Spin Cycle: Small beers and big scoops

Here's a stat that floats our boat.

Jonny Long
by Jonny Long 15.04.2024 Photography by
No Gravy Required, 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. Sign up here.


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

It’s maybe our favourite Monday of the year, as we get to analyse and enjoy the Amstel Gold Race podium beers: Who downed theirs with relish and who would rather not be rewarded for winning a big bike race with the obligation of doing something they very much don’t want to do?

But what makes this particular Monday even better is we also have an early celebration, a dog video, and the sort of exclusive news story that you wouldn’t find anywhere else because it is a) big dumb and b) effectively inconsequential. But that’s just how we like it! Sorry not sorry!

Amst-hell for Pidcock

“I was gonna say it’s great to win for a second time but that might create quite some controversy,” were Tom Pidcock’s first words post-Amstel Gold Race victory.

The Brit was of course referencing the 2021 edition of the race where it looked very much like he had beaten Wout van Aert but the camera had apparently been set up wrong and therefore awarded the victory to the Belgian.

More important than the race result, however, were the podium beers, which last year Pidcock seemed to really not enjoy. Fast forward 12 months and the Brit gave a heartier effort befitting the winner of the race, but looked around for assurance that he’s not going mad and Amstel is a distinctly mid-level lager.

Tiesj Benoot, on the other hand, absolutely wolfed his down, the 25cl serving barely touching the sides before he hoofed the final dregs into the crowd.

Thanks to ‘Cycling Statistics’ on Twitter, they’ve gone through the painstaking job of timing the Amstel podium downings, with Philippe Gilbert’s 2014 3.2 second effort still the fastest, but Benoot squeezes himself in just ahead of Pogačar last year, with a 5.1 second quaffing.

These are the sort of stats we’re here for, more of this please. In fact, someone page our man Ronan McLaughlin and ask if we can get a whole Performance Process podcast on the subject.

New footage leaves little doubt that hat woman is a bad person

Last week the Paris-Roubaix Petjesgooister (hat-thrower in Dutch) sent out an overwrought pleading of innocence via her lawyer.

“She would like to provide the union with an explanation about what happened there,” the woman’s lawyer told Het Nieuwsblad, having “handed herself in” to French cycling authorities. “It was evidently never my client’s intention to harm the rider in question. Let alone that she wanted to bring him down.

“No sane person would do something like that, right? My client prefers to keep the explanation for the discussion with the riders’ association.”

Well, newly emerged footage obtained by Het Laatste Nieuws shows the incident from a different angle, and despite her protestations leaves very little doubt that she chucked a hat at Mathieu van der Poel. Straight to jail, do not pass go.

Feed Zone 🥖

🌏 Ryan Cavanagh and Katelyn Nicholson are the new Oceania Road Race champions, while Aaron Gate and Isabelle Carnes took the time trial titles.

🏔️ The southern road (past Chalet Reynard) to the summit of Mont Ventoux has reopened for the summer. The northern road will remain closed until May 3rd at the earliest.

🥬 Groupama-FDJ’s Lenny Martinez emerged totally victorious from the spliffpuff classics, as he picked up wins at both the Classic Grand Besançon Doubs and Tour du Doubs.

😬 Patrick Lefevere has revealed in his latest Het Nieuwsblad column that he held a crisis meeting with his Soudal-Quick Step team following a disappointing Spring Classics campaign.

🏥 Jonas Vingegaard is remaining in hospital in the Basque Country for the timebeing due to the collapsed lung he suffered preventing him from being able to fly safely.

🤓 David Gaudu won the Tour du Jura, his first victory since stage 3 of the 2022 Critérium du Dauphiné.

🇧🇭 Wout Poels will aim for a stage win to complete his Grand Tour set at the upcoming Giro d’Italia, where he will share leadership of Bahrain-Victorious with cat-killer Antonio Tiberi, who will be aiming (everybody duck) for a good GC result.

🇬🇧 Promising 21-year-old Brit Joseph Blackmore (Israel-Premier Tech Academy) won the U23 Liège-Bastogne-Liège on Saturday after a fourth-place finish at last week’s Brabantse Pijl.

🍺 Mathieu van der Poel says he didn’t have the same legs he has had in previous weeks as he finished 22nd in the Amstel Gold Race. “It was of course a difficult situation. You then have to make some choices,” he said afterwards of being left isolated with no teammates in the front group. “When I jump, the other riders immediately jump on my wheel.”

🤕 After a fall at the Amstel Gold Race, DSM Firmenich-PostNL’s Oscar Onley has now broken his collarbone three times in the last eight months. “How many fckn times,” he questioned on Instragram while sharing an x-ray of his fracture.

