What makes a WorldTour bike? Oliver Naesen and Sam Bennett talk race bikes

A line of Van Rysel RCR bikes
(Image credit: Joan Cros - Corbis / Contributor)

What makes a WorldTour bike? It may seem a simple question at face value, but if most people were asked to explain it to a friend in 2024, they would probably say something like; 'Aero, handling and stiffness'. Racers want to go fast and bikes need to be able to cope with the power of some of the world's strongest bike riders as they thunder down technical mountain passes. But it's one thing to speculate and assume, it's another to speak with the riders who race these bikes at the highest level for a living.

Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale has hit the ground running this year. It's too early to say if the Van Rysel RCR has been the bike of the season, but the riders, bikes and overall equipment package seem to have coalesced into a winning formula this year. The Van Rysel RCR seemed to slot seamlessly into the WorldTour ranks and only appears to have received praise since its release. The team has claimed 23 victories already this year and currently sits 2nd overall in the 2024 UCI WorldTeam Rankings, a jump of 16 places compared to last year.   

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Tom Wieckowski
Tech writer

Tom joined the Cyclingnews team in late 2022 as tech writer. Tom has over 10 years experience as a qualified mechanic with 5 or so of those being spent running an independent workshop. Tom has ridden and raced bikes from an early age up to a national level on the road and track and has ridden and competed in most disciplines, even the odd bit of bike polo. Tom is as happy tinkering away in the garage as he is out on the road bike exploring the Worcestershire lanes.