This article first appeared on BikeRadar.
After two consecutive podium finishes at the past two editions of the Tour de France, Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) returns in 2018 with the weight of a nation on his shoulders to repeat the same feat.
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AG2R La Mondiale are racing aboard Factor bikes for a second season after switching from Focus framesets for the start of 2017. Last year, Bardet was issued with a custom-painted blue and white frameset for the French Grand Tour but this year is racing on a black and silver frameset.
Along the top tube, a quote 'Take the risk or lose the chance' is written and Bardet's initials sit at the head of the top tube, both of which are design features taken from last year's bike.
Added to the design for 2018 is a stencilled design of Vercingetorix, king of the Arverni tribe on the head tube cluster and a separate design of Puy de Dome on the bottom of the down tube, both celebrating Bardet's home region of Auvergne.
AG2R La Mondiale is one of the three teams ceramic bearings specialists CeramicSpeed partner with at the Tour de France, with Bardet's headset and bottom bracket using CeramicSpeed bearings.
CeramicSpeed's eye-catching OSPW (over-sized pulley wheel) rear derailleur upgrade system is also used on AG2R La Mondiale's bikes with the company issuing Bardet with a special edition, glittery silver 'Victory Edition' version of the component.
Mavic has also produced a special set of Cosmic Ultimate Tubular TdF wheels, which feature artwork around the carbon rim celebrating the route of the 2018 Tour de France.
Black Inc provides Bardet with his seatpost, handlebar tape and integrated carbon cockpit system.
Click or swipe through the gallery above for a closer look at Romain Bardet's special Factor O2.