Second place at Paris-Roubaix for Pozzato's custom Ridley
By James Huang
Pozzato uses a Deda Zero
Even without labels the
Damocles' distinctive character lines
The new rear derailleur's
updated linkage plates
It's a good thing this
year's race wasn't very muddy
Look KeO pedals transfer
Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) came oh-so-close to victory in last Sunday's
stunning Paris-Roubaix finale, desperately chasing - but not quite able
to catch - a fleeing Tom Boonen (Quick Step) after a dramatic series
of late crashes found the Belgian star soloing into the Roubaix velodrome
for victory for a third time.
Still, Pozzato's second place finish was a superb result for the new
Katusha team along with their Belgian sponsor, Ridley, who built a special
Damocles Pi just for the Italian rider. Unlike some other custom machines
in the Paris-Roubaix peloton that typically sported generous tire clearances,
longer wheelbases and the like, though, this was no dedicated cobbles
In fact, at least as far as the frameset is concerned, Pozzato's Damocles
Pi features not a single concession to Paris-Roubaix's brutal pavé and
the custom geometry reads more like that of a typical road racer: the
head tube is shorter than usual for a lower and more aggressive position;
the top tube is longer - and also level in contrast to the stock version's
sloping orientation - so that he can stretch out more; and the seat
tube has a slightly slacker angle to better accommodate his generous
10.5cm of saddle setback.
Otherwise, the usual Damocles features are still included such as the
tapered and oversized 1 1/8"-to-1 1/2" front end - something Ridley
adopted several years earlier than most - CNC-machined aluminum one-piece
dropouts that offer a stiffer mounting platform for the rear derailleur
yet are still easily replaceable, and distinctive character lines.
Clearances are decidedly tight all around in seeming defiance to Paris-Roubaix's
often nasty conditions and according to Ridley PR manager Jan Geudens,
Pozzato's frame is also built with the same levels of stiffness as on
the stock Damocles.
Even the build kit isn't far off from usual. In addition to the complete
Campagnolo Record 11 group - not even a second place finisher at Paris-Roubaix
gets Super Record - Pozzato ran low-profile Campagnolo Hyperon Ultra
carbon tubular wheels and special 23mm-wide Vredestein tubulars shod
with a deep file tread to provide a little extra purchase on the cobbles.
The usual 53/39T chainrings were swapped for a more appropriate matched
53/46T set recently developed by Campagnolo just for the spring classics
and an 11-25T cassette was used out back.
Talk tech on
thoughts with us on Filippo Pozzato's ride in the Cyclingnews
Pozzato's bike does at least sport a simple chain watcher clamped around
the seat tube plus a sealed Gore derailleur cable and housing set but
that's about it. Even the bars are just single-wrapped.
Completing the build are an aluminum Newton Shallow bar and Zero 100
stem from Deda, a Prologo Nago Evo saddle, Look KeO Carbon pedals, Elite
bottle cages and a Polar CS600 computer.
Though it may not be a dedicated pavé bike, Pozzato's Ridley was certainly
lighter than most on that day and appeared to have survived to the end
of the race just fine anyway. Total bike weight is more Grand Tour feather
than Spring Classics battleship at just 7.19kg (15.85kg) - over a full
kilo lighter than Boonen's custom Specialized S-Works Roubaix SL2 -
but even that wasn't enough in the end to bridge the gap when all was
said and done.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here