Spin Cycle: The Yates’ have a favourite son

It ain't much, but it's honest work.

Jonny Long
by Jonny Long 03.07.2023 Photography by
Gruber Images, Cor Vos, Guillaume di Grazia, Wout van Art, Eurosport, Ryan Duff, Ronan McLaughlin, and Jonny Long
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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. You can sign up here.


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

We’ve now arrived in France after the Tour’s flirtation with the Basque Country, a Grand Départ that went off without a hitch. Some great racing, only a few tacks left on the road, and we’re already waiting for the Netflix episode of Marc Madiot crossing back over the border and breathing in his first big gulp of l’air Français, pausing for a moment, before simply stating: “Bon”.

It is the return to France when the Tour really starts feeling like the Tour, though. Giant tricolore flags, sunflower fields, fans lifted in the air by cranes for an aerial view of the peloton passing by. Bon bon bon. Bon.

‘Like a child’

While UAE Team Emirates have begun the Tour de France in menacing fashion, looking to impose themselves on the race in search of bonus seconds, stage wins and yellow jerseys, Jumbo-Visma have preferred to begin with a mini-psychodrama to whet their appetites before they inevitably trample all over everyone else’s dreams in order to ride their own.

Allowing UAE the space to express themselves on the road means that Jumbo-Visma have decided to communicate via post-finish line theatrics and slightly barbed quotes spoken into the recorders of Belgian journalists.

Following stage 2, Van Aert consciously plucked his bottle out of its cage and whomped it against the ground, the plastic vessel conveniently bouncing out beyond the barriers for a child to pick up and stash in their bedroom for five years until their mum throws it in the bin.

It was pure frustration from him and pure cinema for the television cameras. Even better was that the constant thorn in Jumbo-Visma’s side, better known as Tadej Pogačar, was on hand to recreate the toys-thrown-out-of-pram moment for Adam Yates before they both had a right good giggle about it as the Slovenian laughed that Van Aert had behaved “like a child”.

Pogačar’s has an easy free-loving yin to Jumbo-Visma’s uptight, serious and intra-team friction yang. It’s a perfect contrast and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

But, as Ryan Duff pointed out, after the Belgian press questioned why Jonas Vingegaard didn’t help his team more to close the gap to stage 2 winner Victor Lafay to help Van Aert win the stage, this is how they would rather see things play out at the Dutch team.

? Spotted at the Tour ?

Tadej’s tub

At the end of stage 2, UAE Team Emirates’ riders arrived back at their bus and promptly jumped into a van parked up beside it. The van contained an inflatable ice bath within the privacy of a baking hot VW Transporter, in which the riders take a quick dip to cool themselves (it’s helpful to lower the core body temperature to aid recovery and subsequent performance) before scuttling onto the bus.

Pogačar seemed elated after his icy plunge, scampering out in a blue towel and waving hello to Felix Großschartner’s girlfriend as he went.

As for the Ineos Grenadiers, they’re travelling around with a whole refrigerated van that we’re guessing simply houses ice vests and ice for their ice baths but saves them the need to take a trip to Carrefour every morning. Or it’s a cryo-chamber where one day Sir Jim and Big Dave’s heads will be stored alongside Walt Disney’s before they’re re-animated so they can talk about marginal gains and fund middling multi-million pound sporting events for ever and ever and ever, greenhouse gas emissions be damned.

Life in the press room

In the press room someone called ‘Mitch’ is tethering to their phone, which they’ve loving named ‘Mitch’s iphone bitches ‘. Does this make us, the rest of the press room, the bitches? I mean, that’s definitely what we are, kinda. Is it a more collegiate way of saying ‘don’t you dare tether from my iPhone and run my phone bill up so it’s the height of the Tourmalet?’ Maybe. Should ‘Mitch’ just lock his tethering with a password? Probably.

We’d like to think we have a reasonable grasp of who everyone is in the press room, especially with a name like Mitch that is surely someone from an English-speaking country. The only English-speaker we know called Mitch in the press room? Former pro Mitch Docker, who’s here doing his Life in the Peloton podcast and The Cycling Podcast.

Feed Zone ?

?? Uno-X’s Torstein Træen is receiving interest from a number of WorldTour teams, Norwegian outlet Landevei reports, with Bahrain Victorious, Bora-Hansgrohe and Ag2r-Citroën among his suitors.

?️ Hugo Haak is leaving his job as the manager of the Tour de Tietema – Unibet team. Maybe they asked him to say ‘like, comment and subscribe’ on camera one too many times.

? Pello Bilbao will participate in some environmental fundraising, in the same manner in which his teammate Gino Mäder previously did, where he will donate €1 to the reforestation cause Basoaksos for every rider he beats on each of the Tour’s 21 stages.

?? Young cyclist Remco Evenepoel has launched the R.EV Brussels Cycling Academy for young cyclists.

