Bianchi has unveiled the Specialissima disc and Oltre XR4 disc bikes which will be raced by Greenedge cycling team during the 2021 season - with both machines sporting a potentially controversial paint job.
The Italian marque which is synonymous with celeste has painted these bikes up to be predominantly black, with a little of its trademark hue at the headtube and chainstays, accompanied by a host of guesting pantones.
At the 2020 Tour de France, Bianchi sponsored team Jumbo-Visma raced aboard black versions of the Oltre XR4, for a saving of 80g, so it's possible there's more to this rejection of celeste than pure aesthetics.
The Specialissima was updated in October this year, when it became disc brake only, also gaining aero profiles whilst remaining distinguished from the aero race bike the Oltre XR4. The brand claimed the frame weight for a painted size 55 came in at 750g with a 370g fork, vs 780/340g for the previous version - meaning any potential weight penalty of the disc rotors was negated.
Bianchi Marketing and Communication Manager Claudio Masnata commented: “The new look has been devised in close partnership between Bianchi and Greenedge, helping to bring together our aligned communication aims, by treating the bicycle and rider as a single integrated entity.”
Bianchi said that pairing celeste with the new "turquoise-celeste shade" adds "an element of modernity," adding: "the end result is a dynamic, forward-thinking colour scheme which creates the effect of colours flashing diagonally through the frame.
Greenedge enters a new era for 2021, leaving behind the 'Mitchelton-Scott' name, and of course the Scott bikes than accompanied that.
Commenting on the year ahead, chairman of Greenedge Cycling Darach McQuaid said: "For Greenedge Cycling, the 2021 season is a new era, a new beginning, and racing it with an iconic brand like Bianchi, will be a great honour. Over the past nine years we have achieved incredible results in the UCI WorldTour. Bianchi will bring their unique Italian style and innovative technologies to the team and together we will aim to achieve great success. We have worked hard in these last months to put together the best team, with the best riders and staff, and we can’t wait to begin this new journey with Bianchi.”
The bikes will be equipped with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupsts and Shimano C40 and C60 whelsets (though Jumbo-Visma swapped these for some stages, and Shimano is limited in its tubeless disc option for time trials). Cockpits will be Reparto Corse by Vision or FSA, with Pirelli P Zero tyres, Fizik saddles, Tacx bottles and cages plus Garmin computers.
Riders will have a choice between the Specialissima and Oltre XR4 road bikes, riding the Aquila time trial bike when racing the clock.
Cycling Weekly's Tech Editor Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is a traditional journalist by trade, having begun her career working for a local newspaper before spending a few years at Evans Cycles, then combining the two with a career in cycling journalism.
When not typing or testing, Michelle is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 1904rt.
Favourite bikes include a custom carbon Werking road bike as well as the Specialized Tarmac SL6.
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