The Coolest Job In Pro Cycling?

The Coolest Job In Pro Cycling?

October 11, 2019 100 By Ewald Bahringer


(relaxed electronic music) – When I was a kind of
up-and-coming cyclist, there was always a sponsor
that I dreamed of having and in my case, it was Oakley. It was a tick of approval, if you like, that you’d made it in
the world of cycling. Sadly for me, I never did, but today, I’m going to meet
some of the current pros who are, in fact, sponsored by Oakley and also the guy who’s probably got the coolest job of all within cycling. He gets to travel the
world, meet the pros, and give ’em their glasses. Let’s go meet him. So the words the Oakley Guy have been said by plenty a sponsored
athlete over the years. Now sadly, I don’t know
what Oakley Guy looks like or anything ’cause I’ve
never been in that position. But I’ve been told to
wait here in this location and, well, I’m going to get to meet him. It’s kind of like a blind date really but I just hope I don’t get stood up ’cause that could be
really, really awkward. Looks like they’re here. I’ve not been stood up! Right, let’s go. So I’m here now with John Ohail, who’s the Sports Marketing
Manager for Oakley. Now sadly, I was never
a good enough cyclist to get to meet you, John,
in my career as a cyclist, but does your job actually entail? – Yeah, so my job as the
Global Road Cycling Manager is to set forth the strategy for our road cycling program as a whole. That entails which teams we partner with, which athletes we partner with, and then working on the
product side as well with our Product Marketing team, our Product Development team, to make sure that the athletes
have the right product for their races and for training. And then also collecting
feedback from those athletes and giving it back to the team as well. And then also from a marketing side, making sure that those athletes are used in our marketing
efforts across the board. – That’s really good to know, actually, that the feedback from a rider could well end up with us as a consumer because, well, they ride their bikes more than you or I
could dream of, I guess. – Yeah, well they’re at
the pinnacle of the sport and so what they say and
what their feedback is is obviously very important to us and allows us to create a product that not only is good
for a professional rider but also the average everyday rider. Most everything that we
put on any our cyclists in the World Tour or anywhere else is something that’s available for sale for the normal consumer as well. – Okay, so where exactly are we going because I’ve got no idea, I’m not local? – So we’re in Harrogate here. We’re going to go visit
a few of the team hotels and visit with some of the riders and make sure that they have
the product that they need for the race this weekend. – I heard you’ve got a big bag of glasses and, well, I just want to see these riders’ little faces light up. – Yeah, like I said, most of
the guys know what they want but sometimes you show you up to a race, especially a World Championship, and they’re not wearing
their normal team kits, they’re wearing their countries’ kits, and so all the colors are different and so I have to bring a
pretty big bag of stuff to make sure I cover all
the bases on that one. – Brilliant. Driver, step on it. Right, big reveal. I didn’t think the bag would be this big. You told me it was a bag and I thought it’d be maybe that. So go on, surprise me, make me jealous. Show me what you got. – So in this bag is where I keep all of the glasses themselves. So there’s everything. I’m a pretty organized guy. Especially if you bring this much product, you want to know where everything is and be able to find it quickly, especially if you’ve got multiple
athletes at the same time coming at you and wanting stuff, then it becomes a bit disorganized. Basically, I label them
by the style of glasses, so you’ll see Jawbreaker,
Sutros, Radar EVs, and then within each glass,
I’ve marked which colors I’ve put within the bags. Yeah, without the organization like that, it’d be mass chaos. Lot of work on the front end and it winds up paying
off when you get here. – Do you ever get any riders then who already know exactly what they want and they say, “John, this is what I want. “I’ve no messing about.” – Yeah, for sure. It makes my life a lot easier too, so what I’ll do is I’ll
just put it aside already and pre-package it. For instance, Jay Thomson, I know he wears Jawbreaker
pretty religiously and then obviously
something a little green to match his South African kit. – I’ve not seen these colors. I almost don’t want to get them out. Well, I do, actually. – Yeah, of course. – Oh, there goes the–
– Nose piece. – [Jon] Almost like a celeste color. – [John] Yeah, they call it Crystal Pops, so it’s got the clear top on frame there and then a little pop of some fun green. – [Jon] Cool. – So that’s all the glasses and then in this bag separately,
I keep all of the lenses. So replacement lenses
for different conditions based on the models again. Again, going back to my kind
of OCD organizational skills– – I like it. – Yeah, the girls at
the office laugh at me, but I use a colored marker set that matches the actual color of the lens. So for instance, if it’s a Prism Jade, I know that’s a green lens,
so I’ll put in a green marker. Sapphire is blue lens. Prism Low Low Light’s a pink lens. So at least when they see the bag, it’s easy for them to decipher
what they’re getting already and it kind of saves them time and also lets me know which ones I have. (futuristic EDM music) – All right, first visit to them, we’ve got Tiffany Cromwell. Tiff, are you going to
go fashion over function or function over fashion
or a mixture of both? ‘Cause I know that
you’re a big fashion fan. There’s no denying it. So what’re you going to go for? – I’m going to do the mix. It has to look good, but at the same time, we have to think about
the weather conditions that we’re going to deal with, so that’s where the lens
will be very important. But for sure, I’ll be going matchy-matchy. – So these are actually
some handpainted ones that we did for the Tour de France. – See, ’cause I can pull it off. These ones I believe you
either need a small face or a big face to pull it
off, not the in between face. – These came out around
