Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) looks to be wearing a pair of as-yet-unreleased shoes from DMT, the Italian shoe specialist that also sponsors the likes of Elia Viviani, Luis León Sánchez, Alberto Contador and the Alé BTC Ljubljana women's team.
Information about the shoes is currently unavailable from DMT, but they look to be similar to the brand's KR1 in that they are knitted in construction. They differ in that they forego the BOA dial in favour of entirely lace-up retention, with what looks to be an elasticated sleeve across the upper to help keep the laces hidden from the wind and out of harm's way. The knit construction will undoubtedly lead to the shoes being lightweight and breathable, and a diamond of perforations is featured across the toe box to increase airflow. We're yet to get a good look at the sole, but it will undoubtedly be carbon fibre in construction.
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Pogačar hasn't always used DMT shoes, though, and 2020 is the first season he has been with the Italian company. He previously wore shoes from lightweight carbon specialists Berk Composites, whose factory is based just eight kilometres from his home town in Slovenia, and who also sponsor fellow Slovenian Matej Mohorič.
Despite his longstanding relationship with DMT Cycling, Elia Viviani is still sporting the KR1 shoes, which pair laces with a BOA dial for retention. And while he started the race in a pair of red and white KR1 shoes, and despite no longer holding the title of European road race champion, the Italian was spotted wearing the custom European-champion-edition shoes awarded to him after last year's European road race victory on stage 14.
Pogačar has seen plenty of the limelight at this year's Tour de France so far. Losing time in the crosswinds of stage 7 put the UAE Team Emirates leader on the back foot, but in the stages since, he has looked like one of the favourites for the yellow jersey. His attack and the subsequent record-breaking ascent of the Col de Peyresourde of stage 8 hinted at his place as a GC contender, before his win on stage 9 cemented it.
In the transition days across France to the Alps, the Slovenian national time trial champion hasn't put a pedal stroke wrong, and with the race about to hit four consecutive mountain stages, all eyes will be on the 21-year-old as he and his fellow countryman Primož Roglič go toe to toe in a bid for yellow. Such time in the spotlight will undoubtedly be keeping the bosses at DMT happy.
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