The Spin Cycle is the Escape Collective’s news digest, published every Monday and Friday. You can read it on this website (obviously) or have it delivered straight to your inbox. You can sign up here.
Welcome back to Spin Cycle! The Escape Collective’s news digest.
We’re in the witching hour between the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France, where we only have the Critérium du Dauphiné and Tour de Suisse to enjoy, and draw grand conclusions from that likely won’t amount to much come July.
At Spin Cycle Industries, we prefer, just like the internet’s favourite scouser, to not deal in ifs, buts, and maybes, but absolutes. So yes, a bunch of potatoes HAVE spilled and caused pandemonium on the Copenhagen bridge that starred in last year’s Tour de France. And yes, Bahrain-Victorious have added the peloton’s most infamous cat killer to their roster with zero qualms, and yes! The press release announcing the signing is kind of mad too! Anyway, on with the rest.
A family affair
One of the difficulties of being a professional cyclist, like anyone with a job, is balancing work and family life. Luckily, Egan Bernal has found one way of doing it quite literally…
…while Julian Alaphilippe at least has a couple of extra wheels to give him some stability. Not sure the child will appreciate the feigned laboured effort as he drags his son up a slight gradient.
The second of nine lives?
Bahrain-Victorious this week unveiled an absolute barnstormer of a jersey they will wear at the Tour de France, which pays homage to the country’s “rich pearling history” rather than their continued penchant for sentencing citizens to death.
Really, it is no surprise then that this team is where former junior world time trial champion/convicted cat killer Antonio Tiberi has come ashore. The sponsors of, let’s say, Intermarché-Circus-Wanty may have bristled at such brand affiliation, but the cheque-writers at Bahrain-Victorious had no such qualms.
Okay, yes everyone makes mistakes, and at just 21 years old Tiberi has a lot of life left in him to make better decisions, and maybe we shouldn’t just write him off completely as a total good-for-nothing. But also, he did kill a cat. His neighbour’s cat. Shot it from his apartment window. With an air rifle. Shot it dead in cold blood. Of all the things one can possibly do, this one seems relatively easy not to do.
What does seem to come easy to Tiberi and Bahrain is understatement. “I started my 2023 season well, but after an enforced stop, maybe I will suffer a bit in picking up the pace,” Tiberi said in the press release announcing his team switch, and maybe winning the award for the most careful choice of words of the season. The team also following this up by adding: “Tiberi’s opportunities this season have been limited”. You don’t say.
The best thing the team can do is get him rooming with buffer-to-the-Bahrain-vibe Fred Wright, who could learn him a thing or two about being a thoroughly pleasant young man. We’ll see how Tiberi gets on, and think about giving him a second chance. A second chance the cat will never get. “With the help of this team, I will demonstrate that I learnt from the mistake made in the past,” Tiberi said.
Let’s lighten the mood and talk about Lidl-Trek
While Dario Cataldo would have breathed a sign of relief once Antonio Tiberi and Trek-Segafredo parted ways, the squad will also finally be able to relax once their former rider starts a race for his new employers Bahrain-Victorious and everyone can stop using photos of him in their strip.
When the conscious uncoupling of Tiberi and Trek took place in late April, it did so under murky circumstances, with the team’s press release stating only Tiberi was released “after the rider’s actions during his suspension did not meet our criteria for a return to competition.” (A request for further comment back then was declined.)
At the time, we were as confused as everyone else but have since learned that apparently Tiberi not only didn’t do his rehab homework but he (and his dad) also went on Italian TV, an appearance that apparently didn’t go down too well with his now former employers. In the video, Tiberi is volunteering at a cat shelter and the woman running the place, Daniela, warns him not to hit his head on something, before adding: “even if it would be good for you.”
Trek-Segafredo, meanwhile, have gone from strength to strength since unloading the Italian. Most excitingly, they have announced they will soon rebrand as Lidl-Trek, with the supermarket coming on board as title sponsor.
Look (continuing the vibe of this particular edition) we like it when a new title sponsor enters the fray that isn’t a nation-state, gambling company, or whopping big chemicals giants. We should celebrate that fact and back them with our wallets. Although I do already shop at Lidl due to the prolonged Big Sad currently going on in the so-called United Kingdom.
The most excitement surrounding the name change, however, is what the new kit may look like. Lidl’s blue and yellow logo is bold, and it is blue, and it is yellow, and it is great. While the real strip is already designed, printed and currently under lock and key, the team want to see what you’d do for their new kit. Sources have indicated to Escape Collective that Rich Mitch’s below effort with the bib shorts will be suggested as a Christmas special edition.
Spin Cycle is also working on securing an early sneak-peak of the kit, and depending on whether it fits the bill, we may have to demand that Mads Pedersen wears the Christmas special bibs all year round. What a spectacular sight that would be.
Feed Zone 🥖
🇫🇷 Dauphine team selection news: Ben O’Connor and Greg Van Avermaet lead for Ag2r Citroën, Julian Alaphilippe and Ethan Vernon seek stage wins for Soudal Quick-Step, Adam Yates present for UAE Team Emirates, Movistar take Enric Mas, Groupama-FDJ ensure a Groupe Gaudu graphic will appear on screen at some point.