👑 It also turns out Onley’s teammate Warren Barguil rode part of Sunday’s Amstel with a broken rib sustained in a Tour of the Basque Country crash. Not only does “don’t race with a broken rib” surely have to be contained within one of DSM’s inane protocols, but it is also certainly no way to treat the King of France.

💅 Tobias Foss took his first victory in an Ineos Grenadiers jersey (and first since his 2022 Worlds TT win) on the opening stage of the Tour of the Alps.

Big, dirty stinkin’ cycling media scoop of the week 🍦

Podcast listeners may remember us remarking on a recent episode of Placeholders how many of UAE Team Emirates’ Holy Week squad were now sporting moustaches, and that apparently the inspiration had in part been rookie António Morgado, who we are told was born with one and 20 years later would finish a remarkable fifth at De Ronde 2024 for the second most-impressive thing he’s done to date.

The next obvious question is whether this is a reaction from the UAE Team Emirates squad to doing the one thing Tadej Pogačar seemingly cannot do: grow facial hair.

Well, acccording to a team insider, “Tadej is planning a full beard for the Tour, growth starts now.”

That would be quite something, and would take a lot of getting used to. The boy king turned hipster lumberjack in Lycra.

However, it’s not something we’ll have to worry about for a while. “Tour 2026,” the insider clarified.

Cycling on TV 📺

Tuesday April 16th

Tour of the Alps – Stage 2
(07:35-09:25 ET/12:35-14:25 BST/21:35-23:25 AEST) 🇬🇧Eurosport/Discovery+, 🇺🇸🇨🇦FloBikes

Wednesday April 17th

La Flèche Wallonne – Men
(06:45-10:55 ET/11:45-15:55 BST/20:45-00:55 AEST) 🇬🇧Eurosport/Discovery+, 🇺🇸Peacock, 🇨🇦FloBikes, 🇦🇺SBS

La Flèche Wallonne – Women
(10:55-12:15 ET/15:55-17:15 BST/00:55-02:15 AEST) 🇬🇧Eurosport/Discovery+, 🇺🇸Peacock, 🇨🇦FloBikes, 🇦🇺SBS

Tour of the Alps – Stage 3
(06:35-08:25 ET/11:35-13:25 BST/20:35-22:25 AEST) 🇬🇧Eurosport/Discovery+, 🇺🇸🇨🇦FloBikes

Thursday April 18th

Tour of the Alps – Stage 4
(07:35-09:25 ET/12:35-14:25 BST/21:35-23:25 AEST) 🇬🇧Eurosport/Discovery+, 🇺🇸🇨🇦FloBikes

Friday April 19th

Tour of the Alps – Stage 5
(07:35-09:25 ET/12:35-14:25 BST/21:35-23:25 AEST) 🇬🇧Eurosport/Discovery+, 🇺🇸🇨🇦FloBikes

Can I pet that dog of the week 🐶

After the women’s Amstel Gold Race was neutralised after a police officer was injured in a motorbike collision, it gave Movistar’s Arlenis Sierra the opportunity to let one floofy pupper (sorry, the temptation was too great) know what a good dog they are.

And finally …

You didn’t think we’d leave without celebrating the early celebration of the weekend, did you?

Lorena Wiebes should have had Amstel Gold all wrapped up, but sat up to celebrate and Marianne Vos snuck in front with a bike throw for the ages to snatch victory at the last.

Wiebes was understandably beside herself at the finish, crying tears of anger at her mistake.

 “I suddenly saw Marianne at the finish and suddenly thought, ‘Oh no, maybe not’ … It’s just very stupid,” Wiebes said. “It happens to every cyclist at some point. It’s a good learning point. Normally I always sprint on. I hope not to do it again next time.”

You know what doesn’t cost you victory? Stopping your Garmin directly after the finish line … just saying.

🧺 Send us yer laundry pics

“Here’s some photos from the laundry on the vessel I’m working on just now,” Discord user ‘No Gravy Required’ messages in, attaching today’s featured laundry photo.

We have so many questions (which at the time of writing we haven’t had a response to, presumably because they are on a boat).

Which boat are you on? Where is it? Why are you on it? Is this the first laundry photo submission from international waters? Hopefully we’ll have an answer by Friday.

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 No Gravy Required 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.

Every edition of Spin Cycle is available for free on our website in order for you to be able to share it with your friends, so please do! You can give them this link to take them to our most recent edition.

And if you’ve been forwarded this email from someone else and want to receive it straight into your own inbox while it’s still hot, you can sign up here.

What did you think of this story?