Spin Cycle: Vaughters vs Pinot vs Lance

Plus: Patrick Lefevere is still learning how the internet works.

Laundrette at Carrefour City in Briançon, France.

The Spin Cycle is the 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! The Escape Collective’s news digest.

The Giro d’Italia is about to enter its final week, hopefully building to a glorious crescendo to celebrate another lap around Italy. Some have spent the rest day moaning that it’s been a fairly boring race – and to them we’d like to say try and envisage a world, not so long ago, when none of the Giro d’Italia or any Grand Tour was broadcast live, and there also wasn’t any internet. Imagine how bored you’d have been back then!

And anyway, this weekend some usual suspects took over the online airwaves and completely eradicated all boredom.

Jonathan Vaughters, Thibaut Pinot, Lance Armstrong AND ProCyclingStats assembled Avengers-style to create a glorious string of tweets, the likes of which we may never see again. Say what you will about Twitter, the fact that this interaction was able to happen at all means the damned website is worth having around.

Some people will not enjoy the fact that the 1998 Tour de Luxembourg winner is being given any oxygen, but we are committed to providing occasional reminders that he is still a complete pillock.

In other news from cursed social media, Patrick Lefevere demonstrated the fact that he is maybe the last man on Twitter dot com to not know that any tweets he slaps a ‘like’ on then show up on his profile. Unfortunately, there is one genre of tweets that Patrick seems to like. I’ll cut to the chase: they are tweets containing pornographic videos. It’s kind of funny, it’s kind of gross, and I kind of wish I hadn’t forced this information upon your now-forever-tainted souls. The only thing that could take my mind off of it would be some GC action in Italy, so come on Giro contenders, get a wriggle on!

‘Who are you?

After Thibaut Pinot called EF Education EasyPost’s Jefferson Cepeda “a thorn in my side” after the pair quarrelled during the Giro’s stage 13 breakaway, the American team’s boss Jonathan Vaughters couldn’t resist a barbed response when his rider Ben Healy finished second a couple of days later and congratulated the rider who had bested him, Brandon McNulty. After someone replied telling him to just ‘@’ Pinot instead of effectively tweeting behind his back (yep, we already feel dumber for trying to provide the context here), Vaughters did just that. We’ll let you read the psychodramatic fever dream yourself:

Where to start. Firstly, top points to Thibaut Pinot for issuing one of the hall of fame put downs in his non-native language. Secondly, we absolutely love the idea that Lance Armstrong saw this as the opportunity to forge a new alliance with Pinot, a man who is not only a vocal anti-doping critic but also just so clearly not a Lance guy.

Enter ProCyclingStats – an account with a chequered history on the platform – with a line they presumably pulled from an inspirational quote photo of a sunset on Facebook earlier that day. They then proceeded to start quoting Anne Frank too in more replies further down – and when the possible ickiness of that was questioned, added some Mahatma Gandhi for good measure? It all got a bit weird, to be honest. This may also have been the story we needed to break our borderline-exclusive coverage of things happening on the pedantic mini-verse of cycling Twitter. Please note we said may, with this eventuality about as likely as an Alejandro Valverde retirement.

Feed Zone ?

?‍?️ According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Trek-Segafredo have made a “strong offer” to Tao Geoghegan Hart, who is in the final year of his contract at Ineos Grenadiers.

?? Dylan Groenewegen has added the Critérium du Dauphiné to his programme as he prepares for the Tour de France.

☮️ Another little tidbit from the people with the ears firmly pressed to the grapevine over at Gazzetta, EF Education EasyPost are supposedly interested in signing EOLO-Kometa’s Vincenzo Albanese.

? Former pro Tom Danielson has had his left middle finger amputated as part of his treatment for cancer.

‘So, I just say I was hacked, right?’

Patrick Lefevere: confirmed porn guy

It’s an easy mistake to make. You download a new app, you don’t really know how it works, you inevitably make a faux pas. I will be the first to admit that I turn my Spotify to a private session when I want to jam out to The Chicks’ Wide Open Spaces without anyone else knowing and judging me for it. The problem in the case of Patrick Lefevere’s liked porn videos, is that the Soudal – Quick Step manager has had a Twitter account since May 2012. Surely, at some point, he should have realised that on his profile there was a tab containing every tweet he had ever liked.

Maybe he was hacked, there’s a lot of that going around the peloton at the minute. And if he was, there would be no sense in drawing any more attention to what had gone on – better to just quietly unlike the videos and hope no-one noticed. But people did, and we were sent the screenshots. No need to try and tastefully blur specifics out in order to visually showcase what’s occurred – you’re just going to have to trust us on this one.

We don’t want to be in the puritanical business of shaming people for watching porn but there is something about this particular episode – the collab between a 68-year-old Belgian cycling team manager and the vast ocean of internet pornography  – that gave us a chuckle.

? Most honest cyclist of the week award ?

“Anyone who says they want to race in bad weather is talking shite, basically.”

While his home race the Rás Tailteann was basking in glorious sunshine, Irishman Eddie Dunbar has had to suffer through the meteorological misery of the Giro d’Italia. Asked by his compatriot, CyclingNews’ Barry Ryan, whether he is at home in the rain, having become used to it training on wet roads growing up, a presumably damp Dunbar said that no, rain always sucks. No exceptions.

Cycling on TV ?


Giro d’Italia, Stage 16

• Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour, Stage 1


Giro d’Italia, Stage 17

• Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour, Stage 2


Giro d’Italia, Stage 18

• Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour, Stage 3


Giro d’Italia, Stage 19

• Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour, Stage 4

• Boucles de la Mayenne, Stage 1

• RideLonon Classique, Stage 1

• Tour of Norway, Prologue

And finally…

One of the tenets of Spin Cycle is to cover Mark Cavendish in all of his brusque glory. Of all the riders out there, few are more fascinating than the 38-year-old and he will be missed when he retires at the end of the year.

In our short existence we’ve written a few, let’s say … playful things about the sprinter. There’s no doubt he has had a career few can rival but he can also sometimes be difficult to deal with. No doubt he has to put up with a lot of nonsense on an almost daily basis but there are very few reporters who’ve never had the pleasure of being on the receiving end of a gruff dismissal of their ‘shit question’ or a silent death stare that hangs in the air with the uncomfortable weight of an entire Tour de France caravan fleet.

But that will all soon be history (at least until he pops up in a team car somewhere or on our television screens) and what will be left are his victories and his legacy. People have been sharing anecdotes of their fond memories of interactions with Cavendish and sometimes it’s more pleasant to remember the good days. This is a nice one.

Primes (for helpful members) ?

Shout out to member Rick Cox who graciously provided today’s laundrette photo. He writes: “Here are some photos I took recently in Briançon, France, outside the Carrefour City. Maybe some team even used these last July.”

Thanks Rick. Most teams have working washing machines tucked away in their buses these days but those of us who holiday work the Tour de France every summer are very familiar with these!

As always, we are accepting your own laundry photos to star in the Spin Cycle. Either send them via the Discord or shoot me an email: [email protected]

Until next time …

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