Spin Cycle: Three shots of vodka on an empty stomach

We're celebrating the 100th edition of this newsletter. Here's to at least 100 more!

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 a special day today in this small corner of the burgeoning Escape Collective empire, as somehow we’ve gotten away with releasing 100 of these newsletters and only a couple of times has anyone actually tried to stop us!

Thank you for all of your comments, mostly containing better jokes than we could think up, story suggestions messaged in, for all of the laundry photos joyfully filling up our inbox, and of course for reading along. It’s been fun and there’s a lot more to come.

To celebrate, we’ve got you the best present ever: a very short three-question Spin Cycle specific reader survey! There is a prize attached though for one (un)lucky person. And we’d really appreciate feedback so we can get better at bringing you the stuff you want.

A more fun part of our celebration is at the end we’ve stuck location pins on everywhere a laundry photo has been sent in from, and it’s really quite something. Either we’ve got a real global bunch here or you’re all just very good at going on holiday. It’s probably a mix of both, which is nice.

Of course, we also have all of the regular news and oddities from this past week, so let’s get cracking.

‘Three shots of vodka on an empty stomach’

La Flèche Wallonne is … not something we ever thought we’d describe as epic. Not epic in the sense of a bunch of neckbeard dudes on YouTube eating 600 hot dogs in an hour or something, but epic in the biblical sense, as the heavens opened and soaked the peloton until they were freezing cold.

There was the worrying video of hypothermic Mattias Skjelmose, who thankfully was alright in the end, while Michał Kwiatkowski gave quite the analogy to describe what it was like, for the benefit of those fortunate enough to have not been in the race.

“If you want to understand the shock my body went through with today’s storm at Flèche, just imagine downing three shots of vodka on an empty stomach,” Kwiatkowski tweeted. “The effect hits you in milliseconds.”

Some riders took issue with UAE Team Emirates attacking as it started to rain, meaning those who were unprepared had no time to head back to their team car for a jacket, but even that couldn’t dampen Tiesj Benoot’s spirits. The Belgian sailed to a top-10 finish after spending the previous day in hospital before his girlfriend gave birth to their child that evening.

Mathieu van der Poel’s gopping new car of the week 🏎️

Like the peloton’s answer to an Andrew Tate tribute act (in reference to his burgeoning supercar collection, not a personal brand of misogyny, just to clarify), Mathieu van der Poel has a penchant not just for racing bikes very well, but also driving objectively hideous sports cars around otherwise quaint Belgian neighbourhoods. Remember the gold Lamborghini?

Well, he’s back with a red and black number now. Different strokes for different folks, we guess.

Feed Zone 🥖

🏍️ Wout van Aert has not only been spotted on Zwift this week, as he recovers from his Dwars door Vlaanderen fall and resulting injuries, but he also completed his first ride back outside.

🚿 Jai Hindley is content to work for Bora-Hansgrohe teammate Primož Roglič’s yellow jersey ambitions at the Tour de France this year, he told our Matt de Neef in a Q&A.

🏔️ Lidl-Trek’s Juan Pedro López took his first professional victory on stage three of the Tour of the Alps en route to overall victory too.

🧱 At Flèche Wallonne, Stephen Williams (Israel-Premier Tech) proved his talent once again with victory in the men’s race, while Canyon-SRAM’s Kasia Niewiadoma took a first win in five years, proving too strong for Demi Vollering and Elisa Longo Borghini.

🇸🇮 Jan Tratnik is expected to swap Visma-Lease a Bike for Bora-Hansgrohe next year, according to GCN.

🥇 With World Athletics announcing its Olympic gold medalists will receive €46,000 in prize money for a gold medal, UCI president David Lappartient objected, saying this goes against the “Olympic idea.” Lappartient and World Athletics president Sebastian Coe may be rivals for a future IOC presidency.

👶 In a case of presumed nominative determinism, Intermarché-Wanty have signed 16-year-old Édouard Claisse to its Continental training team Wanty-ReUz-Technord starting in 2026. The teenager has won 40 races in the last two years.

🇨🇴 Despite abandoning the Tour of the Alps due to continued struggles with injuries sustained during his crash at Catalunya, Movistar are confident Nairo Quintana will be fit enough to start the upcoming Giro d’Italia, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

🇬🇧 Another one from GCN, Jayco-AlUla want to re-sign Simon Yates to continue as their leader, but will need to make sure it makes budgetary sense for them to do so in the face of other suitors tempting him away from the team with an even bigger bag of money.

