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A history of Mark Cavendish in Oakley sunglasses

A history of Mark Cavendish in Oakley sunglasses

On his first training camp with Astana Qazaqstan, Mark Cavendish was seen squinting from the glare of the Spanish sun. He was glasses-less. Alarm bells started ringing. Could we have a year of Cavendish without the signature Oakley ‘O’ on the side of his face as he weaves through bunch sprints and gives his moody interviews afterwards? The Manxman has worn Oakley’s for his entire career – spanning close to two decades – and has become the brand’s biggest representative in the cycling sphere. Could it really be that Oakley’s poster boy would go a season wearing a different sunglasses brand?

Of course not. Judging from pictures of Cavendish at his first race of the season in Oman, it seems that whoever helps him navigate through those complicated sponsor agreements when he signs a new contract managed to convince Astana Qazaqstan that the 34-time Tour de France stage winner needed to remain in Oakleys for 2023. The rest of the Astana team are still wearing Scicon glasses, but Cavendish will be unmissable in those bright gold Oakley Kato sunglasses.

Oakley has been beside Cavendish through every step of his rollercoaster career. From his first Tour stage wins way back in 2008, to his World Championship title in 2011, to his well-documented, fairytale comeback in with Deceuninck-Quick Step 2021, those little ‘O’ logos have been on either side of Cavendish like two guardian angels. The 37-year-old has become so acquainted with the brand, he’s even helped them to design models of glasses that have steadily become some of the most popular in the Oakley range: first the Jawbreaker and, most recently, the Kato. Cavendish has also been given the freedom to go wild on his own, signature paint jobs numerous times to create limited-edition drops – many of them inspired by his green jersey wins at the Tour de France. He is regularly seen making appearances at events that are fronted by the American brand.

So, after a couple of weeks of being worried that this season could mark the end of the Oakley-Cavendish love affair, the confirmation that Cav will, in fact, stay with the glasses brand for 2023 gave us the inspiration to take a fond trip down memory lane. Here are some of Mark Cavendish’s most iconic Oakley looks, some perhaps a little bit more palatable than others…

2005 – Oakley M Frames

A fresh-faced, 19-year-old Mark Cavendish is pictured here wearing the Oakley M Frames at the Under-23 World Championship road race in…

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