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Welcome back to Spin Cycle, Escape Collective’s news digest.
It feels good to have both of the pelotons back in action, doesn’t it? To see the traces of 2024’s storylines begin to unfurl Down Under. Sam Welsford looks a different rider after leaving DSM for Bora-Hansgrohe and is so far undefeated in WorldTour sprints (even if there have only been three). Meanwhile, Isaac del Toro had the western world rubbing their eyes as they woke to the Mexican’s exploits on the Tour Down Under’s stage 2. Talk about announcing yourself straight out the gate.
As befits our era, everyone is already crowning him the new Pogačar, which could turn out to be true. If he continues on his current trajectory, he’ll certainly be making the peloton rich list (featured below) before too long.
Although, today we also meet a 22-year-old Frenchman who spends his entire life riding home roads near the Swiss border while being financially supported by his parents, which sounds just as good as being a multi-millionaire but without all the hassle.
Lend us a fiver, Tadej
One of our favourite stories that pops up every now and again is the purported ranking of the peloton’s highest earners.
Gazzetta dello Sport have done the various deals with the
devil agents to extract the information, and now we get to gawp at the professionals who make more money in a year than you could ever hope to in your lifetime (probably … if not, let us know if being rich is all it’s cracked up to be).
Standing at the top of the list is the world’s least assuming multi-millionaire, Tadej Pogačar, who is reportedly earning €6 million a year from UAE Team Emirates and presumably keeps it all stashed away in a vault somewhere like Harry Potter does at Gringotts. This figure has been known since he signed his six-season deal in 2021, meaning that by the end of 2027 he will ahve (assuming no funny contract business happens before then) earned €36 million (nearly as much as basketball’s Lebron James makes every single year from his NBA contract alone).
In second place is apparently Primož Roglič, whose two-year deal with Bora-Hansgrohe is worth €4.5 million a year, which is more than his former teammate Jonas Vingegaard who receives €4 million annually, the same as Mathieu van der Poel. Wout van Aert, meanwhile, is supposedly on €3.5 million while Remco Evenepoel is said to receive €2.8 million.
A slew of Ineos Grenadiers are next in the list: Tom Pidcock (€2.7 million), Egan Bernal (€2.5 million), Carlos Rodriguez (€2.5 million) and Filippo Ganna (€2.3 million). Actually, I missed one out, UAE Team Emirates’ Adam Yates apparently also gets paid €2.7 million. No wonder his dog Zoe looks so pleased with herself.
We’re very happy for all of the riders earning the big bucks, no doubt they deserve it. Seeing as he’s so often dressed down, not in the least bit flashy, spends most of his time riding his bike, and as far as we can tell just a normal dude, we would love to know what Pogačar actually spends his money on.
Make sure you insert a headline for the Specialized Ireland story here
After the fun that was the Specialized turbine formal extravaganza, we were alerted to the Irish subsidy of Specialized posting the photo on their Instagram page.
If you look at the caption, which has obviously been sent down from above, the second part of the text reads: “Please apply the individual tags appropriately:” before listing all of the riders contained in the photo, and which is clearly meant as an instruction to the person responsible for posting rather than for the caption itself. At the time of writing, no one from Specialized seems to have noticed.
A minor boo-boo in the grand scheme of things that elicited an extra chuckle after the main course of the photo itself, so we’re not complaining by any means.
In fact, it reminded us of footballers who have suffered through similar gaffes. In 2017, Dutchman Daley Blind posted “Hi mate, would you be ok posting this image on your social channels with the following copy?” before including the actual message that his agent/social media manager intended for him to post, while last year Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford posted a heartfelt tribute to his departing teammate David De Gea saying: “You were here from my breakthrough, good luck with your next step brother.” Except, it would have been heartfelt had it not been prefixed by “Caption ideas:”.
Our favourite, however, is from Victor Anichebe, an unused substitute for Sunderland in a crushing last-gasp defeat to West Ham in 2016, who sent out onto the timeline: “Can you tweet something like… Unbelievable support yesterday and great effort by the lads! Hard result to take! But we go again!”
