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"It was not our intent to make light of eating disorders" – Rapha pulls Pantani "race weight" water bottle

Text was criticised by customer who was fat-shamed in his racing days

Rapha has withdrawn a water bottle from sale after accepting that a passage of text printed on the side – about how Marco Pantani would allegedly achieve “race weight” – was inappropriate.

Earlier this month, we reported we reported how Twitter user David Standard had posted a picture of a white Rapha water bottle, accusing the brand of being “extremely irresponsible” for including text on the reverse about Pantani’s diet.

The text read: “To achieve race weight, Marco Pantani would, according to legend, ride for six hours on nothing more than water, returning home to just a slice of watermelon.”

Standard said that in his racing days, he had been told to forget the road and concentrate on track because of being ‘overweight’.

“I tried eating nothing but rice and apple for a week until I collapsed in a clothes shop,” he said of the impact this had on him. “We’d chew chocolate bars and then spit them out. Many did much worse and have a lifetime issue with food.”

Responding to Standard’s thread, Rapha apologised and said it had removed the bottle from sale.

“Rapha exists to make cycling the most popular sport in the world, and one way we aim to do this is by telling the stories of the sport’s toughest races and greatest champions.

“We recently used a story relating to training practices in the pro peloton on some of our water bottles. Whilst our intent was not to make light of eating disorders, we are aware of the pressures competitive cycling can exert on its participants and can see, with hindsight, that this messaging wasn’t appropriate.

“We are sorry for any offence caused and we have removed the bottles from sale.”

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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