David Millar was still riding for Garmin-Sharp when Ryder Hesjedal wore those white POC sunglasses at the Tour de France. It didn’t take a detective to work out what was occurring. POC were coming.
In 2014, the following season – Millar’s last as a professional – POC sponsored the team with its distinctive, yet divisive, Octal helmet. David Millar rode his last race as a professional that autumn – the Bec Hill Climb – and then created CHPT3, a design agency that wasted no time in launching a clothing collaboration with Castelli.
Let’s give a little context here. The thing about procyclists is they’re paid to wear their sponsor’s kit, ride their products and toe the company line (mostly). David was a free agent, but he still wore POC after his retirement for no other reason than wanting to.
Where were we? OK. Roll the clock forward to Autumn 2018 and we’re in the New Forest. CHPT3 has invited a handful of journalists to showcase the next line of collaborations it has in store us. As expected, POC were coming.
The collaboration includes a special edition “Devesa” CHPT3 x POC Ventral SPIN helmet and two styles of sunglasses, the Crave and the Require.
The helmet graphics, which feature a distinct pattern made up of the number 3, represent the bark of the Plane tree, which is popular in the Devesa forest. The area is home to familiar training roads for David Millar (and all the other professional and ex-professional cyclists residing in Girona. There are loads. Almost as many as there are trees in the Devesa forest. Maybe).
Both sunglasses have a tortoise shell frame and a mirrored lens with both brands’ logos featuring on the arms. The design was inspired by a vintage pair of Versace shades David picked up on his travels.
We weren’t surprised by the collaboration between CHPT3 and POC; we’d gathered it was coming. We’re pleased it did.