Feed Zone 🥖
🆓 Mikel Landa will ride for Remco Evenepoel at the Tour de France but then be leader of Soudal – Quick Step’s squad at the Vuelta a España. “I keep dreaming of winning a Grand Tour,” he told Sporza .
🇲🇾 After not being renewed by EF Education EasyPost, Merhawi Kudus has signed with the Malaysian Terengganu Cycling Team.
🍨 Edvald Boasson Hagen has been signed by Decathlon Ag2r La Mondiale on a one-year deal to complete their squad of 30 riders.
👋 Former Ineos and TotalEnergies rider Chris Lawless has retired at the age of 28.
💸 Bora-Hansgrohe are maybe interested in signing Wout van Aert and Remco Evenepoel as soon as next year but take this rumour with a heavy pinch of salt as our Dane Cash discussed in his report here, while Joe Lindsey was once again the adult in the room and said enough’s enough with the constant transfer rumour mill.
🇨🇴 While Egan Bernal will race the Vuelta a España later this year, it’s currently not known whether he’ll ride either the Giro d’Italia or Tour de France this season, he told the Geraint Thomas Cycling Club podcast.
🐂 Isaac del Toro will not ride a Grand Tour this season, his UAE Team Emirates boss Matxin has told Sporza, “unless he undergoes a major evolution”. Instead, a 2025 Grand Tour debut is planned.
🤩 Michael Valgren has told Feltet.dk that he will make his Giro d’Italia debut in May.
🇪🇷 Biniam Girmay’s younger brother, Meweal (18), will ride for Intermarché-Wanty’s Continental team, Wanty-ReUz-Technord, this year.
🤔 Attila Valter has told Eurosport that Cian Uijtdebroeks doesn’t know where the allegations he was bullied by his Bora-Hansgrohe teammates came from. Well, it must have been from somewhere.
🇦🇪 The 2024 UAE Tour route has been unveiled and you’ll never guess but they’re heading up Jebel Jais and Jebel Hafeet again.
⛰️ La Vuelta organisers are planning a stage finish at La Veleta, which is 3,300 m above sea level and the highest paved road in all of Europe, but they do not yet have the necessary permits from the authorities.
🏥 Groupama-FDJ’s Rudy Molard was taken to hospital pretty banged up after a crash on stage three of the Tour Down Under.
🩸 Similarly, Australian national champion Luke Plapp has been forced to abandon the Tour Down Under after a crash on stage 3 left him with “discomfort and ongoing pain from a large amount of wounds“.
🙌 Shirin van Anrooij (21) is slowly on the mend after a rib fracture brought a premature end to her cyclocross season. What can’t have hurt in her recovery is breaking open her current contract and signing a new deal with Lidl-Trek and Baloise Trek Lions until the end of 2026.
📨 Lotto Dstny and Israel – Premier Tech were already assured of their Tour de France wildcards as the two best-ranked ProTeams from 2023, while TotalEnergies an Uno-X have been granted the final two wildcard slots.
⌚ Meanwhile, Tudor Pro Cycling will race Paris-Nice and Q36.5 have been invited to the Critérium du Dauphiné.
🤕 Jake Stewart’s first season with new team Israel – Premier Tech will be delayed after he suffered a fracture in his tibia and a tear in the meniscal cartilage of his knee. His team have not released details of how this happened.
🇬🇧 Cycling Weekly reports that former Tour of Britain organiser SweetSpot has appointed liquidators, placing the future of other British races in doubt.
