Whilst we were thrilled to celebrate a ‘chicken dinner’ day for Mark Cavendish – his first since 2018 – the Cycling Weekly tech team couldn’t help but notice the Manxman’s unconventional choice of sunglasses for stage two of the Tour of Turkey.
The 35-year-old won the shortened race, surging past Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) and André Greipel (Israel Start-Up Nation) – achieving the season-long goal he’d set himself, of winning at least one race during his one-year contract. And he did so sporting some aero looking eyewear.
The glasses appear to feature a one-piece lens, which curves to follow the shape of the rider’s nose, as opposed to utilising a traditional nose bridge.
Riding for Deceuninck – Quick-Step, Cavendish will always be in Oakley rims, but these glasses aren’t available within the current range.
It isn’t the first time these glasses have made an appearance. The style was first seen as far back as February 2020, with a Super Bowl version released as a limited edition. Then in October 2020, Chris Froome shared a picture of himself riding in a pair of glasses following a similar style. From a side profile, it’s possible to see that these offer a wrap-around fit with thinner than conventional arms which hook straight on to the lens.
There’s no obvious ventilation that we can see on the frame or lens.
The same glasses were also sported by Sam Bennett en route to his stage four win at The Vuelta.
The rumour mill suggests that the glasses will be called the Kato glasses, and are indeed a ‘first’ for Oakely. It’s also expected that there will be a further ‘Kato X’ model, with a less obviously protruding nose piece.
Cycling Weekly understands that we can expect the glasses to be officially released in the coming months.
It seems to be a year of new releases for the Californian brand.
Just last month, Oakley released an additional pair of glasses to pad out its already bulging cycling range – the Encoder. These have been sported by Canyon-SRAM riders in recent weeks and feature a frameless design that offers a wide field of view, with a redesigned and curved nose area that reportedly offers greater rigidity and impact protection.