Oakley has teamed up with Mark Cavendish to release a ‘Signature Series’ edition of its distinctive Kato model.
The Cav approved Katos, which Oakley says he was “heavily involved” in designing, feature a white frame with Prizm 24K lenses. Closer inspection reveals some additional detail in the shape of gold accents and a ‘Cav’ etching on the lenses, which is apparently inspired by the Manxman’s love of Greek mythology.
It’s fair to argue that Cavendish is the god of modern sprinters. He was an early adopter of the Kato design, wearing the glasses during the 2021 Tour de France, most notably on Stage 13 where he crossed the line first at Carcassonne to equal Eddy Merckx’s record of 34 stage wins. He’ll be hoping to surpass the Cannibal this July in the colours of his new team Astana Qazaqstan.
As a nod to his long-standing relationship with Oakley Cav’s signature shades come with a special edition microbag that features a look back at the various sunglass styles he’s worn throughout his illustrious career.
The Kato glasses certainly cut an idiosyncratic shape. They feature a one-piece lens that eschews a traditional nose bridge altogether. On their release Oakley - who's products are a constant presence in our best cycling sunglasses tests - described the glasses as featuring an “innovative, frameless lens, crafted with an extended wrap and built-in retention to mimic the structural properties of a typical frame”, designed “to fit close to the contours of the face, creating a mask-like feel.” Since then they’ve been worn not only by Cav but also by fellow TdF legends four-time champion Chris Froome and green jersey winner Sam Bennett.
Cavendish is still awaiting his first win of the 2023 season. He finished on the podium earlier this month at the Scheldeprijs one-day race in Belgium behind Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) and Sam Welsford (Team DSM) and will be hoping it's a sign he’s rounding into form. He is slated to race at next week’s Tour de Romandie ahead of lining up at this year's Giro d’Italia in May.
For more information on the Mark Cavendish Signature Series Oakley Kato sunglasses visit oakley.com
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