Friday, March 28, 2008

Oakley's new Endure on show in Oceanside

Amazing the news you can come across in a day's time. Well, maybe not when you're in the vortex of the first expo of the race season.

I'll keep this quick as I have to get to bed and up to cover the Oceanside Ironman 70.3 tomorrow morn, but wanted to unload a few pearls on you. First one came while chatting with SRAM product manager Alex Wassermann, who is here looking after his newest fleet of SRAM-sponsored athletes racing tomorrow, including Michellie Jones, Samantha McGlone and David Thompson. He just picked up Torbjorn Sindballe as well, but the Great Dane ain't here this year.

Anyway, idle chat with Wassermann:
Me: So, looks like I'll be out for your media presentation at Sea Otter.
Alex: Cool.
Me: So, what's up with the new bar end shifting system that was talked about last year and kinda went away?
Alex: (sly grin) I guess you'll have to wait until Sea Otter.

I couldn't get anything else out of the guy except that they were working on advancements to a number of elements, and he didn't deny the shifters were a component they're evolving. The initial (but unsubstantiated) chat was that it was a very different shifting method. Can't wait till Otter to find out what's up.

The pros did their pro panel and pro meeting today, and it looked like a world championship; reigning 70.3 champs Andy Potts and Mirinda Carfrae, Kona runner-ups Crowie and Sam McGlone, Former Hawaii champ Michellie Jones (above, signing autographs for fans), former 101 Series destroyer David Thompson, ran into duathlon world champ and Team TBB pro Erika Csomor (shown at above right)... Steve Larsen, Bjorn Andersson...heaps of talent at a race that has a typical prize purse. I guess everyone's keen for the season to start.

Also ran into one of the hardest-working coaches in triathlon (eliciting fellow scribe Tim Carlson to call him the James Brown of triathlon), Muddy Waters. Muddy is head of the ALCiS Triathlon Team (ALCiS being a killer anti-inflammatory cream). I saw him at so many races and in so many airports, he's known by everyone. Everyone's got a coach, but few coaches look after their athletes as keenly as Muddy. Great coach, even better guy. I'm sure be at an an airport in Warsaw and he'll be there.

Ran into former Kona champ Greg Welch, now the Oakley representative for triathlon. He gave us a first look at a new women's race optic, called the Endure. It has a bit of Half Jacket flavor with a more feminine cut, but has the one-piece shield lens like the Radar. Oakley pros like Carfrae, McGlone and, next weekend, new Oakley-sponsored pro and reigning Hawaii Ironman world champ Chrissie Wellington will be debuting the Endure at Ironman Australia. This new sunny looks pretty sweet.
Stay tuned for a video interview with Welchy that will explain the Endure, as well as interviews with Mirinda Carfrae and Bjorn Andersson.

I'm out, but will have some good post-race stuff in a few days....

No comments: