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Pro bikes, July 14, 2008

Riccardo Riccò's Saunier Duval-Scott Scott Addict

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Photo ©: James Huang

Riccò sinks his fangs into the Col d'Aspin

By James Huang in Bagnères-de-Bigorre, France

Cockpit components are decidedly traditional
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Riccò's nickname is 'the Cobra' which provided an easy motif
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The frame's oversized tubing dimensions
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Even though he's only 25 years old,
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The integrated seatmast saves a handful of grams
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This cobra looks ready to strike
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Need some extra beef?
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Riccardo Riccò (Saunier Duval-Scott) may very well have uncorked this year's Tour de France highlight with an emphatic win in Stage 9. The Italian climbing specialist was comfortably in the main group with four kilometres remaining to the summit when he unleashed a scorching attack that arguably evoked recollections of Lance Armstrong and the late Marco Pantani. Riccò didn't let up much after that initial surge, either: he made quick work of the small chase group ahead of him and then continued to rocket ahead, erasing a near-four-minute gap to lone breakaway leader Sebastian Lang (Gerolsteiner) in just three kilometes (1.86mi).

By the time he crested the summit, 'the Cobra' had given himself 30s on Lang plus another minute on the peloton. Fortunately for Riccò, there wasn't much of a reaction from the main bunch so he managed to hold nearly all of that lead over them through the remaining 26km-long (16.2mi) descent and crossed the line as the day's undeniable hero. Time will tell if the general classification contenders' decision to let him go will come back to 'bite' them in the end: although Ricco professes to only seeking stage wins, it shouldn't go unnoticed that only 2'35 now separates him from the leader's jersey and there's still plenty of climbing to be done.

Riccò's weapon of choice for his assault on the Aspin was his usual Scott Addict Limited, only in this case Scott provided the 25-year-old with a bold custom finish just in time for the Tour. Menacing-looking cobras adorn the head tube, fork, integrated seat mast and seat tube in honor of Riccò's nickname and team sponsor fi'zi:k even got in the game with a custom Arione saddle.

Otherwise, his bike was functionally equivalent to those of his team-mates although that's no bad thing here as the Addict has proven itself as one of the highest-performing race bikes we've encountered. Actual weight on an uncut medium-sized Addict R1 frame is just 880g (1.94lb) with an uncut seatmast, yet in spite of that paltry figure, it's among the stiffest-feeling race bikes we've encountered. Moreover, it even manages to offer a surprisingly refined ride quality that belies its beefy tubing dimensions (at least on smaller bumps, that is).

Contributing further to the lightweight theme is a nearly complete SRAM Red group (which continues to rack up victories in spite of its nascent vintage) and Mavic's superb Cosmic Carbone Ultimate wheels. Cockpit components are supplied by Ritchey in the form of a WCS 4-Axis aluminum stem, WCS Classic aluminum bar and 'stubby' seatpost head while Time's RXS Carbon Ti is Riccò's preferred pedal of choice.

At a claimed weight of under two kilograms for a complete Red group and sub-1.2 kg for a pair of Cosmic Carbone Ultimates, we're honestly not entirely sure how the Saunier Duval-Scott mechanics get Riccò's bike up to the UCI-mandated 6.8kg limit (AFLD is upholding UCI rules for this year's non UCI-sanctioned Tour). After all, none of the associated peripheral componentry could be considered to be of even moderately average weight and Topeak's carbon fiber Shuttle cages aren't exactly helping matters in that regard.

In fact, our own Addict R1 test bike was well under that figure at just 6.39kg for a large-sized frame (Riccò rides a small). Granted, that bike was weighed without pedals but Riccò's Time units are feather-light, too, and his wheels are far lighter than the R-SYS clinchers that came stock on our rig.

We may never figure out what sort of mass alchemy Riccò's team mechanics have cooked up here but it's of little consequence; almost no amount of weight savings could account for Riccò's stunning performance today which is just fine with us. Long live the Tour, indeed.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by James Huang/Cyclingnews.com

Full specification

Frame: Scott Addict
Size: Small
Fork: Scott Addict

Critical measurements
Rider's height: 1.73m (5' 8") ; Weight: 59kg (130lb)
Seat tube length, c-c: 460mm
Seat tube length, c-t: 480mm
Top tube length: 535mm (horizontal)
Saddle height, from BB (c-t): 710mm
Saddle nose tip to C of bars: 560mm
C of front hub to top of bars: 523mm

Front brake: SRAM Red with Mavic carbon-specific pads by SwissStop
Rear brake: SRAM Red with Mavic carbon-specific pads by SwissStop
Levers: SRAM Red DoubleTap
Front derailleur: SRAM Red
Rear derailleur: SRAM Red
Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace CS-7800, 11-25T
Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace CN-7801
Crankset: SRAM Red, 172.5mm, 53/39T
Bottom bracket: SRAM Red GXP


Wheelset: Mavic Cosmic Carbone Ultimate
Tyres: Hutchinson tubular

Bars: Ritchey WCS Classic, 42cm (c-c)
Stem: Ritchey WCS 4Axis, 120mm x -17°
Headset: Ritchey WCS integrated
Tape/grip: fi'zi:k bar:tape

Pedals: Time RXS Carbon Ti
Seat post: integrated with Ritchey 'Stubby' top
Saddle: fi'zi:k Arione custom
Bottle cages: Topeak Shuttle Cage CB
Computer: Polar CS400
Other accessories: Scott chain watcher

Total bike weight: 6.8kg 15.0lb)