Cycling on TV 📺
Saturday January 20th
Tour Down Under Men – Stage 5
(19:30-23:30 ET (Friday)/00:30-04:30 GMT/11:30-15:30 AEST) 🇺🇸NBC Peacock, 🇬🇧Eurosport/Discovery+, 🇦🇺Seven Network
Challenge Mallorca Women – Trofeo Felanitx
(09:00-10:30 ET/14:00-15:30 GMT/01:00-02:30 AEST) 🇬🇧Eurosport/Discovery+
Exact Cross – Women
(07:40-08:45 ET/12:40-13:45 GMT/23:40-00:45 AEST) 🇺🇸FloBikes, 🇬🇧Eurosport/Discovery+
Exact Cross – Men
(09:00-10:20 ET/14:00-15:20 GMT/01:00-02:20 AEST) 🇺🇸FloBikes, 🇬🇧Eurosport/Discovery+
Sunday January 21st
Tour Down Under Men – Stage 6
(19:30-23:30 ET (Saturday)/00:30-04:30 GMT/11:30-15:30 AEST) 🇺🇸NBC Peacock, 🇬🇧Eurosport/Discovery+, 🇦🇺Seven Network
Challenge Mallorca Women – Trofeo Palma
(08:45-10:15 ET/11:45-13:15 GMT/22:45-00:15 AEST) 🇬🇧Eurosport/Discovery+
UCI World Cup, Benidorm – Elite Women
(07:30-09:00 ET/12:30-14:00 GMT/23:30-01:00 AEST) 🇺🇸FloBikes, 🇬🇧Eurosport/Discovery+
UCI World Cup, Benidorm – Elite Men
(09:00-10:30 ET/14:00-15:30 GMT/01:00-02:30 AEST) 🇺🇸FloBikes, 🇬🇧Eurosport/Discovery+
Monday January 22nd
Challenge Mallorca Women – Trofeo Binissalem
(09:00-10:30 ET/14:00-15:30 GMT/01:00-02:30 AEST) 🇬🇧Eurosport/Discovery+
Sightseeing cyclist of the week 🗺️
It’s been quite the week for Isaac del Toro, a stage win in his WorldTour debut and a few days in the leader’s jersey (which he could very well seal as his own if he keeps the pace up tomorrow’s ascent of Willunga Hill and stays upright through Sunday’s final stage).
It must be a lot for the 20 year-old to take in, right? Not at all, as he even had the time for some sightseeing on stage 3, remarking that he saw a total of three kangaroos on the journey from Tea Tree Gully to Campbelltown.
“I feel good and have even been able to enjoy the surroundings. I even saw three kangaroos!” he said after stage 3. “I try to enjoy that, because you don’t see that every day. “And they didn’t jump into the peloton, I’m very happy about that.”
If you missed the kangaroos, luckily you can see them here.
And finally …
A couple of editions back we had first marvelled at Łukasz Owsian’s total of 39,000 km for 2023, before we were alerted to a reader’s friend (called Brian Mackay) who managed an even more astronomical 58,740 km.
But now, Timbo Pinot on Discord has got in touch to tell us about a 22-year-old Frenchman named Maxime Regazzoni who rides 200 km every. single. day.
Interviewed by Hebdo25, Regazzoni, from the eastern department of Doubs next to the Swiss border, has been “pedaling every day, or almost, since 2019” and for the past 100 days has clocked up 200 km.
He rises around 5 am for breakfast, leaves the house at 6.30 am and spends 7 or 8 hours on the bike before getting home around 2 pm, heading to bed at 9 pm. Before repeating all over again the very next day.
“My parents are quite protective and watch what I do keenly,” Regazzoni explains, still living at home and without a job. “I really want to pursue my future in cycling, becoming an equipment tester would be really good.”
“I did 20,000 km in 2019, 32,000 in 2020, 52,000 in 2021. For equipment, my parents help me financially, the tires for example can last almost 8,000 kilometers.”
“Almost all of his life today revolves around cycling, with no other objective than surpassing oneself and the pleasure of pedalling,” observes the author of the Hebdo25 article, who, like us, can barely hide their jealousy at such an uncomplicated, joyful life.
🏆 Prix du lecteur super apprécié du jour
Thanks to Ben Malone for sending in a story that featured in today’s edition. If you spot something you think may be of interest please hit me up Discord or shoot me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
🧺 Send us yer laundry pics
“¡Hola desde Ronda, España!” writes in DanhtheManh on Discord, attaching today’s featured laundromat. “I’m here for a week riding bikes through the Andalucian hills and visiting all the white hill towns. Although I’ve been busy, I found a lavandería to share with your Spin Cycle readers.”
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@example.com
Until next time …
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