Tour of California. – So by the time this video goes live, you’re probably going to be probably halfway through
your race, I reckon. What’s the feelings like in the legs? – I’m guessing probably about the time where we’re hitting Lofthouse, which the legs will be burning, the first critical point of the race, you know, when all the
action begins, and yeah. Expect lots of pain
but good vibes as well, ’cause I’m sure the atmosphere’s going to be incredible out there. (futuristic EDM music) – Yeah, so we’re putting
Prism Low Light in, just because the weather
here in Harrogate’s been not so nice. And Prism Low Light’s
about as light as we have that’s not clear, so it
still has some color to it that brings out some light and kind of brings out
the details on the road if the weather’s bad as well. Just putting it in a flight
jacket right now for Marco. – Isn’t this setup great? (relaxed hiphop music) – So John, Nathan Haas just arrived. You know these riders pretty well. What do you reckon he’s going to go for? – My bet knowing Nathan is
he’s going to want a Sutro. I have a Celeste Green one that he probably hasn’t seen before that matches the Australian kit. And then Nathan wears
Jawbreaker pretty religiously, so I’d imagine between the
two of those, that’s our bet. – All right, let’s put it to the test. (chuckling) – I think, um– – Probably Jawbreaker for the race. – I think Jawbreaker here. – [Jon] All right Nathan, when
you go for for your colors, are you thinking outrageous or just to match up with your kit? – I either think that really
simple, like an all white or an all black. I like a lot of the sort
of pastel-y colorways that they’ve been putting out this year. So a solid state looks really nice or I think you got to mix it up and do something a bit punchy. – [John] That’s the one. (all laughing) That’s bad Aus. Look at that. – Yeah, that’s good. – [John] Those we handpainted for the Tour de France jerseys, so those are custom, for sure. – One of my favorite pairs of Oakleys ever was actually the first
pair I was ever given. And I was hanging out
with an American rider called Georgia Gould. This was in 2009. Georgia comes up to me and she goes, “I think you’ll like
this pair of glasses,” ’cause she was sponsored by Oakley. And it was this raging
hot pink pair of Oakleys and it totally stood out from
the kit that I was wearing. That was the first banging
pair of Oakleys I ever had and I still have them ’cause for me they have a bit of special meaning. – You know when you go,
if you choose your lenses based on the weather conditions,
what about your frames? When you ride certain races, do you always go for the
certain frames or not? – You know, that’s a good question. Yeah, I mean, lenses is obvious, but frames is a little bit different. I really like to use the
Sutros after training, just because I feel like they give you more face cover as well, so I think it’s better for sun protection and I also feel as if less sort of light sneaks in through the side
on a bigger pair of glasses. But this one was designed by Cavendish and this one took a long time to develop to get the perfect place
where the frame starts where the nose piece
sits, so it’s not visible. So for me, this one here is
very highly-engineered glasses, but purpose-built for bike racing. And I think it also depends
on your riding style. So I’m quite upright, so
I never have the issue of actually seeing the frame on top, but if you look at a
rider like Nils Politt, most of the time, he’s
actually quite far forward. So when he’s actually looking
through the brow of his eye, if he has a frame, that’s
going to be pretty annoying, so he uses that style of glasses that is just the frame on the bottom. So definitely the frame
is a massive factor of the performance of it, but it also comes down
to the style of the rider and what they’re using them for. (funky rock music) – So Michael, what are you going for? – I’m going for some
nice glasses obviously, but like a special color so my family can easily see me, spot me. My grandmother doesn’t have the best eyes. She’s like, “Michael,
wear some funny shoes “or nice glasses.” – Funny shoes, imagine that! – Actually, I already now
dancing shoes on, all silver. – Are you going to wear
them over the weekend? – Hopefully I can turn them into gold. – All right, mate. I always seem to catch you every race where you are and you can’t really hide. But I’ve noticed you’ve got
some pretty cool glasses. What’s the story behind it? There’s some engraving on it. – Actually, it’s probably
best to wind it back to 2011, when I was with Team Sky. We had World Hemophilia Day coming up and I asked if I could, and we were racing in Castilla y León and I asked if I could wear
something red for the day. And then Team Sky got
in touch with Oakley. Oakley created a one-off set of Jawbones in a color they called Blood Red to sort of acknowledge that
there is a blood condition. And I got in a breakaway that day, Swifty won the stage, so it was great. And then after a bit of a Oakley hiatus when I was at Movistar, I came back to Katusha and
we hooked up with Oakley and said, “look, this
happened back in 2011.” They’re like, “yeah, yeah,
I know, it was good.” I said, “I’ve now got a
charity dedicated to Hemophilia “called Little Bleeders. “Can we do something around that?” Oakley was super, super
accommodating with it. We created, using their casting feature, a set of Jawbreakers, which
is my glasses preference, and managed to inscribe also
Little Bleeders onto the lens and that’s what I’ve been racing. That’s what I raced on World
Hemophilia Day this year and I’ve raced in them
ever since, so it’s nice. I think it’s a statement piece and the more we talk about it, the more people will associate
the glasses with Hemophilia and I’m just very grateful
to companies as big as Oakley to support what is
actually a rare disease. It’s quite a small disease but it’s one that obviously
very close to my heart. – There we go. A day in the life of someone
I’ve always wanted to see. And what was actually fantastic was how excited all the riders were to get their new glasses. Let me know in the comments section which colors you would’ve
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