? Sam Oomen will leave Jumbo-Visma for Lidl-Trek at the end of the season, according to Wielerflits.

? Lidl-Trek have a fruit stand outside their bus at the Tour, the kind of sponsorship activation just made for handing fruit to fans. Unfortunately, reports RadioCycling, ASO has banned them from doing so because of the Tour’s supermarket sponsor Leclerc, who are a rival of Lidl.

✒️ Before the start of this Tour, Ineos Grenadiers had expressed interest in signing Victor Lafay, L’Équipe reports.

?? Intermarché-Circus-Wanty have signed the Italian junior champion Simone Gauldi.

? One we missed last week: an independent safety initiative called SafeR has been launched. With Jumbo-Visma’s lead, the UCI, CPA union and various men’s and women’s teams have been brought together to discuss how to improve safety in bike racing.

?️ The Tour obviously dominates cycling during July, but we’ve had some great reporting on both the Giro Donne and Val di Sole MTB World Cup. Go to our website to check it out.

Happy Cav

We often chastise Mark Cavendish for being – how do we put this in a way that’s safe in case you have a young child reading this over your shoulder? – a bit of a grumpy pants.

However, this Tour he’s simply been a delight. First there was the sentimental press conference, and he’s also been happily rolling up to the lowly written press in the morning mixed zones and fist-bumping reporters. After Victor Lafay won stage 2, he even penned a glowing tribute to the French team.

Cynics may think he’s angling for a postponement to his retirement after catching Tour fever these first few days, and is eyeing up elbowing Bryan Coquard out of the way at Cofidis. Our guess is that he’s putting himself in the shop window for a media gig post-career. Our money would be on his next signature being for GCN+.

Judging by his breakdown of stage 2, maybe this wouldn’t be a bad thing.

Cycling on TV ?


Tour de France, stage 4

GCN+ (07:45-13:00 ET/12:45-18:00 BST/21:45-03:00 AEST)
Coverage also available for American viewers on Peacock premium

Giro Donne, stage 5

GCN+ (08:00-10:15 ET/13:00-15:15 BST/22:00-00:15 AEST)


Tour de France, stage 5

GCN+ (07:45-13:00 ET/12:45-18:00 BST/21:45-03:00 AEST)
Coverage also available for American viewers on Peacock premium

Giro Donne, stage 6

GCN+ (08:00-10:15 ET/13:00-15:15 BST/22:00-00:15 AEST)


Tour de France, stage 6

GCN+ (08:00-13:00 ET/13:00-18:00 BST/22:00-03:00 AEST)
Coverage also available for American viewers on Peacock premium

Giro Donne, stage 7

GCN+ (08:00-10:15 ET/13:00-15:15 BST/22:00-00:15 AEST)


Tour de France, stage 7

GCN+ (08:00-12:45 ET/13:00-17:45 BST/22:00-02:45 AEST)
Coverage also available for American viewers on Peacock premium

? Puns so bad they hurt our brains and our hearts quote of the week ?

“I feel a ‘Lidl’ emotional, especially because I have the Tricolore and I’m racing in my country.”

This is what Elisa Longo Borghini said, according to the quote sent over by her Lidl-Trek team, after winning stage 4 of the Giro Donne.

Look, we like the kit (a LOT), and we like cycling teams being sponsored by non-threatening supermarket brands. It’s all good vibes. What is not a good vibe is using ‘Lidl’ instead of ‘little’ for some more sponsorship cross-pollination. Nope. Stop it. Stop it right now. The only pun allowed comes courtesy of our very own Abby Mickey Skujina: “Every time someone says Gaia Realini the Lidl-Trek rider I giggle (because she’s little, get it?)”

? Meme of the weekend ?

Shout out to Wout van Art for a perfect rendering of EF Education EasyPost’s new approach to the beginning of the Tour de France, whereby a rider sets off on multiple-day breakaway efforts in order to mop up a solitary KOM point here, another there, and spend some time in the esteemed polka dot jersey in order to generate some clear ✋ organic ✊ marketing ? deliverables ?.

Credit: @WoutvanArt

And finally…

For a while (okay, since the culmination of stage 1) we’ve been wondering if the Yates’ parents had a favourite. Well, just have a look at which team’s shorts Yates Snr has chosen to wear … although of course both twins spent many years with the Jayco-AlUla team so there may be some residual loyalty to the squad that paid both sons handsomely for years. But then again, look whose name appears first on the sign…

? Keep the laundry photos coming ?

Thanks for the near-constant stream of laundromat photos from all around the world. All will eventually feature in cycling’s least reputable news digest. This week’s was papped at the Tour de France at the end of stage 1 by yours truly, showing where Victor Lafay’s kit was washed before he took Cofidis’ first stage win in 15 years. If any other teams want us to photograph their bus’ washing machine set-up in the hope that we once again inspire a stage win, just let us know.

As always, we are accepting your own 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 …

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