Is this the cheapest WorldTour bike? AG2R to ride Decathlon's Van Rysels in 2024

No more brown bib shorts for the French team either, as they become Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale

Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale
(Image credit: Hlénie/Van Rysel)

All change at AG2R next season, as the team becomes Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale from 2024 onwards, with the team ditching Citroën, BMC and their famous brown bib shorts and climbing on Van Rysel bikes for at least the next five years.

Alongside the announcement of five new riders for the French team - including Sam Bennett and Victory Lafay - the WorldTour squad showed off its new kit and bikes for next season.

The kit is a smart blue and white affair, paired with black bib shorts, made by Van Rysel, and will be paired with helmets and sunglasses from the same line. Three new helmets have been produced for the partnership.

Van Rysel, Decathlon's premium bike marque, has worked with Swiss Side, Deda Elementi and ONERA, the French aerospace research laboratory, to develop the RCR  PRO road  bike and the XCR time trial bike. The frame, headset and handlebars are all Van Rysel, paired with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 and Swiss Side wheels. The RCR PRO bike was claimed to weight 6.826kg at the team presentation.

The partnership with Decathlon means that customers will be able to buy the WorldTour equipment at their local stores from 2024, meaning that you could walk into a shopping centre as a normal person, and emerge looking and equipped like Ben O'Connor.

Going off the bikes currently available on Decathlon's French website, we think this means that AG2R will be riding the cheapest bikes on the WorldTour next season. The top of the range Van Rysel RCR PRO currently on sale on French Decathlon is on sale for €8,500, or about £7,400/$9,300. 

While this is fitted out with SRAM Red eTap not Shimano Dura-Ace Di2, and it doesn't have the same Swiss Side wheels as the WorldTour riders will be using next year, it is a good way of seeing just how - comparatively - affordable the Van Rysel bikes will be.

In comparison, the Canyon Aeroad that Mathieu van der Poel and Alpecin-Deceuninck ride is £8,799/$9,899, which is still not a lot when compared with the Cervélo S5 that Jumbo-Visma ride, which is on sale for £12,500/$13,000, or the Pinarello Dogma F as used by Ineos Grenadiers, which is on sale for £13,200/$15,500.

ONERA's collaboration with Van Rysel on the RCR PRO was down to aerodynamics, with the aerospace experts helping make the bike as light and as stiff as possible, while still being great through the air.

The three-year project has culminated in the RCR Pro and the XCR time trial bike. The latter is not yet available from the French retailer, but will be in 2024.

Nicolas Pierron, the director of Van Rysel, said in the press release: "Since its creation in 2019, VAN RYSEL, 'made in Flanders', has aspired to become a major brand in the professional peloton. Our engineers and designers set ultra-high standards to achieve ultra-performance. We teamed up with experts and professional riders, to arrive at the starting line with products ready to win. 

"We are very proud to see our bikes, helmets, and glasses chosen by the AG2R La Mondiale teams, including the long-established team of the UCI WorldTour. We are excited and eager to start the season."

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