Riding is Life


Spin Cycle: Are golden tridents hygge?

Embrace debate: where do you think the Tirreno trophy would look nice in Jonas' home?

Jonny Long
by Jonny Long 11.03.2024 Photography by
Karl in Boston, Cor Vos
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Spin Cycle is 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. Sign up here.


Welcome back to Spin Cycle, Escape Collective’s news digest.

Usually, Photoshopping our various lycra-clad Bois into washing machine drums provides a peace of mind you don’t get with other wage-paying tasks.

This morning, however, I was filled with dread upon hearing the news that Kate Middleton (the Princess of Wales as bootlickers would have you refer to her as) may be coming for my job, after admitting she too loves to experiment (badly, just like us) with photo editing following the chaotic furore surrounding a bizarrely edited official photo released for Mother’s Day.

All we’re saying is back off the laundromat edits, Kate. Stay in your lane.

Across the Atlantic Ocean, where presumably people use photo-editing software for more serious endeavo(u)rs, Americans are busy winning European bike races. So please join me in singing-in-your-head the title of today’s first story …

Matte-oh say can you see, you’re so good at Lease-a-Bike ??

Seeing as I was of an age where I was throwing as many tantrums as Lance Armstrong was during his pomp, hearing the USA national anthem play on the podium of a bike race is still quite the novelty for me.

Along with your TV shows, fried chicken, and socialist ball sports, your anthem rocks, Americans. Good job.

In the comments below NBC’s exultant tweet of the Paris-Nice podium ceremony, you had the duality of America where one guy sporting the first name ‘Baker’ (you Americans and your surnames for first names … ) simply replied: “Hell yes,” before another chimed in stating that Jorgenson should not be wearing his cap while the anthem rang out.

For Jorgenson, who held his nerve to take the biggest win of his career so far, it must feel 10/10 to have backed himself during the Movistar days where it sounds like he had to do a lot of things himself, to now arrive on the world’s best team and win races for them.

“It means the world, I’m shaking. It’s just a huge moment for me,” Jorgenson said post-victory in an interview where he just about managed to keep his emotions below the surface.

“When I turned pro to be honest I didn’t even really think I deserved to be pro. It’s been a process of achieving small milestones and slowly believing in myself. This year I knew I was joining a really good team and straight off the bat they gave me confidence, put confidence in me. They thought I could win races and they gave me opportunities and coached me through it. And here we are.”

Our Caley Fretz spoke to him as the rider made his way to Paris-Nice about his rise in what is an interview worth reading. And for any other riders looking to boost their chances ahead of one-week stage races, message me for Caley’s number.

For Visma-Lease a Bike, they became the first team in history to win both Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico in the same year. So it looks like Visma domination will continue into 2024, just with a slightly different flavour.

Vingegaard laid waste to his rivals in Italy, winning by over a minute to second-place Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates). In the podium pics it’s hard to tell whether the Dane is enchanted or horrified by his golden trident prize. I mean, where does that go in your living room? Golden tridents are definitely not hygge.

Luckily, Vingegaard clarified this point, saying: “I am very happy with the trophy. It is one of the most iconic trophies you can win in cycling. I look forward to giving it a nice place in my home soon.” It can go right next to the home phone with unlimited international minutes.

Jonas Vingegaard holds the Tirreno-Adriatico golden trident trophy.

The transformation from robot to human of OptiRog Prim(e) ?

There are no two ways about it, Primož Roglič’s Bora-Hansgrohe debut at Paris-Nice was a little disappointing. A 10th overall finish after he succumbed to the cold on the final stage eight, his general classification spot five and a half minutes down on Jorgenson, who is clearly thriving at the Slovenian’s old team.

No panic just yet, however, as the Tour is still months away. At least that’s the vibe Roglič and his camp are giving off.

“Everything is new to him. Teammates, staff, equipment, nutrition on and off the bike … you don’t acquire that with a simple snap of your fingers,” Roglič’s coach Marc Lamberts told HLN.

“My life won’t change if I had won Paris-Nice,” the 34-year-old Roglič told Cycling Pro Net, having already won the race in 2022. “I have to give myself time. I don’t want to do anything rash. I still had to get used to everything in this race. To the boys, to the staff. In addition, it was my first race. I clearly needed this. Now I’m in a good position to rebuild.

“Of course I came to Paris-Nice with the mindset of winning the race. Otherwise I wouldn’t have come in the first place. But I also wanted to do a good block with intensity. I did that here. I have stayed healthy, I have stayed whole. This is important. These efforts are back in action. On to the next races.”

That was after the final stage 8 where he lost a chunk of time. Before that, when he was already being quizzed over his current form and his chances at Paris-Nice post-stage 7, Roglič brought some levity to the very serious questions he was being asked.

“I’m so far back I don’t even know who is in the lead!” he said. Only a few years ago, getting Roglič to laugh in an interview was more difficult than beating him in an uphill sprint for the line, but after years of the iceman thawing, he seems completely at ease at Bora-Hansgrohe.

Feed Zone ?

?? Mark Cavendish and his Astana-Qazaqstan lead-out man Michael Mørkøv were both eliminated from Tirreno-Adriatico after finishing outside the time limit, more than than half an hour behind Jonas Vingegaard, on Friday’s stage 5. That same day Romain Bardet (DSM-Firmenich-PostNL) crashed and suffered a concussion, forcing his withdrawal from the race.

? More bad news for DSM at Tirreno, as Max Poole crashed and broke his elbow on stage 6. Elsewhere on the infirmary/injury report, Caleb Ewan abandoned that same day with a stomach problem, while fellow Aussie sprinter Kaden Groves, American Neilson Powless, and Bora-Hansgrohe’s Dani Martínez left the race due to knee problems.

🇸🇮 Primož Roglič has provisionally added La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège to his calendar, GCN reports.

? Ellen van Dijk’s return to racing post-pregnancy was a victorious one, winning the stage 3 time trial at the Vuelta Extremadura, with Movistar’s Mareille Meijering taking the overall title.

?? Due to his stellar early-season form, Toms Skujiņš will now add some cobbled Classics to his list after racing Tirreno-Adriatico. “The legs never felt better at this stage of the season,” he told Het Nieuwsblad. “It is now important to capitalize on my condition as best as possible. It took me a little longer to recover from the Strade, partly due to the fall. I didn’t give it my all in the opening time trial, but my body is feeling a lot better now.”

? Arnaud De Lie has removed Milan-San Remo from his calendar and will instead race the GP de Denain and Bredene Koksijde Classic to prepare for the upcoming cobbled Classics beginning with E3 Saxo Bank Classic on March 22.

? Remco Evenepoel has told L’Équipe he wants Julian Alaphilippe (who is currently down to ride the Giro d’Italia) in the Soudal-Quick Step Tour de France squad.

? Wilco Kelderman broke his collarbone in a crash on the final stage of Paris-Nice, Het Laatste Nieuws reports.

Cycling on TV ?

Tuesday March 12th

No live racing …

Wednesday March 13th

Nokere Koerse – Women
(07:30-09:00 ET/11:30-13:00 GMT/22:30-00:00 AEST) ??Eurosport/Discovery+, ??Max, ??FloBikes

Nokere Koerse – Men
(11:00-12:45 ET/15:00-16:45 GMT/02:00-03:45 AEST) ??Eurosport/Discovery+, ??Max, ??FloBikes

(09:20-11:20 ET/13:20-15:20 GMT/00:20-02:20 AEST) ??Eurosport/Discovery+, ??Max, ??FloBikes

Thursday March 14th

GP de Denain – Porte du Hainaut
(09:00-10:45 ET/13:00-14:45 GMT/00:00-01:45 AEST) ??Eurosport/Discovery+, ??Max, ??FloBikes

Friday March 15th

Bredene Koksijde Classic
(09:30-11:30 ET/13:30-15:30 GMT/00:30-02:30 AEST) ??Eurosport/Discovery+, ??Max, ??FloBikes

Rumour mill Monday ?

