How can you become a better cyclist and is there perhaps a way for covet-worthy design pieces and red wine to help you? We took up Movistar’s invitation to join them on their pre-season training camp in Mallorca for a high-res, razor-sharp look at the team through the lens of the new Adidas Zonyk Aero Pro.
Socks and sunnies are a definitive fashion statement while on the bike. Haven’t we all caught ourselves lining up for the Paris-Roubaix Challenge in our Ray Bans?
As part of their pre-season prep and the staging of the Mallorca Challenge, the island of Mallorca continues to welcome the riders of the world’s top team year after year. We attended earlier this year, embarking on a trip that began by listening attentively as we sat down with Team Movistar’s marketing manager Juan Pablo Molinero to find out what makes pros happy, before it was our turn to get on the bike and ride with the team.
It started raining before we’d even left the hotel grounds, let alone had chance to chat with Alex Dowsett about his next perfect hour record attempt. It was the sort of filthy rain that would make most people want to turn around, quit before they begin. But we were on a mission to test these sunglasses, which had been designed specifically with input from Movistar riders to meet varying light conditions. Outside as the sky went from light to dark, the glasses brightened significantly, unveiling with our now darker surroundings with clarity. In other sunglasses you’d be continually putting them on and off to tackle such variation in visibility, but the Adidas Zonyk Aero Pro were already proving a deft hand at countering these rapidly changing conditions. As Movistar rider Rory Sutherland said with a grin and flick of the pedals: ‘The best glasses are the ones that you don’t even realize you’re wearing.’
Adidas have designed the glasses with what they’ve dubbed the climacool system, which is a basically a removable foam pad to block sweat on your forehead – we chose to discard this before we set off on the ride. There was something to do with our tester’s face shape that meant the addition of the pad positioned the glasses just too far away from his face. It wasn’t a big sacrifice either, as even without the pad there was no sweat dripping on the lenses and there was sufficient airflow between the glasses and his face on the climbs too.
At dinner we were the pleasantly surprised onlookers as the Spanish team tucked into their pasta and salads, typically over-gesticulating and generally getting on really well as they sipped on red wine to accompany their meal. Following their cue, we cheers’ed, but then strayed from their example by spilling tomato sauce on our shirt. Juan Pablo, the team’s marketing manager, had noticed our double-take as the riders clinked their beverages: ‘A glass of red is good for you,’ he interjected. ‘The guys work so hard throughout the whole year, sacrificing so much, so really a glass of red wine has a certain psychological value too. It helps them to feel good, and you’ll ride quickly if you feel good.’
The Adidas Zonyk Aero Pro are a clever piece of pro kit that serve to make you feel pretty good on the bike. While they’re crammed with well-considered features, we were genuinely impressed with the way the light stabilizing VARiO lenses dealt with the Mallorca mayhem in terms of the weather. Our vision was pretty much unhampered throughout the misty morning until sunset, and completely unperturbed by the rain. Our inner style guru is urging us to pick the full-frame Adidas Zonyk Pro model, but we do see the benefits of these somewhat nerdier half-rim versions.
Words: Benjamin Topf Photos: Ralf Hauser, Valentin Rühl