Pro bike: Domenico Pozzovivo's Focus Izalco Max

Italian climber Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r-La Mondiale) will be happy to have left the wet and slippery roads of Ireland behind him in favour of the more familiar tarmac of his home country. The slightly built, pure climber will look forward even more to the big mountains of the Giro d'Italia, especially with such a lightweight rig beneath him as this Focus Izalco Max.

Pozzovivo's Izalco Max pushes aside any consideration of aerodynamic performance, instead concentrating on the traditional metrics of stiffness and weight. The tube shapes are nominally round throughout and just when it seemed like tube diameters were getting progressively bigger, Focus has instead downsized the ones on the Izalco. According to the German company, this decreases the weight (less surface area equates to less material) while high-stiffness fibres allow for thinner walls, too.

Focus officially launched its new Izalco Max just a few months ago, passing over aerodynamic shaping in favour of a more traditional design that prioritizes stiffness and weight

The head tube is still tapered but with a modest 1 1/8-to-1 1/4in steerer housed inside, and the chain stays are shorter in height relative to the older Izalco Team but spaced further apart. In between is a PressFit 30 bottom bracket shell while hollow carbon dropouts anchor the opposite ends.

The Campagnolo Super Record EPS battery and brain are installed inside the frame. The charge port is situated on the underside of the down tube

At the bike's launch early this year, a bare 54cm frame weighed just 720g on our scale and the matching fork was only 295g. Pozzovivo is using the smallest frame size available, though, so his is most likely well below 700g – a truly staggering figure.

Such low weight would normally be fantastic for heading uphill but with the UCI's 6.8kg minimum weight limit, it actually creates a little more work for the mechanics.

The Focus Izalco Max may be super light but it also looks like it's rather comfortable

Pozzovivo's frameset is dressed with a comparatively standard build kit that features a Campagnolo Super Record EPS electronic group, Fulcrum Racing Speed XLR 35 carbon tubular wheels, an SRM power meter crank, a fi'zi:k Cyrano aluminium cockpit and seatpost, a matching fi'zi:k Arione saddle, and Look KéO Blade 2 Ti pedals.

While most riders seem to prefer their bars turned slightly upward, Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r-La Mondiale) likes it the other way

As shown, we recorded a total bike weight of 7.1kg. Team mechanics told us, however, that the bike is well under the limit when Fulcrum's shallowest Racing Light wheels are installed (which doesn't quite add up by our calculations but so be it). To rectify this, they insert weights into the bottom of the seatpost as needed (up to 350g in some cases), and then seal them in with expanding foam.

Team mechanics seat weights inside the seatposts as needed to bring bikes up to the minimum 6.8kg weight

Once the Giro hits the real mountains, you can be sure that Pozzovivo's Focus will weigh exactly 6.8kg – and not a single gram more. There's a pink jersey on the line, after all.

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