Iconic Italian bike brand Bianchi will make a return to the WorldTour in 2023 as the new bike partner for French team Arkéa-Samsic.
Warren Barguil and his teammates will ride Bianchi’s Oltre RC, Specialissima and Aquila bikes in competition next season after the team and Bianchi agreed a partnership that is due to last for several seasons.
Up until recently Arkéa-Samsic rode Canyon bikes.
Emmanuel Herbert, general manager of the French team explained that Bianchi had “written the history of our sport in gold letters with famous riders" and was "recognised by all passionate people for its heritage and innovation".
He added: "I had the chance to race in the professional ranks on bikes from this Italian brand which was, and still is, one of the crown jewels of the cycling industry,” he said.
“The alliance between Arkéa-Samsic’s 'Breton will' and Bianchi’s 'Italian excellence' will give rise to this common desire: to sign numerous successes with the aim of promoting both our riders and the Bianchi brand, whose history is already rich and well established. And new pages will be written in the present with Arkéa-Samsic,” he added.
Fabrizo Scalzotto, CEO of Bianchi said that the new partnership will help ensure that the brand is well-represented on the WorldTour.
Scalzotto said: “In recent years, Team Arkéa-Samsic has demonstrated growth by achieving its planned goals. The solid organisation and the international approach are two factors that we consider decisive, and in the coming years we want to contribute to efforts for achieving new targets and to be well represented in the World Tour”
'OLTRE RC IS ONE OF THE BEST AERO BIKES IN THE WORLD'
Meanwhile, Théo Ouvrard sports manager for Arkéa-Samsic likened the new Bianchi Oltre RC to an F1 car and said that partnering with the brand will help his team move to the next level.
The new bike will only be legal in UCI races without its 'Air Deflectors' system.
“The Bianchi Oltre RC is one of the best aero bikes in the world, according to the studies carried out on this model. So this bike could take us to the next level.
"The Oltre RC is very fast on the flat, but is also very versatile for hilly classics, for example. It’s a bike that, in terms of pure technology, is like an F1 car – if I may make the comparison. Its CX (coefficient of penetration in the air) is one of the lowest on the market, everything has been designed to make it go fast on the road.
“The Oltre RC also has a very high stiffness, which is important when riding fast, as there is less loss of power. The cockpit also offers this advantage of stiffness, which is good for all riders, but especially for sprinters. So it’s a very responsive bike and it’s going to be very promising.” Ouvrard said.
In recent years, Bianchi bikes have been ridden by Jumbo-Visma and Team BikeExchange-Jayco with Primož Roglič winning the Vuelta a España on one of the brand's iconic celeste blue frames.
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