5 MINUTES WITH CHRIS RATHBONE
Chris Rathbone is the face of Vélobici, and has been the company clothes horse for a decade, his sultry gaze fixed no matter what we get him to do. We send him up impossible climbs and out in all weathers just so we get the perfect shot and he knows every one of our garments inside out, because he’s wear-tested the lot. He’s also a bit of a lad.
Tell us about your passion for cycling, when did it all begin?
I was about 14. A school mate had just joined the Ratae RC in Leicester, breeding ground for some world Champs including Colin Sturgess, Lucy and Grace Garner. For some reason there has always been a history of “hitters” from these parts.
How did you get involved with Vélobici?
It was Christmas 2009? Chris Puttnam had just opened the first shop on Alandale Road in an affluent part of Leicester and I stumbled upon it by accident whilst at a Christmas market there on the hunt for a beer. I wandered in, liked the cut of his cloth, got talking and we started our thing there. I wasn’t sponsored at the time and said I would ride some of his kit in the local MTB series and some National MTB races. Later that year we did some pictures and I have been involved ever since.
What’s your favourite piece of Vélobici kit?
The Remy long sleeve jacket. Everything about it is perfect – fabric, weight, cut and fi. You hardly know you’re wearing it.
What do you do when you’re not modelling Vélobici kit?
Look at pictures of myself on the VB site.
We understand you’re quite handy with a cross bike. Are you happier riding around a field or on the road?
Racing cyclocross. Riding on the hills of Somerset on the road. Quantocks for the MTB. It is truly the best terrain with spectacular surroundings.
What’s the craziest place you’ve ever ridden a bike?
Well … racing CX on school playing fields can get pretty gnarly, second only to the Red Bull Hard Line (a tough downhill MTB race)! Other than that, through the sea on the Isle of Man probably, after roughly 12 pints of Guinness.
Know any tricks?
I can bunny hop 400mm CX planks 😀 .
Do you ever get recognised in the street?
Yes, people think I’m Noah Mills (the world’s most handsome man)!
What bike do you ride?
Several. Vélobici Di Luca Continental, Cannondale Super Six Evo Disc, Scott Spark, to name a few.
How often do you get out on it?
Once a month at this time of year, I really can’t be arsed.
How many races have you won?
To date … 61 National and Regional podiums in CX and MTB – 29 of which were wins. All over various categories from Elite/Senior, Master, and now Vet 40+, but I don’t like to talk about that!