🥒 Riley Pickrell will turn pro with Israel-Premier Tech next year.
🇨🇭Remco Evenepoel and Filippo Ganna will both be at the Tour de Suisse as their first races back following COVID-19 positives.
🍫 Marc Hirschi won the Giro dell’Appennino on Friday.
🍺 Want to know how done-in Geraint Thomas was after the Giro? He could only manage half a beer because his stomach was so messed up after all the gels he had consumed in the final week of the race.
🇬🇧 Cutbacks will force British Cycling to field only a very limited U23 road programme next year.
🇸🇮 Tadej Pogačar will skip the Critérium du Dauphiné and Tour of Slovenia and instead head to a training camp before the Slovenian national championships as he continues his injury-marred Tour de France preparation.
✒️ Puck Pieterse has signed a new long term deal with Fenix-Deceuninck until February 2027.
🛎️ Arkéa will take on B&B Hotels as a new headline sponsor starting next year.
🐝 Jumbo-Visma have announced their Tour de France squad: Jonas Vingegaard, Wout van Aert, Dylan van Baarle, Sepp Kuss, Tiesj Benoot, Steven Kruijswijk, Christophe Laporte and Nathan van Hooydonck. Van Baarle will make his racing comeback at the Dauphiné following injury.
🛒 Jumbo supermarkets will stop sponsoring both cycling and skating teams at the end of 2024 but is prepared to pull out earlier if the cycling team find a new title sponsor before then.
🤷♂️ Lotto-DSTNY will not ride Ridley bikes after this year, ending a 12-year partnership. The team also said that even with hindsight they are happy with their decision to pass up their invite to the Giro d’Italia.
There’s a big potato conspiracy currently going on in Denmark, which partially involves the The Great Belt Bridge in Copenhagen, Denmark, which featured in the finale of the 2023 Tour de France’s stage 2.
Police are currently looking into whether three separate spillages of potatoes on the highways surrounding the nation’s capital were an accident or deliberate, after drivers were urged to reduce their speed as the slipperiness could endanger lives.
Danish radio station DR pointed out the spills took place on the same day the Danish parliament passed a law to tax diesel trucks transporting heavy loads and a 57-year-old truck driver has been arrested after, as the Guardian put it, “loads of potatoes were found on a bridge”.
🚨 Love isn’t dead of the week award 🚨
“Ineos should stop flirting with Remco.”
A quote from Patrick Lefevere courtesy of our friends at both Radio Cycling and Bulgarian Eurosport’s Simeon Kichukov, about the British team’s supposed ongoing interest in signing his latest Belgian superstar.
Presumably, Lefevere learned everything he knows about flirting from the copious amounts of porn he’s been watching on Twitter. And by learning everything we mean learning nothing, as everyone knows that waving a huge bag of money in front of someone’s face is no way to win their love (not that we’ve ever tried…)
Cycling on TV 📺
BMX (oh, blimey)
• UCI BMX Racing World Cup Day 1, Sakarya (Turkey)
- GCN+ (08:00-09:50 ET/13:00-14:50 BST/22:00-23:50 AEST)
• Critérium du Dauphiné, stage 1
- GCN+ (09:15-11:15 ET/14:15-16:15 BST/23:15-01:15 AEST)
• Brussels Classic
- GCN+ (07:30-09:45 ET/12:30-14:45 BST/21:30-23:30 AEST)
• UCI BMX Racing World Cup Day 2, Sakarya (Turkey)
- GCN+ (08:00-09:50 ET/13:00-14:50 BST/22:00-23:50 AEST)
• Critérium du Dauphiné, stage 2
- GCN+ (08:55-10:55 ET/13:55-15:55 BST/22:55-00:55 AEST)
At 29, Rick Zabel still has a number of years left in the peloton. But after watching this we are convinced he has what it takes to make it in Hollywood. Either as a writer, director, editor, actor, he can do it all!
Primes (for helpful members) 🏆
Thanks to Phil for sending in the Egan Bernal video, and to Love Island Jacob for pinging across the Lidl-Trek kit competition (we presume we’ll stop hearing from him as much with the new series starting next week).
And thanks once again to the provider of today’s background cover image and latest member of my-washing-machine-photo-is-now-on-the-internet-forever-club Tom Pere, who writes:
“I’m an Australian subscriber to Escape currently in Utrecht in the Netherlands on a holiday and came across this mural. Maybe of interest for a Spin Cycle cover?”
Definitely of interest, Tom, thank you very much for sending it in.
As always, we are accepting your own laundry photos to star in the Spin Cycle. Either send them via the Discord or shoot me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday Vibes 🔊
by Jonny Long (Mark Steinwachs is away)
Artist: Dope Lemon
What is it: It sounds like if Bob Dylan was an Instagram influencer paid to sit in bed eating yoghurt all day. The perfect song and tempo for a sunny day out climbing.
Quality Cycling Lyric (QCL), in homage to Sepp Kuss’ efforts to help Primož Roglič win the Giro d’Italia: Oh, do you want me, how I am? Do you need me, oh, where I stand? Let’s go steady. Let’s make a plan. Marinade on that for a little while.
You can listen to it here.
Until next time …
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