Introducing SunGod GTs™: Geraint's Giro Sunglasses.
Since SunGod entered the UCI WorldTour landscape in January 2023, we’ve been winning over riders in the highest echelons of cycling - but there was one seal of approval we knew wouldn't come easily.
INEOS Grenadiers rider and proud Welshman Geraint Thomas is one of the most versatile, well-loved and talented athletes on the World Tour, and his 2018 Tour de France victory cemented his legacy as one of the most iconic riders in cycling history. As well as being known for his prowess on the bike, Geraint has a longstanding reputation for his loud and unusual taste in sunglasses. So, when tasked with creating an all-new design for G, we knew we had a challenge on our hands.
Scroll to discover how we worked with G to create the most talked-about sunglasses in cycling...
Step 1: The Initial Design
Sitting down with G in Monaco, our Product team got to know the man behind the lenses. We wanted to understand what G really looks for in a pair of sunglasses. What was most important? Was it the look? The fit? The exclusivity?
Our aim was to craft a new design that took a step forward in performance, gave a nod to the past, and helped G to see better than ever before. Noting his preference for angular, dual-lens design, and his strong affinity to Wales and all things Welsh, we set about drawing. With G’s input that he wanted something larger, with more coverage, we crafted a set of frames that would become known as Grand Tours - or GTs™ for short.
Step 2: The Devil's in the Design Details
With a career spanning 16 years, G has seen many fashions come and go. White framed sunglasses, however, were something that had come to mark him out distinctively to his teammates, and G made it clear that these were non-negotiable. Beyond the white frame, G wanted the glasses to include a nod to his proud Welsh heritage.
Our Product team aren't ones to shy away from a challenge, and the GTs™ are now rich in Welsh detailing. Featuring a Welsh dragon inset behind the bridge, as well as subtle dragon-effect scales on the earsocks, and brushed red icons, the sunglasses pay homage to the hills of G's homeland. Plus, to mark the GTs™ as G's own design, his signature is engraved on every the lens of every pair.
Step 3: From Drawing to Racing in 2 Months
With a reveal date set for the Giro d'Italia Team Presentation on the 4th May, the moment we had the green light from G on the design, our Product Team were working round the clock to make sure the GTs™ were race-day ready in time. Using 3D printing technology, we managed to speed up the product development process - which usually takes at least 9 months - to just 2.
"We had a design meeting with G in Monaco at the end of February," said Ed Watkiss, Head of Product at SunGod, "and we got a pair to Geraint the Thursday before the Giro started, for the team presentation. I had three weeks to design it, get sign off, and start development - which is ridiculously tight. To speed things up we use 3D printing to develop each stage, and we didn't worry too much about details at the start; once we had the shape developed, we could figure out the detailing afterwards."
Step 4: Refining On-Race
Narrowing the production time from 9 months to just 8 weeks meant we relied heavily on 3D printing to make things happen. In fact, Geraint raced up until the first rest day in his 3D-printed prototypes, before switching to a full-scale production sample, fresh out the mould, for Stage 10.
At Stage 13, as the Giro passed SunGod Basecamp in Verbier, the Grenadiers' support car picked up the next pair for G to wear from Stage 14, this time featuring 8KO® premium lens technology.
Step 5: Releasing the GTs™ to the world
Geraint wanted an exclusive design, and that's what he got. During the Giro, there were just two pairs of GTs™ with the INEOS Grenadiers on race, plus one more kept under lock and key at SunGod HQ - and that was it. You couldn't find any other GTs™, anywhere in the world.
But it wouldn't be fair to keep G's model from the rest of the cycling world forever. So, after the Giro ended, we released 300 pairs of GTs™ to the public, so cycling fans around the globe could emulate his style. They sold out straight away; proof that Geraint's iconic, two-lens look is still in high demand.
Featuring 8KO® lens technology, an ultra-durable TR90 frame, and hydrophilic nose pads and earsocks which increase grip the more you sweat, the GTs™ were built for a champion. Plus, like all SunGod products, they're backed by our unrivalled Lifetime Guarantee.