Oakley Five for Five at Tour de France

Valverde Victory

In the first five days of the 95th Tour de France, the most important race in cycling, Oakley is undefeated with five stage victories and four of the top five in the General Classification. Of the 180 riders in the Tour, 55 riders from 20 teams are wearing Oakley.

Oakley sprinter Mark Cavendish claimed his first Tour de France stage victory on Tuesday in a by-the-book bunch gallop into Châteauroux. The man from the Isle of Man unleashed his unbeatable burst of speed to take the win well clear of a close finish between Rabobank’s Oscar Freire and Erik Zabel (Milram). Oakley’s Thor Hushovd took fourth, but the Crédit Agricole rider was consoled by the fact that he took over the lead in the points classification from Oakley’s Kim Kirchen. As expected, Oakley’s Stefan Schumacher had no problems holding onto the leader’s yellow jersey on the Tour’s longest stage.

Oakley’s Alejandro Valverde was quick to take advantage of the uphill finish at Plumelec that substituted for the traditional time trial on Saturday, winning Stage 1 of the 95th Tour de France. Oakley’s Nowegian threat Thor Hushovd won the second stage after a fantastic sprint in front of Oakley’s Kim Kirchen who took the green jersey. Oakley’s Samuel Dumoulin won Stage 3 in an aggressive sprint finish in Nantes and Oakley’s Stefan Schumacher took the overall lead of the Tour de France by winning the fourth stage, a 29.5-km time trial around Cholet on Tuesday.

Product Exposure

The prototype Oakley Racing Jackets with an array of tints for condition ranging from sun to rain arrived just on time for stage one for Oakley¹s George Hincapie (USA) and Thor Hushovd (Norway) who are doing some “real conditions” testing on the new performance piece due out this next spring. Within minutes of sporting the new eyewear, riders and media were enthusiastically inquiring about Hincapie’s Jackets. Thor received similar press as he gave pre-race interviews wearing his new Racing
Jackets on his face at the start. Oakley’s Cadel Evans, Pippo Pozatto, Fabian Cancellara, Stuart O’Grady and Samuel Sanchez are also testing a Prototype of Radar that we are testing during the Tour.

We also placed a lot of customized Radars for special riders like the “Lux-brothers” Radar sporting the colors of Luxembourg flag for Oakley’s Frank and Andy Schleck. Oakley’s Fabian Cancellara is wearing his very special Atomic Orange, Cadel Evans has Radioactive Violet and Thor Hushovd is in Phantom of the Aqua.

With more and more riders listening to music during time trial warm-ups, we should see some great electronics exposure. Tuesday there were more than 15 riders warming up for the TT with Oakley electronics, including 2006 Tour de France winner Oscar Pereiro who wore his Neon yellow Thump Pros.


Steve Blick


July 10, 2008

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