Here we go, Jasper Philipsen has for the first time enlisted an agent as he enters his contract year with Alpecin-Deceuninck, and it’s none other than the Pogačar/Uijtdebroeks whisperer Alex Carera he’s employed to be in his corner.

As arguably the best sprinter in the peloton right now, Philipsen is well-placed to demand a hefty new deal, and Carera told Het Laatste Nieuws Bora-Hansgrohe and Tudor Pro Cycling are possible destinations, as is a return to his former home UAE Team Emirates.

The Belgian is good pals with both Mathieu van der Poel and Tadej Pogačar, so Team Friendship will be pushed to its absolute limit as Philipsen decides between another three/four years in denim or another stint of something that can actually be washed: UAE’s image and reputation.

Jasper Philipsen gives a thumbs up.

And finally …

Without the GCN+ app (how I miss thee) and with no-one on Twitter, Escape Collective‘s Discord or company Slack able to tell me what Mick van Dijke’s shoe-in-the-back-pocket was all about, I’m not sure I’ll be able to sleep soundly again until I know: WHY?

We reached out to Visma-Lease a Bike hoping they’d forgotten our incessant (albeit playful) prodding of Richard Plugge and Jonas Vingegaard to hopefully close the case once and for all.

“He crashed, broke his cleat of his shoe and as the car needed to get to the group again with Matteo,” a Visma-Lease a Bike press officer replied to our breathless and pleading WhatsApp message. “[The DS] could not wait for this change, the DS gave him a shoe and continued.”

So, not a shoey in celebration of Jorgenson’s victory? Don’t be silly, Plugge would never allow that.

We’re gonna rock. down. to. apology avenue ⚡

Last month, we questioned Aleksandr Vlasov when he said the Bora-Hansgrohe Paris-Nice leader would be decided by whom between himself and new team leader Primož Roglič was in better shape.

Turns out, it was Vlasov. The Russian finished fifth overall, 2:57 behind Jorgenson, while Roglič lost four minutes as he suffered in the cold on the final day and ended up 10th, five and a half minutes down.

“We came here with Primož as leader and we did our best,” was Vlasov’s tempered response at the finish.

So apologies to you, Aleks, for doubting!

? Send us yer laundry pics

“This beaut is right in the middle of metropolitan Hardwick, VT (population 2,920),” writes in Karl from Boston, attaching today’s laundromat photo. “It’s a laundromat with its own Facebook page, because of course.

“Hardwick features amazing road riding, very near New England’s pre-eminent Nordic skiing locale in Craftsbury, VT, and some gorgeous top-loaders and side-loaders. It also has a poster with some sweet dolphins in Oakleys (can’t tell the model/year, I’m sure you’ll know better) looking aero as fuck, which I thought you needed.

“They’ve had an influx of the bourgeoisie [here] and they don’t want to turn into a shitty resort town like Stowe, so they’ve implored their residents to ‘Keep Hardwick Hard’ which also serves as a reminder of how you have to ride your bike to maintain speed on the rough and steep dirt roads there. There’s also a rail trail through town if you aren’t hard enough for the gradients.”

Dolphin photo and littering sticker in Hardwick, VT.

We had been led to believe America ran on Dunkin’, not pictures of dolphins wearing sunglasses. Every day’s a school day. Thanks Karl, safe to say we are now slightly scared to ever visit Hardwick … but also very intrigued.

As always, we are accepting your laundry photos (especially ones with the doors open so we can Photoshop riders inside the drum) to star in Spin Cycle. Either send them via the Discord or shoot me an email: [email protected]

Until next time …

That’s all folks! Thanks to Phil for contributions to today’s edition and a big thank you to all of you who have signed up already as Escape Collective founding members. If you haven’t there is no time like the present. To smooth the process just click this link here and hit the Join Today button in the top right of the page.

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