Factor has celebrated the centenary Giro d’Italia with a special edition O2 that the AG2R La Mondiale team will compete on throughout cycling’s toughest Grand Tour.
The design features 20 regional flags, representing areas the race will pass, on the down-tube, with an anniversary badge stamped on the top-tube.
The nostalgic O2 will serve as added inspiration and motivation for Italian Domenico Pozzovivo, who will lead AG2R La Mondiale into the three-week battle that has attracted a field to rival that of the Tour de France.
Other title favourites have tipped the third “terrible” week of the Giro will determine the general classification, however, Pozzovivo has countered time can be gained in the opening two weeks.
The Giro starts in Sardinia on May 5 with an undulating 206km stage many have tipped will eventuate in a group sprint.
“We will be starting not only a very important race for cycling, but a very important event for all of Italy. This will be a wonderful start to the Giro,” Pozzovivo said.
“The first week will be crucial for the overall standings. The Sardinian roads can be tricky and we will climb Mount Etna as soon as we arrive in Sicily on the fourth day (Cefalù – Etna).
“I believe that the ninth stage (Montenero di Bisaccia – Blockhaus) will give us a good overview of which riders are in with a shot. The 16th stage between Rovett and Bormio will certainly be a decisive day of the Giro with the double ascent of Stelvio. Even for a climber, it will be very challenging.”
Pozzovivo enters the notoriously difficult Grand Tour on the back of a third overall finish at the Tour of Alps, and 12th at Liege-Bastogne-Liege.
“I am confident,” he said.