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Bianchi returns to WorldTour with Team Arkéa-Samsic – but those Air Deflectors are missing

French team will use Bianchi’s Reparto Corse collection, headlined by the new Oltre RC

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.

2023 Bianchi Oltre RC Arkea Samsic - 1 (1)

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 unveils radical new Oltre road bike with ‘Air Deflector’ aero tech 

2023 Bianchi Oltre RC Arkea Samsic - 3

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. 

2023 Bianchi Oltre RC Air Deflector - 1

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).

Arkéa-Samsic riders will also use the Bianchi Specialissima lightweight road bike and the Aquila time trial bike, while the Zolder Pro will return to the international stage of World Cup cyclocross.

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:

  • Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupset and road wheelset
  • Vision TT wheelset
  • Reparto Corse by Vision/FSA cockpit (for Specialissima and Aquila)
  • Continental tyres
  • Selle Italia saddles
  • Elite bottles/cages
  • Wahoo computers

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 technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. 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.

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Nick T | 1 year ago

With thst ugly head tube/fork crown misalignment, they've really nailed the generic Chinese factory vendor "just use whatever fork is laying around" look

the infamous grouse | 1 year ago

someone at bianchi thought their handlebar/stem design was better than the vision ACR design.

PRSboy | 1 year ago
1 like

The UCI would probably prefer it if bikes still had steel tube frames and two gears.  Shouldnt they encourage innovation?

philsinclair | 1 year ago

And the picture has the Oltre RC with Dura Ace wheels .... I am actually happy to see Bianchi back sponsoring a World Tour team. I could be biased though.

BalladOfStruth | 1 year ago

I still reckon that the paint jobs on this bike are acting like battleship "dazzle-camo" and it might look alright if they'd let you have it in a solid colour. Anyone around here any good with photoshop?

mark1a replied to BalladOfStruth | 1 year ago

I'm not very good with Photoshop, but here's a quick try at removing the celeste flashes.


BalladOfStruth replied to mark1a | 1 year ago
1 like


I think that looks a lot better. Not as pretty as the old Oltre (or, indeed, most of its Italian counterparts), but certainly no worse than the Cervelo S5.

I think the stripes on the top tube and seat tube are creating the optical illusion that the top tube points downward towards the head tube, when it doesn't. And the stripe on the head tube makes the stem angle look steeper than it is.

I think if Bianchi were to bin the stripes and offer it in solid celeste, the reception might be a little warmer.

philsinclair replied to BalladOfStruth | 1 year ago
1 like

As per my Specialissima ......  1

bobbinogs replied to BalladOfStruth | 1 year ago

BalladOfStruth wrote:

I think if Bianchi were to bin the stripes and offer it in solid celeste, the reception might be a little warmer.

Nope, it's lipstick on a pig

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