Lars van der Haar, Peter Sagan and Wout van Aert photoshopped into a laundromat in Santa Barbara, California.

Spin Cycle: Van der AaaAArrRggGH!!

Wout is currently out of office.

Jonny Long
by Jonny Long 13.11.2023 Photography by
Brett Champlain, Eurosport/GCN, @RodriSabato, El Giro de Rigo
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. You can sign up here.


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

Tired: Our Wout van Aert puns.

Wired: Popping your shoulder back in mid-race.

Most things in life can be delineated by whether they are tired or wired. Let’s try again.

Tired: Riders who committed doping violations being welcomed back into the WorldTour. Or just professional riders continuing to test positive in general.

Wired: Peter Sagan having a street named after him in Slovakia.


Tired: This intro.

Wired: The rest of the newsletter! Let’s crack on!

Wout of office

Fresh off what is likeliest to go down in history as one of the most brilliantly savvy investments in the candle industrial complex, Wout van Aert has taken a trip to Colombia to join in with the festivities at Rigoberto Urán’s Giro de Rigo, a party and 90 km sportive in Urán’s home country.

The videos are nearly too numerous to choose from, so we’ll give you a couple of highlights. Firstly, we have Wout in attendance for Rigo getting a facial. Not sure why Wout is there, maybe Rigo thought he’d be on board and join in.

The vibe we’re picking up from Wout is one of a perplexed exchange student, sent off to an unfamiliar foreign country and just walking around wide-eyed to a world previously unknown to them.

Thankfully, it seems like Van Aert is acclimatising well after all. At least judging by this footage of him throwing shapes on a dance floor, like the distant cousin at a wedding he’s been obliged to attend.

All we know is that it looks a hell of a lot better than racing cyclocross. Speaking of which …

Cyclocross of the week (why is there no mud emoji, what exactly are we supposed to do with no mud emoji)

Cyclocrossers are just built different. And yes, in part that is because they are made up of about 85% mud.

As made evident by this weekend’s Superprestige Niel, where the event was more of a triathlon as riders rode the flats, ran up the steep inclines and then swam through some unbelievably muddy sections. I mean, how do you even get conditions like these?!

On top of the mud, not even a dislocated shoulder could truly halt Lars van der Haar’s progress as he took himself off to the side for a moment in order to patiently pop his dislocated shoulder back in without so much as a grimace.

He then climbs back up the verge and calmly lets another rider pass by before getting back on his bike. Understandably, Van der Haar did DNF the race. But who else can say they popped their own shoulder back in at the 2023 Superprestige Niel? Nobody, that’s who! The next day at the World Cup round in Dendermonde, Van der Haar mustered up a second-place finish. He really had quite the weekend.

Feed Zone ?

? Bas Tietema has passed the UCI exam so he can be one of the sports directors of his ProTeam squad.

? Sports director Valerio Piva has swapped Intermarché-Circus-Wanty for Jayco-AlUla next year.

? DSM-Firmenich have signed Emils Liepins from Lidl-Trek and Julius van den Berg from EF Education-EasyPost.

⛷️ Anton Palzer has renewed his contract with Bora-Hansgrohe.

✍️ Jakub Mareczko has signed a one-year deal with Corratec-Selle Italia and will leave Alpecin-Deceuninck.

? Remember that doping doesn’t pay, as Michele Gazzoli returns to Astana-Qazaqstan after serving a year’s suspension for testing positive for a banned nasal spray. The 24-year-old Italian had already returned to the Kazakh squad’s training team in August but now signs a deal with the WorldTour outfit until 2025.

? Taco van der Hoorn is still unable to train fully following his crash at this year’s Tour of Flanders. He’s told Wielerflits that he’s still suffering from the concussion he suffered in that crash.

?️ Soudal Quick-Step’s sprinter Tim Merlier intends to sit down with both Patrick Lefevere and Remco Evenepoel to argue his case for inclusion in the team’s 2024 Tour de France squad.

? Some not-so-nice news: Bradley Wiggins is facing bankruptcy, Cycling Weekly reports, as his company’s liquidators say a £1m claim against him has still not been paid. The rights to the trademarks of “Bradley Wiggins,” “Wiggins” and “Wiggo” are being put up for sale to help cover the shortfall.

? Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado and Eli Iserbyt were victorious at the Superprestige Niel.

? Harrie Lavreysen (with an ‘a’) has won the Sprint category of the Track Champions League for the second time, with Canadian Dylan Bibic victorious in the Endurance rankings. On the women’s side, Katie Archibald won the Endurance competition while New Zealander Ellesse Andrews took the overall Sprint win.

? David Lappartient has thrown his toys out of the pram after Thibau Nys opted for the Superprestige Niel over the UCI World Cup round in Dendermonde. The UCI President says World Cup participation should be mandatory or else riders should be forced to miss the next World Cup round and even the World Championships.

? In Dendermonde, Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado beat Lucinda Brand in her first race back post-injury, while the men’s race threw up a surprise winner, the Dutchman Pim Ronhaar.

Cycling on TV ?

Tuesday November 14th – Friday November 17th

No live racing – the darkest of weeks are finally upon us.

Skulduggery is afoot…

Spanish team Caja Rural-Seguros RGA has filed a complaint with the Guardia Civil following the anonymous leak of a police report linking a number of its riders with the dodgy doctor Marcos Maynar.

The 23-page report, which is supposedly only a small section of the ‘Operación Ilex’ anti-doping investigation in Spain, was sent to participating teams at this summer’s Vuelta a España, of which Caja-Rural were one. Allegedly contained within are WhatsApp conversations and audio (dating between March 2020-January 2022) between riders of the team and Maynar.

Maynar is accused of drug trafficking and money laundering, and if you remember has also advised Miguel Ángel López previously, although Maynar says he never advised the Colombian to take illegal substances (López is currently provisionally suspended, accused of taking a prohibited substance at the 2022 Giro d’Italia, but he maintains his innocence).

Caja-Rural has described the leaked report as “biased and without context,” and told Marca none of its riders are under suspicion or have violated any doping rules.

More intriguigingly, El Páis reports police are investigating one potential theory of the leak that is connected to Caja-Rural’s selection for a hotly contested Vuelta a España wildcard spot.

This certainly is spicy, let’s just hope we hear more soon (unlikely given the unhurried nature of the Spanish legal system) and that the case is taken to trial rather than thrown out.

And finally …

While Peter Sagan’s path to next year’s Olympics isn’t exactly straightforward, maybe he’ll be able to find some solace in the fact that a street is being named after him in Slovakia!

This news comes from blogger Lukáš Ronald Lukács, who has the inside scoop.

“In Žilina, Slovakia, there will be a street named after Peter Sagan,” he posted on Twitter.

“But because of Slovakian law which states that there cannot be a street named after a living person, the street will be named ‘World Champion Street’. This street is heading to his hotel SP Resort. Also he will have a statue there on which are some people already working on.” Let’s just hope the statue is better than this one of footballer Cristiano Ronaldo.

? Send us yer laundry pics ?

“I’ve attached a pic of the laundromat here in Santa Barbara, CA,” writes Brett Champlain. “I’m currently here from Colorado; welding for a local frame builder, assisting with a contract his shop has taken on. I was actually doing laundry this time and my clothing can be spotted in a dryer.”

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! 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.

Every edition of Spin Cycle is available for free on our website in order for you to be able to share it with your friends, so please do! You can give them this link to take them to our most recent edition.

And if you’ve been forwarded this email from someone else and want to receive it straight into your own inbox while it’s still hot, you can sign up here.

What did you think of this story?