This article originally appeared on BikeRadar
Romain Bardet showed his worth in this year's edition of the Critérium du Dauphiné. Narrowly missing out on a stage victory to fellow Frenchman Thibaut Pinot in Meribel, Bardet went on to finish second overall in the race – just 12 seconds behind Chris Froome.
AG2R La Mondiale's lone hope for GC contention, Bardet has twice finished in the top ten in his past two attempts. Since 2013, AG2R La Mondiale has been riding on the German brand Focus, and this year's edition is no different.
Bardet was seen at last month's Critérium du Dauphiné on two separate set-ups of the Izalco Max; the first set-up was seen with mechanical SRAM Red 22 groupset and the aerodynamic Zipp 404 wheels. External cable routing ensures ease of maintenance and set-up of the bike, while a long-cage rear derailleur and larger rear cassette ensure a wider gear ratio for climbing.
Romain Bardet's second set-up of the Focus was equipped with the wireless SRAM Red eTap. Again 11-speed, the electronic groupset is equipped with a short-cage rear derailleur and a smaller cassette than on Bardet's mechanical setup. Ever-reliable electrical tape is used to cover holes in the frame normally used for the internal cable routing of traditional electronic shifting.
On both setups, the Frenchman opts for traditional 53-39 chainrings, and while the eTap version doesn't have a powermeter, the mechanical setup is equipped with a Quarq powermeter.
Continuing from last season, a combination of Zipp and Fizik finishing kit ensure a smart finish on the Focus. Paired with the clean lines of white and blue on the 2016 seasons' paint job, they come together to complete a no-fuss yet imposing-looking bike.
Look supplies the pedals and the Zipp wheels are wrapped with 25mm Continental Competition tubular tyres. Elite Cannibal bottle cages and a K-Edge out-front computer mount complete the bike, which – barring Thibaut Pinot – could be France's best chance at Grand Tour success since Laurent Jalabert won La Vuelta a España in 1995.
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