Spin Cycle: Tatted up

Ah, yes, the warm embrace of a full-on culture war!

Jonny Long
by Jonny Long 20.05.2024 Photography by
Konstantin Kleine, Cor Vos, Candance McDaniel, Cantopa Cafebar, Leon van Bon
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.

Oh boy we have a bit of a bumper edition for you today. Spicy quotes, wonderful photos, unbelievable anecdotes, as well as the weird world of Bora-Hansgrohe DS Enrico Gasparotto. Not to mention some big dumb-dumb reporting on cycling from the British press. But first, Jonas Vingegaard seems to have got himself a tattoo!

Tatted up 💪

The good news is that Jonas Vingegaard is over in Mallorca for a training camp, which you would assume hints at a decent chance he will be at the Tour de France as originally planned this summer.

Having bumped into some cycling tourists and obliging their request for a photo, what looks very much like a tattoo can be spotted on his left arm.

Obviously, as proponents of doing whatever the hell you want with your own body, you live your own life Jonas. But if we’d been told of everyone in the peloton, Jonas Vingegaard was the latest to get a tattoo, and of all the possible tattoos out there, it was some sort of moth or butterfly on his arm, we’d have been surprised.

It doesn’t really fit with the personality of the straight-laced, really quite serious two-time Tour de France champion. Maybe it’s the sort of happening that doesn’t necessarily live in crazy town, but at the very least resides in one of the adjoining suburbs.

Likely, it has a special, personal meaning. Or it’s one of those stick-on ones that has been applied at the encouragement of his young daughter. I mean, what else are you supposed to do whilst laid-up recovering from serious injury?

Rest assured, we will be licking our fingers and attempting to rub it off to check if it’s real or not at the Tour this summer … (if Visma-Lease a Bike are listening, don’t worry, we won’t).

Feline retributive 😾

Despite the abandonment of Cian Uijtdebroeks last week, the Giro d’Italia white jersey competition has life in it yet, as Thymen Arensman (Ineos Grenadiers) sits just 19 seconds behind Bahrain Victorious’ Antonio Tiberi.

However, the Italian may have his work cut out, as some in the race are seemingly not willing to forgive and forget his cold-blooded cat-killing.

Thanks to Lena Kolumna for the translation of German Giro d’Italia commentary, which seems a lot more fun than what British viewers were treated to on Discovery+, as Luke Rowe spent a decent chunk of Sunday’s stage making sure he didn’t call Nairo Quintana a “little f**king rat” again. Instead, Bora-Hansgrohe sports director Rolf Aldag gave some insight into the view of Tiberi from other member’s of his team.

“On German commentary Aldag just said that Antonio Tiberi is so unpopular with some in and around the peloton, Gasparotto [Bora-Hansgrohe DS] won’t even let him draft at the back of the car when Tiberi needs to get back from his team car because Gasparotto is a big fan of cats.”

Enrico Gasparotto hands a bottle to noted respecter of all creatures including cats, Sam Bennett at the 2023 UAE Tour.
Enrico Gasparotto hands a bottle to noted respecter of all creatures, including cats, Sam Bennett at the 2023 UAE Tour.

Enrico Gasparotto seems a fascinating man. Clearly a big lover of cats as well as listening to every Tadej Pogačar interview this Giro to try and gain some knowledge to help his third-placed rider Dani Martínez. Our only interaction with him was when he was in the midst of DNF-ing the 2020 Saudi Tour, when we heard him call the press vehicle we were travelling in a “bitch car.” Not saying he was wrong. We just want to learn more.

The culture wars cometh ⚔️

A story from last week that we didn’t include on Friday so as not to lead you into the weekend with bad vibes, but the latest stop of the UK’s dumb carousel of culture war … culture is … cyclists!

To catch you up: following the death of an 81-year-old woman in London’s Regent’s Park after a fatal collision with a cyclist (a collision that was not the cyclist’s fault, a court ruled) a new law proposes cyclists who “kill or seriously injure because of dangerous cycling” could face up to 14 years in prison. This is same penalty faced by drivers and motorcyclists, which feels absolutely fair.

However, in the aftermath the national press have been keen to jump on this story and cast cyclists as a menace to the streets and society. 52mph in a 20mph zone: How cyclists are turning UK roads into death traps read one headline from the Telegraph, presumably sweatily typed out on a keyboard between mouthfuls of raw meat or whatever else fuels the right-wing press these days.

