There’s nothing quite like a Bianchi in the Italian marque’s iconic celeste colourway to raise the blood pressure and quicken the pulse – not least the Oltre XR4. Fortunately, based on this initial spin on the rolling roads in northern Italy, Bianchi’s new aero machine delivers a ride which backs up its lightning-quick, muscular physique.
The Oltre XR4 is best described as an evolution, rather than a complete overhaul of the existing Oltre XR2, but there’s plenty going on both externally and, crucially as far as the XR4 is concerned, internally. The Oltre is the fourth machine to join Bianchi’s Countervail family, utilising the vibration-dampening technology to improve the comfort of what is otherwise a race bike in every sense.
Because that’s how it rides: pin-sharp handling fit for the pro peloton; stiff, oversized tubes unwavering in the face of power; and, ultimately, very, very quick.