Ryder Hesjedal finished the 2013 Tour de France with a broken rib. People don’t remember that, but they remember those sunglasses he wore.
Those white POC DID shades were a talking point. They were also the start of something big for the Swedish brand. The following season, a helmet followed along with a sponsorship deal of Hesjedal’s team, Garmin-Sharp.
POC’s designer had a mood board behind his desk (as well as his snowboard). On the mood board, among all the photos was a black and white picture of Roger de Vlaeminck in his Brooklyn jersey alongside Eddy Merckx in the rainbow stripes. Both icons of our sport in equally iconic kit. Both wearing hairnet helmets. This was the inspiration for the Octal.
New from POC this season is the Ventral. Its looks are thankfully not too dissimilar to the Octal, but the functions are fresher. To quote the press release: “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Speed is not.”
The latest design, which has been refined by Team EF Education First – Drapac p/b Cannondale riders and some people in a wind tunnel in Sweden, is faster. This is down to a 22° trailing edge that reduces wind turbulence and drag. It also incorporates POC SPIN, its latest development to protect the wearer from rotational impact injuries.
The first outing for the team wearing the Ventral will be at Paris-Nice.