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Pro Team Tech 2004

Reviewed June 10, 2004

Emanuele Sella's Ceramiche Panaria-Margres Battaglin

Photo ©: Tim Maloney

Sitting pretty

By Anthony Tan & Tim Maloney

Apart from 2004 Giro d'Italia winner Damiano Cunego, the other climbing revelation of the race was Emanuele "Lele" Sella from Ceramiche Panaria-Margres. Tim Maloney took a squiz at his machine while Sella - meaning "seat" in Italian - was sitting pretty in his first ever Grand Tour.

Sella's Battaglin Vortex
Photo ©: Cyclingnews
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2004 Dura-Ace
Photo ©: Cyclingnews
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Carbon rear triangle
Photo ©: Cyclingnews
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23 year-old neo-pro Emanuele Sella is a farmer's son from the Colle Berici hills south of Vicenza, and has been a talented climber ever since he first swung his leg over a bike as a young racer. Last season, Sella won 10 races as an U23 riding for the prestigious Zalf Fior squad, where maglia rosa Cunego also rode before he turned pro for Mercatone Uno in 2001.

Sella had already been in evidence at the Giro in the finale of Stage 7 to Montevergine, where he set a crazy tempo for his team leader Giuliano Figueras. But on the eleventh stage from Porto Sant'Elpidio to Cesena over a distance of 228 kilometres, the diminutive climber - seemingly cut from the same cloth as the recently departed Marco Pantani - made an audacious solo move at the base of the Passo delle Siepi with 45 kilometres remaining.

On a hot, hazy day, Sella rode away from his breakaway companions for a fantastic win in il Pirata's hometown for his first pro victory. All choked up after his win, Sella only managed to say, "I don't believe it! I don't know how I managed to win... I gave it everything today. I just still can't believe it."

At 5'5' tall, Sella's compact-sized Battaglin Vortex suits him down to a T. The Vortex features Dedaccai U2 tubing mated with a high-modulus, full carbon-fibre rear triangle and Battaglin's Cime 1'1/8" full carbon monocoque fork. Excluding size, what appears to be a new set of lightweight Ambrosio wheels and personal preferences (such as 170mm cranks and an 11-25 rear cluster), there's no significant difference between this machine and Sella's Aussie team-mate Graeme Brown's Battaglin Vortex we reviewed at the Tour Down Under in early January.

Subsequent to his Stage 11 victory, Sella continued to ride well for the remainder of the Giro, finishing the race a very credible 12th place overall, 10'26 behind Cunego. Coupled with his 7th and 11th places at the Giro della Provincia di Lucca and Giro del Trentino, this rider from Vicenza is certainly on the road to becoming a climber in the vein of il Pirata.


Images by Cyclingnews/Tim Maloney

  • Emanuele Sella - the next Marco Pantani?
  • Sella's Battaglin Vortex features Dedaccai U2 tubing mated with a high-modulus, full carbon-fibre rear triangle and Battaglin's Cime 1'1/8" full carbon monocoque fork.
  • A close-up of the carbon-fibre rear triangle.

Full specification

Frame: Battaglin Vortex
Fork: Battaglin Cime 1' 1/8" full carbon monocoque fork
Colour: Ceramiche Panaria-Margres team issue

Cranks: Shimano Dura-Ace FC-7800, 170.0mm
Bottom bracket: Shimano Dura-Ace integrated
Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace CN-7800
Front derailleur: Shimano Dura Ace FD-7800
Rear derailleur: Shimano Dura Ace RD-7800
Brakes: Shimano Dura Ace BR-7800
Levers: Shimano Dura Ace ST-7800
Rear sprockets: Shimano Dura Ace CS-7800, 11-25

Wheels: Ambrosio
Tyres: Michelin Axial Pro Race, 700 x 23

Stem: Deda Elementi Magic 31.7 Ahead
Bars: Deda Elementi Magic 31.7
Headset: Shimano Dura-Ace

Pedals: Shimano Dura Ace PD-7800
Seat post: Deda Elementi Blackstick
Saddle: Selle Italia SLK