Monday saw Mark Cavendish’s return to his winning ways as he outsprinted Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) and André Greipel (Israel Start-Up Nation) in stage 2 of the Tour of Turkey into Konya. It marks his first victory in over three years, his last being a stage at the Dubai Tour in February 2018.
As he crossed the finish line, fist aloft in celebration, it was hard to ignore the Manxman's choice of eyewear. A change from his regular preference of Jawbreaker sunglasses saw the Briton sporting a new pair from his long-time sponsor Oakley.
The new pair stood out for their unconventional design and one-piece lens that curves outwards at the brow as well as around the nose.
At first glance, they look to be Oakley Encoder sunglasses, a brand new pair launched this Spring which uses the curved lens design to offer a combination of rigidity and unobstructed field of view. However, looking more closely, it seems as though Cavendish is actually using a slightly different pair; the same pair worn by Chris Froome at the 2020 Vuelta.
We reported at the time that this new pair is likely to be known as the Oakley Kato.
The two differ primarily by the lens shape, but also in the design of the arms.
The pair worn by Cavendish features a smaller lens, with a more pronounced curve around the nose, and wrap further around the face with a small triangular trailing point. The Encoder, on the other hand, are slightly less radical in their looks, but still take advantage of the curved lens technology.
Unfortunately, while the Encoder sunglasses are available to buy for £196.00 / $248.00 at Oakley.com, there's no official word from Oakley yet on the glasses worn by Cavendish.
It's no secret that Cavendish has been a longtime ambassador for Oakley. The two have previously collaborated on a design, with Oakley creating a 'CVNDSH' range, and he has helped the brand design some of the best cycling sunglasses available today.
He has previously shown off part of his collection on Instagram, with an image of a display cabinet containing close to 100 pairs, and he recently posted an image with the caption "still a Jawbreaker man."
This fact was cemented by the Briton's return to Jawbreakers for his second consecutive win on stage 3 into Alanya.
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Josh has been with us as Senior Tech Writer since the summer of 2019 and throughout that time he's covered everything from buyer's guides and deals to the latest tech news and reviews. On the bike, Josh has been riding and racing for over 15 years. He started out racing cross country in his teens back when 26-inch wheels and triple chainsets were still mainstream, but he found favour in road racing in his early 20s, racing at a local and national level for Team Tor 2000. He's always keen to get his hands on the newest tech, and while he enjoys a good long road race, he's much more at home in a local criterium.
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