SwiftCarbon create custom bike to auction for mental health awareness initiatives

The custom painted bike marks one year since the death of former pro and SwiftCarbon Australia CEO Jonathan Cantwell

SwiftCarbon has created a customised Ultravox road bike to auction off, with proceeds going to mental health support and awareness initiatives.

The unique paintwork has been designed to mark one year since the death of former professional rider Jonathan Cantwell, who was also the CEO of the Australian SwiftCarbon outfit.

Proceeds will go to charities across the globe: Lifeline in Australia, Samaritans in the UK, Australian social enterprise PUKA Up, and a charity of choice for the highest bidder.

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Cantwell’s relationship with SwiftCarbon began when he met the founder Mark Blewett in 2012, he tested the Ultravox and “fell in love with it,” according to Blewett.

The sprinter took things further, organising a sponsorship deal between SwiftCarbon and his new Drapac Professional Cycling Team, then opening SwiftCarbon Australia.

“He set up a brand concept store in St Kilda, Melbourne. And, still racing at the highest level, he was also running a business,” remembers had of marketing at the brand, Neil Gardiner.

Cantwell concluded his professional career in 2014. In 2017, he revealed that he had undergone successful surgery and chemotherapy for testicular cancer. He died in 2018. 

Over the course of a six-year career, Cantwell achieved stage wins at the Herald Sun Tour and the Tour de Taiwan, riding at WorldTour level with Saxo-Tinkoff ahead of the professional continental team Drapac.

In sharing the news of his death, Cycling Australia also provided the phone number for a suicide prevention helpline.

Commenting on the bike design, Gardiner added: “With a matter so close to our hearts, there was much debate about the frame’s design. In the end, the sentiment of openness and honesty prevailed.

“We wanted to continue to raise awareness of this important issue and to maintain the energy of the movement, to encourage dialogue, and for everyone to watch out for one another.”

The frame features the words “it’s ok not to be ok” on the top tube, is mostly white to signify peace, with green decals that symbolise hope. The initials ‘JC’ sit alongside SwiftCarbon’s motto “Always Racing” on the seat tube.

The bike will be on display at the Rouleur Classic in London, from October 31 of November 1, with the auction opening on October 31 and ending on November 21.

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