Bianchi will return to the WorldTour next year with France’s Arkéa-Samsic, taking over from Canyon as the team’s bike supplier. The partnership also includes a Pro Continental women's and Development Team line-up.
Bianchi was last represented in the WorldTour by Team BikeExchange in 2021 but the Australian squad switched to Giant for 2022.
Arkéa-Samsic riders will use the brand new Oltre RC aero road bike that Bianchi announced a fortnight ago.
Production versions of the Oltre RC features ‘Air Deflector’ aero tech – devices attached to the head tube designed to channel airflow and create a low-pressure zone at the rear of the tube – although that’s academic as far as Arkéa-Samsic is concerned because the Air Deflectors aren't UCI-legal. It looks like they've been removed from the team bike pictured here.
Bianchi claims a frame weight of 915g (size 55) and 420g for the fork. This compares with a claimed frame weight of 990g for the Bianchi Oltre XR4.
The Oltre RC features an integrated cockpit which is designed “to generate low-pressure air vortices directed towards the legs of the moving athlete through a centrally located hole” (pictured on a bike, above, that does have the Air Deflectors fitted to the head tube).
The captain of Team Arkéa-Samsic’s WorldTour squad is the experienced Warren Barguil, winner of two Tour de France stages. The team will count on Nacer Bouhanni for sprint finishes while strength is added to the squad by young riders such as Clément Champoussin.
Bianchi will also support Team Arkéa-Samsic’s Development team and the women’s team that features Amandine Fouquenet, the French U23 road champion.
Team Arkéa-Samsic bikes will feature these components:
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.