People who follow professional cycling closely, but don’t necessarily know the ins-and-outs of team sponsorships, may wonder why there are two teams in today’s pro peloton with Lotto in the name. Both teams, the other being Lotto Soudal, are sponsored by European national lotteries. In the case of LottoNL Jumbo, this is the Dutch lottery. Other sponsors are Jumbo, a supermarket chain, and Brand Loyalty, a marketing firm. In an earlier iteration the team was sponsored by Rabobank, a fixture in the peloton from 1996 to 2012.
Bianchi is another name that has been around the sport of cycling a very long time. Founded in Italy in 1885, Bianchi’s Celeste paint color is synonymous with the brand. For the 2016 and 2017 seasons Bianchi will be supplying bikes to LottoNL Jumbo. This particular example is slated for Maarten Tjallingii, a Dutch professional who has been racing with the team since 2009, back when they were still Rabobank. More about Maarten’s bike…
The Bianchi Oltre XR2 is the company’s flagship bike, and slated for “extreme racing” – or in Bianchi’s categorization Hors Category – ride beyond limits.
Like just about every other team bike spotted at the 2016 Tour Down Under, LottoNL Jumbo’s bikes are kitted out with electronic drivetrains – there is one team who is the exception to this, more on that in a future article.
Shimano’s proven 11-speed Dura-Ace Di2 groupset handles the shifting duties, with standard 53/39 chainrings on the crankset, and an 11-25 cassette on the rear wheel.
While Maarten’s bike wasn’t fitted with a power meter when these photos were taken, Pioneer is the team’s official sponsor for power measurement.
A chain catcher keeps everything in check, should the chain decide to unseat itself.
In addition to the electronic drivetrain, Shimano is the team’s wheel supplier, and in the case of Maarten, he has chosen Shimano’s all-around C35 tubular race wheelset.
However, wheel selection is liable to change at the drop of a hat, dependent on the course profile, etc. Other bikes of the team were spotted with C35 and C50 wheelsets.
Vittoria, not as prevalent in the pro peloton as in previous years, supplies the team with tires. Take a close look at the tread pattern on the new 25mm wide Corsa tire in the photo below. Check out our exclusive first ride feature on this latest fast version of the new Vittoria Corsa tubulars.
Maarten sits atop a Selle San Marco saddle, attached to the Oltre XR2’s carbon aero seatpost. Selle San Marco has been a sponsor with the team since the 2015 season.
While aero brakes have made some inroads into professional cycling, more and more manufacturers are reversing changes made in previous model years, or disregarding them altogether to go back to the accessibility and performance of dual-pivot, side-pull calipers.
While rear brake cable routing on the Bianchi Oltre XR2 is internalized, entering at the right side of the head tube, the Dura-Ace brakes themselves are mounted externally.
Shimano’s Di2 wires are also routed internally, entering the headtube just behind the rear brake cable. Keeping with the theme of accessibility, the Di2 Junction A box is mounted beneath the stem. While not as attractive as an integrated or hidden solution, ease of accessibility makes a mechanic’s life much easier should a wiring issue arise, especially at the speeds things need to be dealt with in the pro peloton.
FSA (Full Speed Ahead) provides the team with key cockpit parts, such as SL-K stems and K-Force handlebars. Gotta love those pro sponsor decals over the bar tape for maximum logo placement. They’ll need to get replaced each morning before the race to keep sponsors happy.
With Bianchi’s long standing heritage and distinctive paint color, the Bianchi Oltre XR2 is one of the more handsome bicycles in today’s pro peloton.
Stage one of the 2016 Tour Down Under officially kicks off on Tuesday, January 19. Be on the lookout for LottoNL Jumbo aboard their sharp, classy looking race rigs.
Photos and article by Gravel Cyclist.
Jayson O’Mahoney is the Gravel Cyclist: A website about the Gravel Cycling Experience.