The pressure placed on French teams contesting the Tour de France is considerable, and perhaps comparable to the media frenzy at home that accompanies the England football team’s entry to any major tournament.
While those with the ‘Three Lions’ on their chests can be relied upon to make a hasty exit, the home riders in the Tour will usually give their all for the glory of France, not to mention their own. Look no further than Blel Kadri’s victory on stage eight of this year’s race for the most recent example.
Kadri rode to victory aboard a Focus Izaclo Max, and while the teams were in Yorkshire, we seized the opportunity to get a close up view of the machinery placed at Ag2r-La Mondiale’s disposal, wheeling away the steed of Kadri’s team-mate, Mickaël Cherel.
Riders like Cherel form the backbone of any squad. Despite a host of top 10 finishes in UCI 1.1 events, the 28-year-old is unlikely to visit the sharp end of the GC in top-tier races, and will deploy his talents to supporting the likes of Kadri and team leader, Romain Bardet.
Let’s take a closer look at Cherel’s Focus Izalco Max.