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Pro bikes, April 16, 2009

Filippo Pozzato's Katusha Ridley Damocles Pi

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Photo ©: James Huang

Second place at Paris-Roubaix for Pozzato's custom Ridley

By James Huang

Pozzato uses a Deda Zero 100 stem
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Even without labels the Damocles' distinctive character lines
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The new rear derailleur's updated linkage plates
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It's a good thing this year's race wasn't very muddy
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Look KeO pedals transfer the power.
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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 bike.

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

Share your thoughts with us on Filippo Pozzato's ride in the Cyclingnews forum.

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

Images by James Huang/Cyclingnews.com

Full specification

Frame: Ridley Damocles Pi, custom geometry
Fork: Ridley Damocles

Critical measurements
Rider's height: 1.83m (6' 0") ; Weight: 73kg (160lb)
Saddle height, from BB (c-t): 807mm
Tip of saddle nose to C of bars (next to stem): 640mm
C of front wheel to top of bars (next to stem):
Handlebar drop: 140mm
Headtube length: 165mm
Top tube length: 575mm

Front brake: Campagnolo Record D-Skeleton
Rear brake: Campagnolo Record D-Skeleton
Brake levers: Campagnolo Record 11s Ergopower Ultra-Shift
Front derailleur: Campagnolo Record 11s
Rear derailleur: Campagnolo Record 11s
Shift levers: Campagnolo Record 11s Ergopower Ultra-Shift
Cassette: Campagnolo Record 11s, 11-25T
Chain: Campagnolo Record 11s
Crankset: Campagnolo Record Ultra-Torque ST 11s, 172.5mm, 53/46T
Bottom bracket: Campagnolo Record Ultra-Torque

Wheelset: Campagnolo Hyperon Ultra tubular
Front tyre: Vredestein 23mm tubular
Rear tyre: Vredestein 23mm tubular

Bars: Deda Newton Shallow, 44cm (c-c)
Stem: Deda Zero 100, 140mm x -6°
Headset: FSA Orbit integrated
Tape/grip: Prologo Pro Touch

Pedals: Look KeO Carbon
Seat post: Integrated
Saddle: Prologo Nago Evo
Bottle cages: Elite Custom
Computer: Polar CS600
Other accessories: Gore sealed derailleur cable and housing set

Total bike weight: 7.19kg (15.85 lb)