Michael Stockfleth

Michael Stockfleth climbed all the way to the top of the fashion industry as CEO of Danish brand Part Two. After thirty years, he chose to listen to his heart and decided to pursue his passion for cycling instead. Now, he has found true joy back in the saddle, and is the manager of the Rapha Clubhouse in Copenhagen.


Michael's Ride

My favourite ride, going from home up north of Seeland on small roads, passing beautiful lakes with good climbing and lots of green and yellow fields (during Summer). We continue along the coast and pass small forests, meaning a very beautiful and inspiring ride. Stop for coffee/cake at the famous Cafe Albi in Hornbæk.

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When was your first encounter with the cycling world?

My grandfather was a soigneur at “Vinterbanen” at Forum (cycling venue in Copenhagen). From the age of 5 or 6 I would come to watch six-day races. Sometimes I was down among the riders, other times I was up on the stand trying to look through the big mist of smoke.

Initially I would bend my bike’s handlebars down so it looked like a proper racing road bike. I watched all the cycling movies of the Danish film maker Jørgen Leth over and over again. I’m part of the generation where everyone wanted a scooter, but when I turned 15 I spent all my money on a silver Viscount bike with Shimano 600 gears. I would ride around in my green Sanson wool shirt, mostly alone, in the west of Copenhagen.

What makes Copenhagen a special place to ride?

I am a real Copenhagener. I was born and raised at Christmas Moller Plads in Copenhagen, and although I live in Birkerød now, I love being here – especially when the city wakes up in the morning. The small roads around north Zealand is my home turf today, and you can see my route above for a great ride here.

“My grandfather was a soigneur and from the age of 5 or 6 I would come to watch six-day races at the Forum. Sometimes I was down among the riders, other times I was up on the stand trying to look through the big mist of smoke.”

Why leave the traditional fashion industry to be a part of the cycling world?

After 30 years in the fashion industry, where I reached the job of CEO at Part Two, I had the chance to pursue my passion for cycling and work for the high-end premium brand Rapha.

I came across Rapha for the first time in 2011, when the World Championships was held in Denmark. I was asked by Rapha to be their brand ambassador, and one of my good friends, Lars Michaelsen (sports director at Astana) asked if I would host the Swiss national team and show them the route. I rode with Fabian Cancellara and the other big guns. I was told that if I got tired, I could just get into the car with Torsten Schmidt, who was the national team manager at the time, but it was a great experience. I mostly managed to hang onto their wheels (laughs).

What do you get out of cycling?

To me, riding is a way of getting rid of all the things that stress me. Both when I ride with friends, but also when I’m alone, just listening to the sounds along the way. It is a form of mental cleansing. 

Can you keep up with all the young guys working at the Clubhouse?

I am not the youngest in the group and I’m also the boss, so I prefer not to be crossed over by the youngsters. I have to keep up my training, and then I use some wise old tricks… for instance in the Klampenborg-sprint, you can gain 10 metres or so by positioning yourself correctly and taking the turn more efficiently (laughs).