After a season in the Pro Continental ranks with ONE Pro Cycling, 2017 sees Factor make the step up to WorldTour with AG2R La Mondiale. The Tour Down Under was the first opportunity to take a look at the French team's race bikes for the upcoming season and whilst many features were announced last October, there are a few distinct changes.
The AG2R La Mondiale bike features Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 shifting, Mavic wheels and SRM power meters, but the bike does not feature ee brakes, unlike the initial announcement last autumn. Further to this, one of Factor's owners, former Tour de France green jersey winner Baden Cooke, explained that the bikes would feature CeramicSpeed oversized jockey wheels on the rear derailleurs. Regular Dura-Ace 9000 series brakes and standard Di2 rear derailleurs are in place of these items on the Factor, although CeramicSpeed does supply the headset or bottom bracket.
Domenico Pozzovivo raced the Factor O2 for the first time at the Tour Down Under. The Italian rides a size 49 frame and the complete bike weighs in just over the UCI minimum weight limit at 6.84kg.
The O2 is completed with finishing kit from Black Inc, including the seat post, handlebars and stem. Pozzovivo runs 53-39 chainrings and a Shimano Ultegra 11-28 cassette. The cables around the cockpit are tied together with a few pieces of electrical tape, which leaves a lot to be desired aesthetically. Fizik provide both the handlebar tape and the Arione saddle complimenting the white and blue colour scheme.
Much like many other WorldTour teams, it is likely we will see AG2R La Mondiale switch to the latest Dura-Ace 9100 series groupsets come spring.