Factor Bikes will be represented at this years Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro with young Laotian rider, Alex Phounsavath, racing the road race on a Factor O2 this coming August. Alex, a former South East Asia Road Champion, will not only be the sole representative for his home country of Laos but also for all of South East Asia.
The selection came as a shock to Alex – although growing, cycling in his home country of Laos is not a wide spread sport and qualifications for the games has specific criteria and can be few and far between should the nation not have large representation at the World Tour level.
“This participation in the Olympics means a lot for me and my country,” said Alex, “especially for an Asian like me that has very little chance to qualify. When I found out about it, I was very shocked and surprised.”
The course will be extremely challenging for the 25-year-old rider, but Alex has spent this season in Europe in order to prepare for the Games through getting in some decent training and race experience. “I have been training and racing a lot now in France for my preparation to Rio, so racing every weekend and getting use to the racing pace. It has been ideal,” explained Alex.
On August 6, Alex will line up against some of the best in cycling to tackle the 256.6km course, which is promising to be extremely tough favouring Classics style riders starting at the famous Copacabana beach. Passing through some of Rio’s most iconic locations, the peloton will face two cobbled sections as well as some incredible climbs including the 1.2km Grumari climb with a 7% gradient, the Grota Funda which is 2.1km at 4.5% and the most difficult Canoas/Vista circuit featuring an 8.9km climb. The Olympic parcours conclude with a flat 20km run in to Copacabana beach where the gold medal waits.
Alex has been racing the Asia tour for the past three years, having spent two seasons on the CCN Cycling Team. He has also been a trainee with the World Cycling Centre for the past two years. At such a young age, the Olympics Games are going to provide Alex with invaluable road racing experience and we are excited that he is able to do so on a Factor Bike.
The Factor O2 is the most versatile bike in the range and provides riders with a clean, sharp riding experience with an aerodynamic advantage like no other – it suits the Olympic course to perfection – when you kick for the summit, the O2 soars; when you carve into the turn, the O2 inspires; and when you hit the cobbles, the O2 excels.