A little pre-race procedure took place at the Bora-Hansgrohe team bus each day of the recent Tour Down Under… and it involved the world champion and his nose.
You know the goggles and the podium routine? It’s something new to cycling. It started last year at the Tour de France when Peter Sagan won the third stage. He appeared on stage with goggles on his head and later at the press conference with them around his neck. He grinned like a Cheshire cat and seemed to find it all quite amusing.
‘What’s going on?’ That seemed to be the sentiment from many.
Then someone dared ask: what’s the story with the ski goggles?
The world champion almost seemed offended. “What’s all this talk about skiing? It’s motocross,” he snapped back.
And why [the goggles]?
“Why? Because 100% started with motocross goggles and it’s a nice style. It’s something different.”
There were giggles. Peter smiled, paused and concluded: “Thank you.”
He liked that the gimmicky inclusion for the post-race routine was noticed. He is the poster-boy for 100% in cycling. And, like it or not, his antics attract attention.
It’s marketing in the modern world but it’s also typically Sagan. Do something different – just for the sake of it – and people are likely to talk about it.
Last week, when he was back on the podium and wearing goggles once again, someone suggested that it was because, according to UCI regulations, sunglasses are not permitted on the podium. (I’ve searched for this clause in the rules but cannot find it… if someone can, please let me know.)
Back on the podium… with motocross goggles (of course).
Photo: Jean-Pierre Ronco
Anyway, just as Sagan (and his marketing team) desired: we’re talking about his antics with 100% products… again. Only this post relates to an observation about the little stick-on things that Peter put on his nose before each stage of the TDU last week.
What’s that all about?
We’re used to the ‘Breathe Right’ concept, that’s not new. It’s been around for years. Open the nostrils a little and breathe a little better. Athletes have been using this for a while now. But Sagan’s sticky things are just dots. He applies them with care himself (see below). And it seems to relate to 100%.
Keeping the sunglasses in place… with little magnetic strips.
Photo: Jean-Pierre Ronco
We asked the marketing team about it and the response was a one-liner:
“The little things on Peter’s nose connect magnetically to the glasses,” is the official line, followed by: “At this time, 100% isn’t commenting further.”
He races. He wins (often). He gets photographed. He wears glasses. He gets endorsements. He is Peter Sagan and he does things differently. Goggles on the podium or magnetic stickers to help his sunglasses stay in place while he races… it’s part of modern cycling.
We wait to see what the uptake with the general public is – or, for that matter, if any other rider opts to wear motocross goggles on the podium in the future.
– By Rob Arnold
The application of the little stickers was part of the pre-race routine…
Photo: Rob Arnold
There’s no denying that cycling has helped make sports sunglasses somewhat ubiquitous. It wasn’t too long ago that cricketers or tennis players performed without eyewear but since the 1980s, sunglasses have become more and more prevalent in all sports.
Cycling has a long history with this practical fashion item – think Jan Janssen and his iconic sunnies in the 1960s or, of course, Greg LeMond and the Oakley revolution that followed him during his reign…
These days there are quality products that can include prescription lenses and hydroleophobic coatings to stop the sunnies from fogging up… and many other innovations. But would you stick little magnets to your nose before each ride? What do you think of this latest inclusion? Fad or cool…?