To coincide with the launch of HOY Vulpine’s Spring Summer 2016 launch we asked our collaborator, business partner & multi Olympic Gold Medallist, Sir Chris Hoy a few questions about the new range & cycling…
What’s your favourite piece from the new range?
I like the Classic Navy Senko road jersey. I love the way it looks and it’s the first performance road jersey we’ve made, and has the understated HOY Vulpine style but leaning much more towards performance and aerodynamics. I’m delighted with the way it’s turned out, from both a style and a performance point of view.
What do you enjoy most about the design process?
My favourite part of the design process is getting the samples back. I love the blank page stage when you sit down and go through ideas, but my favourite part is getting the first samples to try out – it becomes real at that point.
We also hear you test everything, do you do different rides for different garments?
I try to test all garments in different ways and different conditions, specific to their intended use. For example riding in winter garments in cold and wet weather, but it can be tricky sometimes when you’re trying out the Spring/Summer range during the Autumn/Winter months, or vice versa. But the good thing about living in the UK is we’re never too far from a cold or wet day!
Do you have a favourite local training route? How many coffee stops does it involve?
I do, it goes through Cheshire and up into the Peak District. It makes up part of the HOY 100 Sportive this year, which is on Sunday 8th May. There aren’t any coffee stops because I always have fresh beans at home to make a decent coffee when I get back. Having a toddler means time at home with my family is precious, so I don’t have much of a chance to sit and watch the world go by.
You were back in the Olympic Velodrome 2 weeks ago for the World Champs. How different was it to 2012 when you were racing?
The atmosphere was very similar, with the same passionate crowd who made the event happen. It was obviously a very different experience to when I was competing. It was great to be able to enjoy the whole event as a spectacle, having been on the other side of the fence for so many years.
And what was it like watching your pal & old teammate Jason Kenny win the sprint?
It was brilliant because there were so many doubters and question marks over his form coming into the Olympic year. It was so good to see him back on top of the world and he thoroughly deserved it.
Tell us where your fantasy cycling destination anywhere in the world would be?
It’s hard to look beyond Majorca. There are probably more exotic locations to go to but Majorca has it all – superb hills, flat roads, beautiful weather. I have so many great memories of training camps out there and struggling up the hills, especially Sa Calobra, and it’s just a great island to go to for cycling.
Out of the Velodromes you competed in which one harbours the fondest memories for you?
There are so many highs and amazing experiences from all around the world, but I’d probably say Athens. I raced there in 1997 in a World Cup, and then in the 2004 Olympics. I won my first Olympic Gold medal there and I will always have fond memories. It was such an incredible night and I think Athens will always be a place close to my heart.
If you weren’t an Olympic winning Cyclist, what would you be?
I really don’t know. I was studying Maths and Physics at University before I changed to do Sports Science and take up cycling, so maybe something connected to my degree. I just can’t imagine what I’d be doing. I’d probably still be riding my bike though for fun.
How did you end up on the track? And did you think you’d ever become a World Champion/Olympic Champion when you started?
I never even thought I’d become Scottish Champion when I first started out. I wasn’t a particularly good bike rider, I was ok but I just worked really hard and kept learning. It wasn’t until around 1999 that I had a chance of doing anything at the highest level in the sport.
Who was your biggest rival when you were competing?
Because my career went on for several years, I had lots of different rivals. In the early years it was Arnaud Tournant from France in the Kilo, then Theo Bos in the Sprint and Kilo, then Max Levy from Germany at the end of my career. There were loads of others but these three were probably my biggest/main rivals. And Jason Kenny of course, although I always thought of him as my teammate he was clearly a rival too.
What’s the worst crash you’ve ever had?
The worst crash was during the Copenhagen World Cup in 2009. I missed 10 weeks of training with a hip injury and it put me out of the World Championships that year.
What would be your top 3 tips for improving your sprint?
To become better in any sport you have to train specifically. If you want to improve your sprint, you should be focusing on doing maximal short burst efforts and just keep practicing sprints.
Last question, did you mind Kat pouring water on you at the shoot?