The Spin Cycle is the 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. You can sign up here.
Welcome back to Spin Cycle! The Escape Collective’s news digest.
The Giro d’Italia is almost over and for those who have more than a granule of dopamine in their systems it’s been a decent three week hit-out around Italy. Maybe the GC fight wasn’t all it promised to be, but that was hardly the riders fault. Instead, we’ve had Ben Healy and the EF Education EasyPost boys picking a wee scrap with Thibaut Pinot, Derek Gee finding a new best friend in second place on basically every stage, and Pieter Serry and Ilan Van Wilder may have seen enough of each other for an entire lifetime! Which is where we’ll begin today…
‘Pieter, you stay with Ilan’
One of the minor sub-plots of the Giro’s final week is that Soudal Quick-Step have been chugging along (after the disappointment of Remco Evenepoel’s departure and other subsequent COVID-19 abandons) with only two riders.
Pieter Serry and Ilan Van Wilder are the duo left in the race to advertise Soudals and Quick-Steps and try to find some meaning in Italy.
“The guys prepared for the Giro, are doing everything they can to be ready. And then you go into the last week with two riders. It’s not easy mentally. You are confronted with it all day,” sports director Klaas Lodewyck told Het Nieuwsblad.
It would seem that it’s not only the riders that are trying to find motivation and to stave off boredom, but judging by Lodewyck’s interview it’s been tough on the staff too. Presuming it’s being delivered in textbook Belgian deadpan, the revelation of each day’s tactical plan is unexpectedly humurous.
“Two boys at the table in the morning at breakfast. Ride to the start with two bikes on the roof. Two riders at the team meeting …” Lodewyck continued. “We are still trying to make the best of it. The tactical discussion is a bit shorter – “Pieter, you stay with Ilan” – but in the course discussion it doesn’t matter whether two or eight riders listen to it. It must be well prepared. We also draw up a ‘bottle plan’ every day, in which we try to be in four or five places with food and drink.”
“Each a single room,” Pieter Serry answers when asked if the riders are still sharing a room. “Being apart from time to time isn’t bad either. Luckily we get along well. Because the worst thing that could happen right now is that Ilan and I get into a fight. Then it is really dead.”
Rome can’t come quickly enough!
Playing the Heal
EF Education EasyPost love a collaboration, but at this Giro d’Italia it hasn’t been a fashion mash-up with a streetwear brand but instead the production of some scintillating beef with slightly haughty Frenchman Thibaut Pinot!
I mean, look at his reaction after Ben Healy attacked from the peloton with the break up the road as the Irishman tested Pinot’s resolve on the maglia azzurra, and then gave up when he realised he couldn’t drop the Groupama-FDJ man. A handshake of submission is outstretched, and Pinot can hardly look at Healy.
Maybe Pinot knew that Healy didn’t mean it, because as they were being absorbed back into the bunch Healy hit out again. When they came back once more, Ineos Grenadiers’ Salvatore Puccio made it clear he wasn’t happy with Healy’s antics, to which the stage winner just smiled. Great stuff.
Feed Zone 🥖
🤢 Hugh Carthy was forced to abandon the Giro d’Italia before the start of stage 19 after suffering from stomach issues for the last few days.
📚 Tom Dumoulin is writing an autobiography to be released in June 2024.
🦶 Franck Bonnamour returns to racing at Boucles de la Mayenne after three months out with a broken foot.
✅ Remco Evenepoel has been given the green light to start training again following his COVID-19 positive.
🇨🇴 Jhonatan Restrepo could return to the pro ranks with EOLO-Kometa next season. The team itself is looking for a new title sponsor as it targets an eventual Tour de France participation.
🎲 Lotto Dstny have secured the signature of 18-year-old Jarno Widar, one of the best Belgian youngsters who won the junior editions of the Tour of Flanders and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne this year.
⏱️ Wout van Aert is considering a tilt at the Belgian national time trial championships next month.
🌄 Egan Bernal was on the provisional start list for the Tour of Norway but instead will remain in Monaco where he is currently training.
📝 Ag2r Citroën’s Benoît Cosnefroy may be on the move to Arkéa-Samsic next year, according to French newspaper Le Télégramme.
👍 Tadej Pogačar is not yet training at full strength following his Liège crash, but sports director Andrej Hauptman has told RTV Slo that everything is still going according to plan ahead of the Tour de France.
🐝 After being locked out for the week, Jumbo-Visma have their Twitter account back.
🗻 Former Team Sky rider Nathan Earle won stage 6 of the Tour of Japan which was a 11.4 km race from the foot of Mount Fuji to the asphalted top of the mountain in a time of 40 minutes and 14 seconds.
Lapparti-aint you got enough on already?
by Iain Treloar
There are always new plates to spin for David Lappartient, who is back in the news today being touted as the next president of the French National Olympic and Sports Committee (CNOSF) following the shock resignation of current head, Brigitte Henriques, a year out from the Paris Olympics.
