Ridley Damocles - Robbie McEwen



When you think of Australian cycling legends, there’s one diminutive dynamo who left a massive impact on the world of professional cycling: Robbie McEwen, the Pocket Rocket. Standing at a whopping 5’7″ McEwen was a true underdog in a sport dominated by giants. But did that stop him? Absolutely not! In fact, it fuelled his passion for pedalling to new heights. He was the pint-sized powerhouse who defied the laws of physics and logic.

He notched an incredible 12 stage wins at the prestigious Tour de France, showcasing his sprinting prowess against the world’s best. McEwen also claimed the Green Jersey, awarded to the Tour’s best sprinter, an astounding three times. He also shone at the Giro d’Italia, where he amassed another 12 stage victories. He was twice Australian National Champion.

McEwen’s career was a testament to tactical genius. He had the strategic prowess of a chess grandmaster and the cunning of a fox raiding a chicken coop. He could sit comfortably in the peloton, seemingly invisible, until suddenly, he’d pop out of nowhere, a blur of lycra and speed, leaving his rivals scratching their heads as he raised his hands over the finish line.

But it wasn’t just his tactical wisdom that set McEwen apart; it was his ability to take on the Goliaths of the cycling world and come out on top. He was like David with a carbon-fibre slingshot, taking down giants twice his size. McEwen didn’t need quadriceps the size of tree trunks to win; he had the tenacity of a fox terrier chasing a postman.

He took many of his wins aboard Ridley bikes, and the one in our Flandrien Hotel collection was a special team issue model to celebrate him as Australian Champion in the 2005 season. The same year he took three stages in the Tour de France aboard his special green & gold inspired Ridley Damocles, fitted with Campagnolo Record components and high-profile Bora carbon wheels.

In a sport where power-to-weight ratios are king, McEwen’s lightweight build was more a blessing than a curse. While he may have lacked the brute force of his larger rivals, he made up for it with sheer determination and cunning. McEwen was able to make it through the mountain stages of the Grand Tours while bigger and heavier rivals like Mario Cipollini would be withdrawing early and heading to the beach.  

He had the energy conservation skills of a chameleon on a tree branch, blending into the peloton for hours before exploding like a fireworks show, making everyone wonder if he’d been a hidden firecracker all along!” And he could navigate the chaos of a bunch sprint like a stealthy kangaroo evading a pack of dingoes.

His victories weren’t just wins; they were masterpieces of strategy and audacity. He was a reminder that in the world of cycling, size truly doesn’t matter.

Cheers to Robbie McEwen, the Aussie dynamo who proved that in cycling, brains, tenacity, and a dash of audacity can outshine the giants.