For 2011 Bianchi is beginning a new partnership with the Pro Continental Italian team, Androni Giocattoli. Previously riding Guerciotti bikes, the team will now ride Bianchi’s all new road racer, the Oltre. An aero carbon frame, it represents Bianchi’s best efforts to produce a pure road racing machine. Oltre means“beyond”, fitting for a bike that Bianchi calls their top of the line HoC model (Hors Category).
Typically aero sculpted frames are a bit heavy, but Binachi got the Oltre frame quite light, under 1000 grams for a 55cm frame. Utilizing ultra high modulus uni-directional carbon with incredibly thin tube walls made this possible. Those same characteristics should also make the bike very stiff.
Of course, they didn’t want the bike brittle so a number of unique technologies were applied to the monocoque frame. Nano tubes are added to the resin and a webbing pattern called X-tex is employed on the interior of some high stress tubes.
Bianchi is hoping to do more than simply provide bikes to Androni Giocattoli. They are hoping for a partner to help them develop their bikes with feedback from some of the biggest races in the world, races like the Giro d’Italia.
The first race for the team and the new Oltre is the Tour de San Luis in Argentina and the bike is already delivering results. Roberto Ferrari won the first stage from a lead group of 20 with a blazing sprint on his new Oltre. He now leads the race overall while his team, Androni Giocattali, is leading the team classification.