📈 Despite his Basque Country crash, Remco Evenepoel won’t have to change his Tour de France build-up plans, reports Het Laatste Nieuws.

🤕 A nasty crash caused the abandonment of Chris Harper (Jayco-AlUla) from the Tour of the Alps. The Australian suffered “superficial wounds and a mild concussion.”

🤩 Lotto Dstny’s Florian Vermeersch is back on his bike two months after breaking his femur in a crash at the Vuelta a Murcia.

💰 Cofidis have renewed their deal with the French cycling team until at least 2028.

🇫🇷 While the Cofidis renewal could fuel rumours the team is the 2025 landing spot for Julian Alaphilippe, TotalEnergies have told Ouest-France they’ve begun negotiations with the former World Champion.

Dear readers, spare us a minute of your time if you could

You’re reading this on the website version, whereas today’s emailed edition has a few multiple choice survey questions to find out what you like and don’t like about Spin Cycle.

There is a prize as a slightly pathetic token of our gratitude: one person will get a bespoke photoshopped laundry photo. It can be any laundromat or laundry machine of your choice (you can supply the photo, obviously) and if you want family/friends in there alongside Tadej Pogačar or any other riders, the only limiting factor is the size of your imagination.

We want to get better and part of doing that is knowing what you want to see, so if you have a spare minute please could you head over to the emailed version there and let us know your thoughts, we’d really appreciate it. Alternatively, you can email me at [email protected] if your critique is more rigorous. Thanks!

Cycling on TV 📺

Saturday April 20th


Mountain Bike World Cup – Araxa Brazil (Elite XCC)
(10:30-12:30 ET/15.30:17:30 BST/Sunday 00:30-02:30 AEST) 🇬🇧Eurosport/Discovery+, 🇺🇸Max, 🇨🇦FloBikes, 🇦🇺Stan Sport

Mountain Bike World Cup – Araxa Brazil (U23 Women XCO)
(09:25-11:00 ET/14.25:16:00 BST/23:45-01:00 AEST) 🇬🇧Eurosport/Discovery+, 🇺🇸Max, 🇨🇦FloBikes, 🇦🇺Stan Sport

Mountain Bike World Cup – Araxa Brazil (U23 Men XCO)
(13:55-15:30 ET/18.55:20:30 BST/03:55-05:30 AEST) 🇬🇧Eurosport/Discovery+, 🇺🇸Max, 🇨🇦FloBikes, 🇦🇺Stan Sport

Sunday April 21st

Liège-Bastogne-Liège – Men
(06:30-10:55 ET/11:30-15:55 BST/20:30-00:55 AEST) 🇬🇧Eurosport/Discovery+, 🇺🇸Peacock, 🇨🇦FloBikes, 🇦🇺SBS

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

Tour of Turkey – Stage 1
(04:30-06:30 ET/09:30-11:30 BST/18:30-20:30 AEST) 🇬🇧Eurosport/Discovery+, 🇺🇸🇨🇦FloBikes


Mountain Bike World Cup – Araxa Brazil (Elite XCO)
(11:45-16:30 ET/16:45-21:30 BST/Sunday 01:45-06:30 AEST) 🇬🇧Eurosport/Discovery+, 🇺🇸Max, 🇨🇦FloBikes, 🇦🇺Stan Sport

Monday April 22nd

Tour of Turkey – Stage 2
(07:30-09:30 ET/12:30-14:30 BST/21:30-23:30 AEST) 🇬🇧Eurosport/Discovery+, 🇺🇸🇨🇦FloBikes

Tuesday April 23rd

Tour de Romandie – Prologue
(09:30-11:45 ET/14:30-16:45 BST/23:30-01:45 AEST) 🇬🇧Eurosport/Discovery+, 🇺🇸🇨🇦FloBikes

Tour of Turkey – Stage 3
(07:30-09:30 ET/12:30-14:30 BST/21:30-23:30 AEST) 🇬🇧Eurosport/Discovery+, 🇺🇸🇨🇦FloBikes

Wednesday April 24th

Tour de Romandie – Stage 1
(09:30-11:45 ET/14:30-16:45 BST/23:30-01:45 AEST) 🇬🇧Eurosport/Discovery+, 🇺🇸🇨🇦FloBikes

