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Tour de France Tech – July 11, 2005

Edited by John Stevenson

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Peter Wrolich's Specialized   Thor Hushovd's Look  Tom Boonen's Time   Stuart O'Grady's Wilier   Robbie McEwen's Ridley

The bikes of the sprinters: Robbie's rockin' machine

Robbie McEwen's Ridley Damocles
Photo ©: Anthony Tan
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Always-controversial Aussie speedster Robbie McEwen is one tough guy, and a tough guy needs a tough bike.

FSA OS140 stem
Photo ©: Anthony Tan
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This year, his Belgian-based Davitamon-Lotto team rides aboard the carbon fiber Ridley Damocles, and for reigning Australian champion McEwen, Ridley has acknowledged this achievement with some green and gold flames on the top and down tubes.

A couple of years back at the Tour Down Under, McEwen told Cyclingnews he's stuck with pretty much the same position for the majority of his cycling career, only making a few minor tweaks in his 10 years as a professional. Some riders like to mess about with their position, especially at the beginning of the season - McEwen knows what works and just gets on with the business of riding, training, racing and, lately, winning.

Campagnolo Record carbon cranks
Photo ©: Anthony Tan
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For a fairly short guy, McEwen has a decent-sized drop in his bars, but the Queenslander is flexible enough to ride for long periods in this position without discomfort. Not only that, it's the most aerodynamic position when Rockin' Robbie's going head-to-head with Boonen et al. in the final 200 - just as he did a few days ago in Montargis, and again in Karlsruhe, coming out on top by the barest of margins.

McEwen runs with the lightweight Campagnolo Carbon Record cranks and Look's latest Keo pedals.


Unusually-shaped chainstays
Photo ©: Anthony Tan
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For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Anthony Tan/Cyclingnews.com

  • Robbie McEwen's Ridley Damocles with touches of green and gold. Campagnolo supplies Davitamon's component needs with the Carbon Record group on McEwen's bike
  • Ridley carbon fork complements the all-carbon frame. The cable routing through the head tube is a neat touch, stopping the cables from scuffing the paint.
  • FSA OS140 stem - not FSA's lightest stem (that's the OS115) but almost certainly picked for its beef. Stems take a lot of hammer from sprinters and have to be tough.
  • FSA RD200 handlebar - this strong but light aluminium bar is the almost-universal choice of FSA sponsored riders
  • Another Selle San Marco Racing Replica - Robbie chooses the same seat as Boonen, but mounts it on a no-setback FSA seat post (more often seen on mountain bikes) for a right-over-the-pedals position.
  • FSA FR200 seatpost - provides fine-tuning of the saddle angle with its two-bolt clamp as well as positioning the saddle slightly further forward.
  • Simple rear triangle construction with aluminium drop-outs that plug in to the stays.
  • Vredestein Fortezza Pro tubulars - racing rubber from the Netherlands on Campagnolo Bora wheels.
  • Campagnolo Record carbon cranks with Look's Keo pedals. There's so little metal in this bike, we bet McEwen has to press the button at traffic lights.
  • He could have mentioned his previous Australian title too - McEwen's Australian champ colours have been prominent in the Tour sprints.
  • The internal cable routing - another look at one of the more unusual features of the Le Roi.
  • Unusually-shaped chainstays deal with the high pedaling forces dished out by McEwen's daily flight to the finish.