Spin Cycle: He’s still hungry

Georg Zimmerman? More like move your Zimmer, man ...

Jonny Long
by Jonny Long 27.05.2024 Photography by
Todd Potter, Rod Hooper, Orla Chennaoui, Cor Vos, Jonny Long
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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.

The 2024 Giro d’Italia is done. Grand Tours are always special, no matter how many pink-clad Slovenians are stomping all over the dreams of the rest of the field.

Today, we’ve got some Giro-based loose ends to tie up as well as news from Cologne, Unbound Gravel and the mean streets of Reading no less!

He’s still hungry

Tadej Pogačar wrapped up his Giro d’Italia victory in style, winning stage 20 to make that six, SIX, stage wins en route to the maglia rosa (no other rider in the GC top 10 took a stage victory), and his winning margin was 9 minutes and 56 seconds over second-place Dani Martínez (Bora-Hansgrohe).

You’d imagine, given his clear insatiability for both winning and the Giro’s Endless Trophy itself, that he’s pissed about those extra 4 seconds that would have given him a round 10-minute margin of victory, but the Slovenian also has other regrets from the race.

“It was a shame that we couldn’t win with Molano,” Pogačar said after the finish of stage 21, having tried a few times to help set up his Colombian sprinter for victory these past three weeks. “Oh well, we can’t win everything, so we’re definitely happy.”

According to Italian journalist Beppe Conti speaking on RAI, and thankfully translated and reported by the Inner Ring, Pogačar already plans to return to the Giro next year, which could start in Trieste. He also claims the Giro’s white jersey Antonio Tiberi (Bahrain-Victorious) will ride the Vuelta a España later this year and that the 2025 Tour de France will include a visit to Italy.

For now, just try and pass the time without spending too long daydreaming and salivating over the prospect of next month’s Tour de France: Pogačar, Primož Roglič, Remco Evenepoel, maybe Jonas Vingegaard. It’s almost too much and we’re already very excited.

Pedestrian near miss of the week 🫣

Over at the Rund um Köln (won by DSM Firmenich-PostNL’s Casper van Uden), there was the latest near miss with a pedestrian.

Somehow an old woman crossing the street with a zimmer frame was avoided by all seven members of the breakaway, and even though one hit her Zimmer, it remained upstanding. If you watch the end of the clip closely, you can also see the old woman calmly walking up the road to collect her walker, as if this is a common occurrence in her life. Bizarre.

Unbound against aero 🙅‍♂️

Unbound Gravel, which takes place this Saturday June 1, have put out a PSA announcement pleading with competitors to not bend, cut or alter the number plates fixed to their handlebars so as not to potentially break timing chips, or else they’ll risk disqualification.

“Do not bend, fold, cut or wrap your number plates!” Unbound said in an Instagram post. “If you wrap your plate, the timing chips on the back cannot be read by our timing mats and could result in disqualification.”

Naturally, this has gone down poorly in the comments of the post.

“‘Could be disqualified’ I’ll take the risk,” wrote one person, while another said: “It’s 2024 and a $300 race entry still demands you put a wind catcher on the front of your bike or else. SMH.”

This isn’t a cause we especially care or feel strongly about, but it’s provided some slight amusement to coax us through our Giro d’Italia hangover, and gives us something extra to look out for in Unbound 2024. As CyclingNews have pointed out, last year’s race was decided by less thank a bike length, and the winner had bent his number plate down the middle …

Feed Zone 🥖

🇫🇷 Thanks to his stage 2 win, Alberto Bettiol (EF Education EasyPost) secured the overall victory at Boucles de la Mayenne, finishing 23 seconds ahead of runner-up Benoît Cosnefroy (Decathlon-Ag2r La Mondiale).

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 After securing third place at the Giro d’Italia, Geraint Thomas is currently planning on riding the Tour de France in support of his teammates and a possible stage win, but admits he might change his mind and target another strong GC showing. “I told a lot of people that this was the last time I rode for a classification, but in a week I will probably think differently …” he told Cycling Pro Net. “I don’t know. Now it’s time to rest, go to the Tour de France and help the boys there, and try to go for a stage. Then we will assess it.”

