour is still five months away, and this year, Evans knows for sure he's going to ride it.

That's assuming, of course, that Cadel doesn't break his collarbone again (he's got the record for most number of breaks in one year), which explains the 3-4mm build-up of tape on the left-hand side of his bars to accomodate his mongy shoulder.

I guess when you ride up hills as much (and as fast) as he does, every gram counts.

Photos

For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Anthony Tan/Cyclingnews

 

Full specification

Frame: 2005 Ridley Damocles
Fork: Ridley carbon
Colour: Davitamon-Lotto

Critical measurements
Rider's height: 1.74 cm/ 5'8"; Weight: 64 kg/ 141 lbs
C of BB to C of seat tube: 473mm
C of BB to T of seat tube: 512mm
C of BB to T of seat: 745mm
Tip of saddle nose to centre of bars: 576mm

Cranks: Record Carbon, 172.5mm, 39/53
Chain: Campagnolo Record 10 speed
Front derailleur: Campagnolo Record 10 speed
Rear derailleur: Campagnolo Record 10 speed
Brakes: Campagnolo Record 10 speed
Levers: Campagnolo Record 10 speed
Rear sprockets: Campagnolo Record 10 speed, 11-23

 

Rim: Campagnolo Neutron tubular
Tyres: Vredestein Fortezza Pro, 21mm

Bars: FSA 200 Alloy, 44cm
Stem: FSA 115 Alloy, 120mm
Headset: Campagnolo Record 1'1/8"

Pedals: Look Keo
Seat post: FSA K-Force Light
Saddle: Selle San Marco Arrowhead

Bottle cage: Tacx
Cycle computer: Cateye Mity 8