To save you clicking on the link, the reporter has discovered Strava and is shocked to find out the existence of KOMs and the speeds riders are doing on busy roads. Agreed, lock these people up along with the 600,000 caught speeding in a car in the capital this past financial year.

1,760 people were killed on UK roads in 2022. The number of those involving someone being hit by a cyclist? Three.

As Chris Boardman put it on BBC Breakfast: “There are more people killed by lightning and cows than cyclists.” Time to get cows on Strava in order to police their top speeds, I reckon.

Feed Zone 🥖

🍀 After winning four of the six stages, Sam Bennett (Decathlon-Ag2r La Mondiale) wrapped up the overall victory at the Four Days of Dunkirk. “I still have to discuss that with the team,” he says of what comes next for him before a possible Tour de France selection. “It seems to be the Dauphiné, but that is not yet certain. Hopefully that will be the prelude to the Tour. I’m preparing as if I’m going to do the Tour, so hopefully I’ll make the selection.”

🇪🇸 Victories on stages two and four secured the overall at the Vuelta a Burgos Feminas for Demi Vollering (SD Worx-Protime). FDJ-Suez’s Évita Muzic was second at 1:28 and UAE ADQ’s Karlijn Swinkels third at 1:59. Abby Mickey has the rundown here.

💉 The Australian-turned-naturalised-Irish rider Jesse Ewart, who rides for the Continental Terengganu outfit, has been provisionally suspended by the UCI due to an adverse analytical finding (aka a positive A sample) for EPO. He still has the right to request an analysis of the B sample.  According to the UCI, this positive came to light during a test in light January earlier this year after Ewart won the opening stage of the Tour of Sharjah.

🐴 Alexander Kristoff (Uno-X Mobility) won the Antwerp Port Epic with Lotto Dstny’s Arnaud De Lie fourth. In the women’s race, Irish rider Lara Gillespie (UAE Development) outsprinted Zoe Bäckstedt (Canyon-SRAM) to take the victory.

😱 Tadej Pogačar is just like the rest of us when re-living his memories of prime Nairo Quintana after the Slovenian overtook the Colombian en route to the stage 15 victory at the Giro d’Italia:  “I always looked at Froome and Quintana,” Pogačar said post-stage of watching those riders growing up. “I was always angry with Quintana because he attacked too late. But today he rode very well.”

🦅 Sean Quinn (EF Education-EasyPost) is the new male American road race champion, beating Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates) and teammate Neilson Powless in a three-up sprint. Kristen Faulkner EF Education-Cannondale) is the women’s RR champion, finishing 56 seconds ahead of Ruth Edwards (Human Powered Health).

⏲️ Simon Yates has two weeks to decide whether he wants to stay or leave Jayco-AlUla, team boss Brent Copeland told GCN about their star rider whose contract is currently up at the end of the year.

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 Finlay Tarling will join the Israel-Premier Tech Academy next season. His brother Josh is currently with the Ineos Grenadiers, although GCN recently reported he’s received interest in teams looking to secure him after his current deal expires after the end of 2025, with the British team not yet getting him to sign a new, long-term contract.

😬 Jenthe Biermans (Árkea-B&B Hotels) fell 25-30 metres into a ravine after misjudging a bend on stage 15 of the Giro d’Italia. “The result was a very bad fall,” the Belgian told Sporza. “Four teams immediately started looking for me. I was at least 25-30 meters deep in a ravine. Gianni Meersman and some men from Intermarché-Wanty, among others, came immediately. I want to thank them. [In] the first moment I couldn’t move anymore. I continued to tumble after my fall and eventually came to a stop around a tree. I also lost my communication during the fall, so they couldn’t find me right away.” The rider was fished out and continued to the finish line but will have x-rays at hospital as he’s currently suffering from pain in his hip, lower back and foot.

