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Pro bikes, January 19, 2008

Wim Stroetinga's Focus Izalco

Photo ©: Mark Gunter

Sounds like Falcon, flies like one

By Les Clarke

Team Milram's Wim Stroetinga is best known as a member of the Dutch national track squad. The 23-year-old from Drachten has ridden for several continental teams since 2005 and makes the jump to the ProTour with Milram for the 2009 season.

Riding his first Tour Down Under, Stroetinga will be on board one of the German squad's new Focus Izalco frames, which were unveiled in team livery during Milram's presentation in Dortmund earlier this month.

The German company initiated its sponsorship after the relationship with long-term technical partner Colnago ended was ended following the 2008 season. The fact that Rabobank has also switched to another manufacturer means that Colnago is no longer represented in the ProTour peloton... but that's another story for another time.

Milram team mechanic Phillipe Tisma, who hails from Slovenia and had spent the last three-and-a-half seasons working for the now-defunct Gerolsteiner squad, told Cyclingnews that the Focus bikes are a little bit of an unknown to work on at the moment as its early days of the sponsorship deal.

"For now it [the Izalco] is ok to work on, but we're not finished," said Tisma. "Maybe in a month or two there could be a problem or two, but at the moment it's ok." It's first outing in a ProTour race the Izalco was better than just 'ok', with this particular rig being ridden to second place in the Cancer Council Classic. Stroetinga got close to Katusha's Robbie McEwen but narrowly missed out on the win.

It was working well on that occasion, and Stroetinga's performance was a good start for the manufacturer in its ProTour debut.

Tisma explained that it's the same story for the team's wheel supplier, Lightweight. Previously, the only Milram rider who had used CarbonSports' premium wheelset had been Erik Zabel,with the veteran German sprinter maintaining an arrangement to use the highly-desired wheels during his time at the squad.

Now the entire team is on them, and Tisma has found them to be good, despite the limited use. In fact, the Tour Down Under will be the first race for the team on these carbon beauties. "We've only used them for a training camp for two days, otherwise this will be the first time we've really used them," said Tisma. He added that the team will be using two models of Lightweights during the year - the Standard and the Ventoux.

Full specification

Frame: Focus Izalco SSPS High Modulus Fibre, size Medium
Fork: 3T Funda Pro

Critical measurements
Rider's height: 1.76m (5' 9") ; Weight: 69kg (153lb)
Seat tube length, c-c: 490mm
Seat tube length, c-t: 620mm
Saddle height, from BB (c-t): 729mm
Tip of saddle nose to C of bars (next to stem): 550mm
C of front wheel to top of bars (next to stem): 561mm
Top tube length: 540mm (actual)

Front brake: SRAM Red
Rear brake: SRAM Red
Brake levers: SRAM Red
Front derailleur: SRAM Red
Rear derailleur: SRAM Red
Shift levers: SRAM Red Double Tap
Cassette: SRAM OG-1090 (11-21)
Chain: SRAM PC 1090 Powerchain
Crankset: SRAM Red, 172.5mm, 39/53T
Bottom bracket: SRAM GXP Team

Wheelset: Lightweight Standard
Front tyre: Continental tubular, 700x22c
Rear tyre: Continental tubular, 700x24c

Bars: FSA K-Force carbon, 42cm
Stem: FSA OS 99, 125mm x -10?
Headset: FSA Integrated
Tape/grip: fi'zi:k

Pedals: Speedplay Zero
Seat post: FSA
Saddle: fi'zi:k Arione CX
Bottle cages: Tacx
Computer: Garmin
Other accessories: n/a

Total bike weight: 6.8kg (15.0lb)