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POC Joins Garmin-Sharp for 2014

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This may have been one of the worst kept secrets in Cycling, but Swedish helmet manufacturer POC has officially announced a three year deal with Slipstream Sports to supply helmets and eyewear to the Garmin/Sharp World Tour cycling team. Speculation started when Ryder Hesjedal wore their glasses at the Tour de France in 2013 and started a social mead frenzy thanks to their polarizing aesthetics. Earlier POC’s Tempor TT helmet, designed to smooth airflow around the riders head and shoulders, created a similar impact when worn by Swedish TT rider, Gustav Larson, at the 2012 Olympics. Their Octal helmet, while an interesting design of its own, has been greeted with favorable press thanks to an incredible light weight and some ground breaking safety features. The relationship was all but a lock once POC launched the Octal and a color they called ‘Gaminium Blue’. Below is the press release from POC describing the relationship.

Beginning in January 2014, Swedish company POC is the official helmet and eyewear supplier of Team Garmin-Sharp, the American professional cycling team dedicated to ethical sporting and developing the next generation of cycling champions.

“We pride ourselves in working with best-in-class partners to develop equipment that helps our riders perform at their best. POC is another great example of a superior partnership and we are thrilled to add them to the Slipstream family”

Says Jonathan Vaughters, CEO, Slipstream Sports and Team Garmin-Sharp.

Commenting on the partnership, Stefan Ytterborn, POC CEO and founder says:

“We are now entering the road bike scene and we need to go all in and support our mission of doing everything we can to possibly save lives and reduce the consequences of accidents, and at the same time assist with performance through advances in technology. With Team Garmin-Sharp’s spirit, values and attitude, we have found a perfect partner. Together we will come up with even better, safer and faster products for the team and in their quest to win, but also benefit road cyclists around the world who will be able to use the same products and innovations for training and racing.”

POC, a leading manufacturer of skiing and mountain biking helmets, body armor and accessories, will provide the team with helmets and eyewear. Riders for Team Garmin-Sharp will be using the award-winning and storied Octal helmet, the Octal Aero and the Tempor TT helmet.

When it comes to the eyewear, the team will choose from a number of different frames, ranging from the striking DID’s to the soon-to-be-released DO Blades. DO Blade has been developed in collaboration with 2012 Giro D’Italia champion, Garmin-Sharp’s Ryder Hesjedal, and Olympic TT Silver medalist Gustav Larsson – both POC team athletes.

POC will also produce additional products with specifically engineered properties to serve specific needs, depending on discipline and circumstances.

“I really believe the POC range of helmets is revolutionary in bringing new levels of comfort, aerodynamics and cooling to the market,” says Dan Martin, Team Garmin-Sharp. “I am blown away by POC’s advanced design and we are very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with them this season,” adds Martin.

POC is just about to release AVIP, it’s first road bike specific range including helmets, apparel, eyewear and accessories. AVIP stands for Attention, Visibility, Interaction and Protection and is POC’s most ambitious initiative to date, promoting safety for road cyclists.

The blue color of the Octal and the Do Blade is called “Garminum Blue,” and is a salute to the team and will be used for competition. Since visibility is a key factor to road bike safety and to support the idea behind AVIP, the highly visible orange version of the Octal helmet will be the first choice for team Garmin-Sharp when training.

Starting with Australian National Championships in January, team Garmin-Sharp will be wearing POC helmets and eyewear around the world, from the Tour Down Under to The Tour de France to Liege-Baston-Liege.