💂‍♀️ The Ineos Grenadiers’ duo of Tom Pidcock and Pauline Ferrand-Prévot won the XCO races at the weekend’s mountain bike World Cup in Nové Město, while Alessandra Keller and Victor Koretzky won the XCC races.

🤔 Meanwhile, Pauline-Ferrand-Prévot hinted this could be her final season of mountain bike competition, telling Eurosport: “I’m sure it will be my last season on mountain bike. I think I have achieved everything on the mountain bike. I still like it, but there’s no point in continuing any longer. It is my last chance to become an Olympic champion in my own country, so it is a good time to stop.” Will the 32-year-old be transferring to the road next?

🇳🇴 Axel Laurance (Alpecin-Deceuninck) sealed the overall victory at the Tour of Norway thanks to his stage 2 win, while Alexander Kristoff (Uno-X) sprinted to the fourth and final stage victory. Wout van Aert (Visma-Lease a Bike), in his comeback race from injury, managed fourth and third in the final two stages as he rekindles his form.

🇬🇧 Lorena Wiebes (SD Worx-Protime) took all three stages en route to the overall victory at the RideLondon Classique, which she also did at her last appearance at the race in 2022. Our Abby Mickey has the wrap-up here.

👶 Tom Dumoulin has announced he and girlfriend Maxime Nieman are expecting their first child in October.

🚧 The Col des Aravis and Col de la Colombière have been removed from the upcoming seventh stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné due to roadworks in the area.

Spotted in … Reading 👀

This weekend in Reading, Berkshire, we did a double take after spotting this sandwich shop, which bears a very similar name to the Continental cycling team Peter Sagan currently rides for: Pierre Baguette Cycling.

We did a quick scan inside, and alas, no sign of Sagan. We’ve tried to find out which existed first, south-west England café or Slovakian packaged sandwich enterprise, but strangely, the provenance of both was lacking.

Further question: are they aware of each other’s existence?

If you find any cycling-adjacent rips in the space-time continuum, do send them in: [email protected]

Pierre’s Baguettes …

Pierre Baguette …

Cycling on TV 📺

Tuesday May 28th

No live racing …

Wednesday May 29th

Mercan’Tour Classic
(08:00-10:00 ET/13:00-15:00 BST/22:00-00:00 AEST) 🇬🇧Eurosport/Discovery+

Circuit Franco-Belge
(09:00-11:30 ET/14:00-16:30 BST/23:00-01:30 AEST) 🇬🇧Eurosport/Discovery+

Thursday May 30th

No live racing …

Friday May 31st

No live racing …

In case you missed it …

Thanks to Joe WS who reminded us that big time bike racing in the UK (like we had this weekend with the RideLondon Classique) means international riders zooming past British institutions such as Greggs and Sainsbury’s.

But also, the GCN/Eurosport/Discovery+/whatever-other-company-we’ve-missed-out gang took Nathan Van Hooydonck, who was great as a pundit in their Giro d’Italia coverage to experience a Wetherspoons pub for the first time to celebrate the end of the Grand Tour.

For those who aren’t aware of Wetherspoons, it’s a huge UK pub chain known for its cheap drinks, solely-microwave-cooked menu, and a genre of old man called ‘Old Man Spoons’, who potter around each branch’s individually-patterned carpets reading newspapers, drinking ales and making the most of the unlimited free refills of tea and coffee.

And finally …

“We saw these signs throughout Slovenia encouraging drivers to slow down,” writes in Rod Hooper, attaching the below photo. “I thought it was so cool that Tadej is so well known and such a national hero that his name can be used in a safety campaign. Or … is it a not so subtle message to the rest of the cycling nations to just give up.”

So good, and we recall similar signs being used last year after Primož Roglič’s Giro d’Italia victory, if we remember correctly.

🧺 Send us yer laundry pics

“I was at the local UPS Store to return a package and noticed this laundromat. What a dirty place to do your laundry! YIKES!!!” writes in a clearly alarmed Todd Potter, attaching today’s featured laundromat.

“Naples Super (filthy) Laundromat on Rattlesnake Hammock Road, Florida, (gotta love that street name – hanging with a rattlesnake in a hammock is a bit risky, No?)”

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 Rod Hooper and Todd Potter 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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