Lappartient – in addition to being president of the UCI – is simultaneously:
- an IOC member,
- the elected president of the Departmental Council of the broader Morbihan region (a career advancement from his long-held former role as Mayor of Sarzeau),
- the president of the Regional Natural Park of the Gulf of Morbihan, and
- the managing director of the private company controlling the ports of Morbihan.
The UCI President – who is currently chair of the IOC’s Esports and Gaming Liaison Group – has the support of the three other French IOC members in taking the reins of the CNOSF. “If I can be of service to the Olympic family, I am ready to study the situation,” Lappartient said. “I am a servant of the sports movement.”
In other remarks following the explosive CNOSF congress, Lappartient appeared to characterise recent reporting by le Monde as indicative of a ‘campaign of destabilisation’ (“it is not a coincidence”). Le Monde’s examination of Lappartient’s relationship with oligarchs and dictators extracted an extraordinary admission by Lappartient that in 2020 the UCI had apparently fabricated an award, lied to its recipient – the president of Turkmenistan – about it being cycling’s ‘highest honour’, and then, repeatedly lied to the world’s media in maintaining that story. Or maybe all of that was the lie. It’s a bit hard to keep up.
“I never betrayed the values which are mine and the ethics which are mine,” Lappartient told media yesterday, dismissing critical reporting – not for the first time – as “stink bombs [that] are wearisome for everyone.”
🚨 Awkward stat-off of the week award 🚨
“Sorry G, I had to go for the stage, my first stage win ever.”
“I haven’t won a stage either.”
João Almeida explains his reason to Geraint Thomas for going for it on stage 16 to secure a first Grand Tour stage victory, to which Thomas replies that he’s never won a Giro stage in his career (and judging by his reaction presumably would quite like to).
Cycling on TV 📺
• Giro d’Italia, Stage 20 (ITT)
- GCN+ (05:15-13:00 ET/10:15-18:00 BST/19:15-03:00 AEST)
• Boucles de la Mayenne, Stage 2
- GCN+/FloBikes (08:30-11:05 ET/13:30-16:05 BST/22:30-01:05 AEST)
• RideLondon Classic, Stage 2
- GCN+ (08:00-09:45 ET/13:00-14:45 BST/22:00-03:45 AEST)
• Grote Prijs Marcel Kint
- GCN+ (08:00-10:00 ET/13:00-15:00 BST/22:00-00:00 AEST)
• Thuringen Ladies Tour, Stage 5
- GCN+ (08:15-10:15 ET/13:15-15:15 BST/22:15-00:15 AEST)
• Tour of Norway, Stage 1
- GCN+ (08:50-12:30 ET/13:50-17:30 BST/22:50-02:30 AEST)
• Giro d’Italia, Stage 21
- GCN+ (09:00-13:30 ET/14:00-18:30 BST/23:00-03:30 AEST)
• Thuringen Ladies Tour, Stage 6
- GCN+/FloBikes (07:30-09:35 ET/12:30-14:35 BST/21:30-23:35 AEST)
• Boucles de la Mayenne, Stage 3
- GCN+ (07:50-10:55 ET/12:50-15:55 BST/21:50-23:55 AEST)
• Tour of Norway, Stage 2
- GCN+ (09:20-12:30 ET/14:20-17:30 BST/23:20-02:30 AEST)
• RideLondon Classique, Stage 3
- GCN+ (10:00-13:15 ET/15:00-18:15 BST/00:00-03:15 AEST)
• Tour of Norway, Stage 3
- GCN+ (07:20-09:45 ET/12:20-14:45 BST/21:20-23:45 AEST)
• Ronde van Limburg
- GCN+ (09:15-11:55 ET/14:15-16:55 BST/23:15-01:55 AEST)
Mathieu van der Poel has gone full Fight Club (no Australia Worlds jokes please).
Primes (for helpful members) 🏆
Today’s laundry photo comes from Matthew Crimp, who writes:
“It is an average launderette in an averagely depressing part of my hometown, Bristol. Its proximity to Betfred means that occasionally patrons are seen wandering back to collect their laundry, clutching their betting slips.
“Its one redeeming feature is that it is only 1/4 mile from Forever Pedalling, the local premier bike mechanic. I have never used it, but feel free to feature it in Spin Cycle. I will send a much better one when I am next in Dolgellau.”
We look forward to it Matthew!
As always, we are accepting your own laundry photos to star in the Spin Cycle. Either send them via the Discord or shoot me an email: email@example.com
Friday Vibes 🔊
Artist: Mammoth WVH
What is it: They say things run in the family and in this case its true. Wolfgang Van Halen played and sang every note on his debut album. Mammoth is an uplifting track for those tough days.
Quality Cycling Lyric (QCL): Anything is possible, you’re not the only one. Yeah! Let ‘em think you’re unremarkable and prove them wrong.
You can listen to it here.
Until next time …
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