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Cycling on TV 📺

Tuesday May 21st

Giro d’Italia – Stage 16
(05:00-11:45 ET/10:00-16:45 BST/19:00-01:45 AEST) 🇬🇧Eurosport/Discovery+, 🇺🇸Max, 🇨🇦FloBikes, 🇦🇺SBS

Wednesday May 22nd

Giro d’Italia – Stage 17
(06:00-11:45 ET/11:00-16:45 BST/20:00-01:45 AEST) 🇬🇧Eurosport/Discovery+, 🇺🇸Max, 🇨🇦FloBikes, 🇦🇺SBS

Thursday May 23rd

Giro d’Italia – Stage 18
(06:30-11:45 ET/11:30-16:45 BST/20:30-01:45 AEST) 🇬🇧Eurosport/Discovery+, 🇺🇸Max, 🇨🇦FloBikes, 🇦🇺SBS

Tour of Norway – Stage 1
(09:50-12:10 ET/14:50-17:10 BST/23:50-02:10 AEST) 🇬🇧Eurosport/Discovery+

Friday May 24th

Giro d’Italia – Stage 19
(06:30-11:45 ET/11:30-16:45 BST/20:30-01:45 AEST) 🇬🇧Eurosport/Discovery+, 🇺🇸Max, 🇨🇦FloBikes, 🇦🇺SBS

RideLondon Classique – Stage 1
(08:30-10:30 ET/13:30-15:30 BST/22:30-00:30 AEST) 🇬🇧Eurosport/Discovery+, 🇺🇸Max

Tour of Norway – Stage 2
(10:00-12:00 ET/15:00-17:00 BST/00:00-02:00 AEST) 🇬🇧Eurosport/Discovery+

Boucles de la Mayenne – Stage 1
(08:00-10:00 ET/13:00-15:00 BST/22:00-00:00 AEST) 🇬🇧Eurosport/Discovery+, 🇺🇸Max

Mountain Bike World Cup – XCC – Nové Mesto, Czech Republic
(04:00AM ET/09:00AM BST/18:00 AEST) 🇬🇧Eurosport/Discovery+, 🇺🇸Max, 🇨🇦FloBikes, 🇦🇺Stan Sport

‘Sprinters are arseholes’ quote of the week 😲

Having won the Tour of Hungary, his best result to date, 21-year-old Thibau Nys (Lidl-Trek) is still young enough to not have had his public-facing personality media-trained out of him. Therefore, he suffered no fools in explaining exactly what he thought of sprinters and sprint finishes.

“Sprinters are arseholes,” he told Het Nieuwsblad. “I don’t want to be associated with it. What happens in a sprint is sometimes criminal. Literally criminal.

“I experienced more serious situations in Hungary. On the first stage, zoom in on the helicopter view of the last one and a half kilometers and you can throw five or six men in jail. Really and truly. At 65, 70[kilometres] an hour you see riders pushing others away with their hands. It is certainly not just Dylan Groenewegen, but I also saw him perform another feat in stage two. Sam Welsford broke his wheel against the barrier. Then you will know. Every time I participate in a bunch sprint it is an interesting learning experience, but really, I am glad that I don’t have to earn my living from it.”

In case you missed it …

Obviously, any information provided by ‘fesshole’ should be taking with a truck-load of salt, an account where people can message in their anonymous confessions to have them blasted out across the internet.

But this sounds like the most Team Sky thing ever … is this what is meant by trickle down economics?

And finally …

A moment missed by the television camera as Tadej Pogačar went under the flamme rouge en route to the Livigno summit to win the Giro d’Italia’s stage 15, but captured by former-pro-turned-photographer Leon van Bon.

Two skiers leapt over the race and the Dutchman was there to capture what will undoubtedly be one of the images of the race. Great stuff.

We gonna rock down to addendum avenue ⚡

Last week we shared with you a photo of a man dressed in Deliveroo clothing riding a penny farthing in west London.

With no other information to potentially try and track this fella, who lives in the vicinity of the Spin Cycle patch, we resigned ourselves to just enjoying the photo and that being the end of it.


I showed my girlfriend the photo this weekend and she immediately goes, “Oh! That’s Alan.” It turns out he’s an old friend of her mother (and how many other men are there riding penny farthings around the city?).

Naturally, an interview request has been submitted and we may one day get an answer as to what the hell is going on with this whole thing. We can only imagine he’s a bit of a character.

At the end of the day, it just goes to show people are out there and you could know them.

🧺 Send us yer laundry pics

“Normally I am in the lucky position of having a laundry machine in my apartment,” writes Konstantin Kleine, attaching today’s laundry photo. “But on a cycling trip with a small group from Geneva to the Atlantic over the long ascension weekend, I needed to do laundry. A few of the other cyclists did as well. So I ventured out to an automated laundry saloon, of course by bike. The time it took for a spin cycle was just enough to read your most recent newsletter.”

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 Konstantin Kleine 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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