A change of sponsor and team name means there’s a new lick of paint for the Bianchi Oltre XR2 bikes of Lotto.NL-Jumbo, formerly known as Belkin Pro Cycling.
Fortunately that means the celeste-green machine of 2014, which combined the corporate colours of Bianchi and Belkin in an unsightly hybrid, is replace by an all-celeste frame in the year that the Italian bike manufacturer celebrates its 130th year.
That anniversary also means there’s a special logo on the frame – and the same goes for all bikes in Bianchi’s 2015 range.
While there may be a new paintjob, the frame itself remains the same, with the Oltre XR2 first unveiled in June 2013 and used by the team since then.
The XR2 is an evolution of the original Oltre XR, with a suitably low claimed frame weight of 895g and with a handful of subtle aero-inspired features, including the integrated fork/headtube junction, the aero-profiled seatpost and the hidden seatpost clamp.
The frame itself is made from a blend of carbon fibre dubbed ‘X-Tex carbon technology’, which is said to place a additional carbon weave moulded into the headtube and bottom bracket to boost stiffness in those two key areas. There’s also a beefy BB386 Evo bottom bracket shell, again to improve rigidity, while the ‘Ultra Thin Seat Stays’ are designed to add some comfort into the rear end.
Lotto.NL-Jumbo’s component sponsors carry over for 2015, so that means each machine is equipped with a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupset, Pioneer power meter, Shimano Dura-Ace wheels (in a range of depths and pictured here in the C50 variation) wrapped in Vittoria tyres, and FSA finishing kit.