Spin Cycle: Tears for (the peloton’s) fears

Cav is signing ... anything!

Jonny Long
by Jonny Long 01.07.2024 Photography by
Tom Robson, Cor Vos
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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.

I’m writing this from the press room in Turin, where I’ve just watched the press conferences of both Biniam Girmay and Richard Carapaz, where the former became the first black African rider to win a Tour de France stage and the latter writes Ecuador into the history book as the 26th country to have one of its riders wear the yellow jersey.

It’s a real privilege to witness Tour history be made in the flesh. In these moments, the gymnasium surroundings of the press room fall away, the day’s traffic jams and fights through the huge crowds disappear and you remember why everyone is really here.

Right, enough of that soppy bollocks, here’s the usual offering of borderline feckless bullshit to also remind us all not to take bike racing too seriously all of the time.

Tears for (the peloton’s) fears

We’ve often given Jonas Vingegaard a hard time for either being quite an unfeeling man not predisposed to emotion, or keeping the real him hidden away from the press and wider world.

However, the man does have feelings, just like how he got choked up at the Copenhagen Grand Départ team presentation, when greeted by the Danish public en masse.

This time, it was when it hit him that he was back on the Tour de France start line despite his April injuries.

So, we’d just like to correct the record, and rather than being the mini fridge to Primož Roglič’s fridge freezer, maybe he’s defrosting slightly. Also, remember what happened at the end of that 2022 Tour beginning in Copenhagen with Jonas’ tears?

Spotted at the Tour 👀

Welcome back to our favourite annual segment. We’re starting off small, but will hope this is a launch pad for all sorts of antics being witnessed.

As Mark Cavendish arrived back at the Astana Qazaqstan bus at the end of stage 3, fans fell upon him to get selfies, as well as jerseys and, well … any and all personal possessions signed. Kudos to Cavendish, as despite having one sprint chance go begging he made time to fulfil all of their wishes.

At the same time, journalists were trying to get his attention in order to grab quotes, to find out what had happened that meant Cavendish couldn’t compete in the finale. With Cavendish either ignoring them or completely occupied by the selfies and signatures, one reporter jokingly held out the back of their phone (cased), and without hesitation, Cavendish went ahead and scrawled his signature across it. Bemused, the journalist in question walked to the press room, confused as to whether Cavendish had agreed to the joke or hadn’t even realised who’s phone it was. Either way, quite the memento.

Feed Zone 🥖

🤞 Ellen van Dijk (Lidl-Trek) says the hardest and riskiest part of her recovery in the race against time to be ready for the Paris Olympics is over: “My ankle is healing well after the surgery. I do two or three indoor sessions on the bike every day. Last week I received a brace that fits in my regular cycling shoe. That was a big step, because now I can increase the training.”

🇸🇰 Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal-Quick Step) won a stage and finished second overall behind Mauro Schmid (Jayco-AlUla) at the Tour of Slovakia. Meanwhile, the stage race is said to be Peter Sagan’s final (final, really this time) professional race ever.

🦷 Jan Hirt smashed his front teeth before the start of the Tour de France’s stage 1 after a collision with a backpack-wearing fan as he was making his way between sign-on and his team bus. The photo is fairly gruesome.

⛽ Astana Qazaqstan’s Michele Gazzoli was the first abandon of this year’s Tour, climbing off 90 km into stage 1 after suffering badly with the heat. Soudal’s Casper Pedersen was the second; he finished stage 3 after a late crash but a broken collarbone ruled him out of starting stage 4.

🤕 Fem van Empel (Visma-Lease a Bike) is struggling with a painful hip after being hit by a driver during training one week before the start of the Giro d’Italia Women.

🛒 Lennard Kämna, previously rumoured to be leaving Red Bull-Bora-Hansgrohe, is apparently on his way to Lidl-Trek, Dan Benson reports.

🇺🇸 Laurens ten Dam came in third place at the Tour Divide, taking 15 days and six minutes to complete the 2,700-mile race. Justinas Leveika won with a new-record time of 13 days, two hours and 16 minutes, with Ulrich Bahamontes finishing second, nearly 20 hours later.

Cycling on TV 📺

Tuesday July 2nd

Tour de France – Stage 4
(06:45-11:45 ET/11:45-16:45 BST/21:45-02:45 AEST) ITV/Eurosport/Discovery+🇬🇧, NBC/Peacock🇺🇸, FloBikes🇨🇦, SBS🇦🇺

Wednesday July 3rd

Tour de France – Stage 5
(07:00-12:00 ET/12:00-17:00 BST/21:00-02:00 AEST) ITV/Eurosport/Discovery+🇬🇧, NBC/Peacock🇺🇸, FloBikes🇨🇦, SBS🇦🇺

Thursday July 4th

Tour de France – Stage 6
(06:45-12:00 ET/11:45-17:00 BST/20:45-02:00 AEST) ITV/Eurosport/Discovery+🇬🇧, NBC/Peacock🇺🇸, FloBikes🇨🇦, SBS🇦🇺

Friday July 5th

Tour de France – Stage 7
(06:45-12:00 ET/11:45-17:00 BST/20:45-02:00 AEST) ITV/Eurosport/Discovery+🇬🇧, NBC/Peacock🇺🇸, FloBikes🇨🇦, SBS🇦🇺

😏 Tadej troll of the week 😏

A great opening stage troll from Tadej Pogačar that you’ve likely already seen but is worth revisiting once again.

Everything thinks this is it, the Tour is kicking off again on stage 2. But no. Pogačar is just getting ahead to grab a bottle. Watch Jonas Vingegaard slink out and onto the Slovenian’s wheel. The Dane’s anxiousness to get on his rival’s wheel was obviously vindicated on the very next ascent of the climb when Pogačar shot out on the San Luca and the defending champion was right there in an instant.

And finally …

As an antithesis to all of our boundless love and positivity towards the Tour de France and all it touches (because we are that guy), behold this image. Not a cellphone in sight, people just living in the moment.

Correction corner 😖

We’ve already made our apologies on the Tour Daily podcast (available in all of the usual podcast places) but we (as in, our fearless leader/father of two Caley Fretz) made an egregious factual error that we included in Friday’s newsletter. We said the tattoo on Jonas Vingegaard’s hand was Paw Patrol’s Marshall, when in fact it was Zuma.

This was, by far, the most corrected correction we’ve ever had mailed in to this newsletter.

Meanwhile, we were also alerted to (by Al_ on Discord) an Irish Times review of Paw Patrol, titled: “Paw Patrol: Mighty Pups: Cartoon canines in fascistic mission. Review: An apawlling attempt to normalise state-sponsored thuggery.”

I’ve decided, having never seen the show, to review it for the podcast on one of these upcoming Tour rest days.

🧺 Send us yer laundry pics

“Jonny, long time Spin Cycle reader, first time caller(?),” we are definitely using caller going forward, thanks Tom Robson, who provided today’s featured laundry photo.

“This photo is from a recent trip my neighbors took to New Zealand which landed them in Gisborne for a few days. Walking the streets they came across this coin operated dog wash. After seeing this photo in their trip recap I knew it needed a shot at being featured in Spin Cycle despite no spinning happening at this particular wash! Of course, they kindly shared the image with permission for your … uses. Hope you can make do. Let me know if you have any questions.”

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 Tom Robson, Al_ and everyone who messaged in the Paw Patrol correction 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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