Tour of Turkey – Stage 4
(07:30-09:30 ET/12:30-14:30 BST/21:30-23:30 AEST) 🇬🇧Eurosport/Discovery+, 🇺🇸🇨🇦FloBikes

Thursday April 25th

Tour de Romandie – Stage 2
(09:30-11:45 ET/14:30-16:45 BST/23:30-01:45 AEST) 🇬🇧Eurosport/Discovery+, 🇺🇸🇨🇦FloBikes

Tour of Turkey – Stage 5
(07:30-09:30 ET/12:30-14:30 BST/21:30-23:30 AEST) 🇬🇧Eurosport/Discovery+, 🇺🇸🇨🇦FloBikes

Friday April 26th

Tour de Romandie – Stage 3 (ITT)
(09:30-11:45 ET/14:30-16:45 BST/23:30-01:45 AEST) 🇬🇧Eurosport/Discovery+, 🇺🇸🇨🇦FloBikes

Tour of Turkey – Stage 6
(07:30-09:30 ET/12:30-14:30 BST/21:30-23:30 AEST) 🇬🇧Eurosport/Discovery+, 🇺🇸🇨🇦FloBikes

The one photo we didn’t need to see today … of the week 😵

Yep, that’s former British Prime Minster and current Foreign Secretary (unelected, by the way, he got the job by way of being in the House of Lords …and don’t get me started on that …) David Cameron holding up a maglia rosa with his name on it as the G7 foreign secretaries met in Italy. Sorry that we’ve now brought this into your brain, but we didn’t want to suffer alone.

And finally … we have a new podcast to plug

“My wife listened to the Placeholders podcast [segment of the new Tangents podcast, which discussed mascots in cycling] on our way to a baseball game…” writes in Mark Corroto. “She captured this shot and wanted me to send it to you.”

A man in a hot dog suit attends a baseball game.

There is something about the costumed smile hiding the presumed actual misery of the wearer that really gets us, and it’s these sorts of observations that led us to create the Tangents podcast. Iain Treloar joins (as did Caley for the first episode, you always need a real adult in the room) to discuss: our trip to Soudal-Quick Step sponsor Safety Jogger HQ and whether they would ever be able to Carhartt-ify themselves, the best practices when interviewing mascots at bike races, what happened when Iain ended his night on a 12% beer, and which group was more exploited at our recent trip to the Classics between the children tasked with cleaning the cobbles and the goats of the Arenberg forest.

From left to right, Jonny Long, Iain Treloar, and Caley Fretz sit at an outdoor table at a bar with glasses of beer as they record a podcast.

If you are a member and go to the website article of the podcast, we also filmed the recording so you can watch us talk, and sometimes see the things we’re talking about too, if that’s your sort of thing.

We’ve also received the suggestion from Matt that we should now create the Tanned Gents podcast, where we interview riders getting a spray tan to even out their cycling tans … not saying no, but one step at a time.

🧺 Look at all your laundry pics

Milestones afford you a tight window within which to reminisce briefly. So we compiled this map displaying where all of our laundry photos have come from so far. That one on Monday sent from a ship? Turns out it was in the ocean off the coast between Senegal and Mauritania!

We also rediscovered that the whole laundry thing was actually started off by Escape Collective member David F, who as far as we can tell apropos of nothing just sent in some 10-year-old photos from a laundromat in Blackwood, Southern Australia.

Since then, you’ve been sending in photos from all over. Thank you. As Colin Firth says to his Portuguese housekeeper when he drops her off in the evening in Love Actually, receiving your laundry photos is the favourite part of my day. That sounded wrong; hard to tell who out of me and Colin is creepier, upon reflection. Please don’t stop sending in your photos. Here are is the map containing the laundromats from the first 100 editions of Spin Cycle.

A map of the world with dozens of pins showing the locations of laundromats used in Spin Cycle lead image illustrations. There are pins all over North America and Europe, but also ones from Asia, South America, Australia, and several spots in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

“Hope this photo can be of use,” writes in Jo Daniel Storengen, attaching today’s featured laundromat. “A Japanese coin toploader for your Photoshop skills.” We filled up the photo with so many riders that the actual machines are obscured. Apologies, Jo Daniel Storengen.

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]

See ya Friday 👋

We’re off on Monday so we’ll next be dropping into your inboxes on Friday April 26th. See ya then!

Until next time …

That’s all folks! Thanks to Mark Corroto, Matt and Jo Daniel Storengen 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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