Spin Cycle: Pensioners in hostage videos

National Championships got us seeing double.

Jonny Long
by Jonny Long 24.06.2024 Photography by
Max Bernstein, Cor Vos
More from Jonny +

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.


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

It’s nearly here. By this time next week, the 2024 Tour de France will be underway. The waiting is almost as good as the thing itself, but we are done waiting. Give us the sunflowers, the roadside fans, the chateaus, the glory and disappointment, the three weeks of the year’s best bike racing.

We’re busy packing before heading to Florence for the start, so we’ll keep this brief. Arrivederci!

Seeing double, and double again, and double again

National Championships are fun, waiting to find out who’s going to get to wear a different jersey for the next year.

While the peloton and its teams are pretty international these days, it is fun to see just how nation-based some squads still are. Behold, Uno-X Mobility mobbing the front of the Norwegian peloton, Decathlon-Ag2r La Mondiale amassing at the front of a French climb, while the respective team presentations at the Belgian and French races for Alpecin-Deceuninck and Groupama-FDJ are hilarious.

Were we the only ones who hadn’t realised just how Belgian the Alpecin-Deceuninck squad is?!

Unfortunate celebration that doesn’t photograph well of the week 🫣

Upon first look at the below photo, we wouldn’t blame you for recoiling in shock and horror, and then returning to the subheading before exclaiming: “Surely this is a bit worse than just unfortunate?”

Yes, it indeed looks like Dylan Groenewegen (Jayco-AlUla) is doing a Sieg Heil Nazi salute to celebrate winning the Dutch national road race title, but a video replay of the celebration in full reveals he’s doing a normal military salute along the lines of one of these: 🫡.

The internet being what it is, a few folks took the photo out of context and seemed ready to believe the worst of Groenewegen, who – sometimes fairly, sometimes not – has been a convenient villain ever since that awful Tour of Poland crash.

While it’s tough to remember in the excitement of the moment, it may be advisable for riders to only use victory celebrations that in no way resemble a nod to Adolf Hitler. And for photo agencies, it may be advisable to take a moment in the edit to make sure your lead image selection doesn’t risk creating a wrong impression. Just a thought.

Feed Zone 🥖

😬 Johan Price-Pejtersen (Bahrain Victorious) thought he had beaten Lidl-Trek’s Mattias Skjelmose to the Danish national time trial title by just one second, but then video footage emerged showing Price-Pejtersen riding on the cycle path, which led to his disqualification and gave the title to Skjelmose.

🏆 In other national title news, we had a number of road race victors crowned over the weekend. Italy: Alberto Bettiol, Elisa Longo Borghini. Netherlands: Dylan Groenewegen, Chantal Van den Broek-Blaak. Belgium: Arnaud De Lie, Lotte Kopecky. Spain: Alex Aranburu, Usoa Ostolaza. France: Paul Lapeira, Juliette Labous. GB: Ethan Hayter, Pfeiffer Georgi. Denmark: Rasmus Søjberg Pedersen, Rebecca Koerner. Germany: Marco Brenner, Franziska Koch. Slovenia: Domen Novak, Urška Žigart. Norway: Markus Hoelgaard, Mie Bjørndal Ottestad. Ireland: Darren Rafferty, Fiona Mangan. Switzerland: Mauro Schmid, Noemi Rüegg. Portugal: Rui Costa, Daniela Campos. Canada: Michael Woods, Olivia Baril. Kit Nicholson has the full roundup.

💊 EF Education-EasyPost has fired rider Andrea Piccolo after he was reportedly stopped at an airport and found to be in possession of Human Growth Hormone. Our Joe Lindsey has more on this wild story here.

😷 Bad news for FSAs (French Snogger Aficianados), as Groupama-FDJ’s David Gaudu tests positive for COVID-19 a week before the start in Florence.

👋 Grace Brown (FJD-Suez) has announced she will retire at the end of the season.

🏒 Puck Pieterse and Tom Pidcock won the short track races at the weekend’s Mountain Bike World Cup round in Crans-Montana. Read more here.

🚵‍♂️ Pidcock and Loana Lecomte then emerged victorious from the Crans-Montana cross country races.

🐝 Wout van Aert (Visma-Lease a Bike) gave an update on his condition prior to Sunday’s Belgian nationals road race: “I feel good and my condition is a lot better. I can train unlimitedly. That’s a lot of fun, although I still have some back pain sometimes. This has been dormant for a long time and we are working on it every day to release some of the tension from the muscles. That’s annoying, but I can’t complain either. I can just train and I have been able to take a good step forward.”

🤩 Tour de France squad confirmations are coming in thick and fast now. Headline names confirmed as heading to Florence include Mark Cavendish (Astana-Qazaqstan), Sam Bennett (Decathlon-Ag2r La Mondiale), Carlos Rodriguez, Egan Bernal, Tom Pidcock, Geraint Thomas (all Ineos Grenadiers), Arnaud De Lie (Lotto-Dstny), Mads Pedersen and Toms Skujiņš (both Lidl-Trek).

Cycling on TV 📺

Tuesday June 25th

Internationale LOTTO Thüringen Ladies Tour – Stage 1
(08:00-10:00 ET/13:00-15:00 BST/22:00-00:00 AEST) Eurosport/Discovery+🇬🇧

Wednesday June 26th

Internationale LOTTO Thüringen Ladies Tour – Stage 2
(08:00-10:00 ET/13:00-15:00 BST/22:00-00:00 AEST) Eurosport/Discovery+🇬🇧

Thursday June 27th

Internationale LOTTO Thüringen Ladies Tour – Stage 3
(08:00-10:00 ET/13:00-15:00 BST/22:00-00:00 AEST) Eurosport/Discovery+🇬🇧

Tour de France – Team Presentation
(12:30-14:00 ET/17:30-19:00 BST/01:30-03:00 AEST) Eurosport/Discovery+🇬🇧

Friday June 28th

Internationale LOTTO Thüringen Ladies Tour – Stage 4
(08:00-10:00 ET/13:00-15:00 BST/22:00-00:00 AEST) Eurosport/Discovery+🇬🇧

📹 Hostage video of the week 📹

Here’s an awkward watch …

Italian pensioner Renato Favero was on the Monte Grappa at this year’s Giro d’Italia and touched Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) as he rode past. Presumably caught and identified, Favero was offered the chance to not face any trouble if only he agreed to … film a hostage video apologising for his actions and pleading with others to not make the same mistake as he did!

It’s absolutely bizarre, and reportedly is the same sort of terms the Mathieu van der Poel Roubaix hat woman has been offered.

In this case, this man is clearly too old to be treated like this. The pause at the end before the camera shuts off makes our heart ache, and surely it’s not going to reach the people who actually need to hear the message?

Is this the start of a series of videos in this format that will be released by the CPA? We hope so, they have the potential to be quite entertaining, like Cameos for minor delinquents. But please, leave the old people alone!

And finally …

To cure your Monday blues, Tom Pidcock’s dogs joined him on the podium over the weekend.

🧺 Send us yer laundry pics

“I’ve been to Bergen in Norway and couldn’t resist to take a picture of this quite beautiful laundry facility. Hope this helps,” writes in Max Bernstein, attaching today’s featured laundromat.

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 Max Bernstein 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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