Spin Cycle: Visma’s secret weapon

Late-stage capitalism strikes again!

Jonny Long
by Jonny Long 05.07.2024 Photography by
Cor Vos
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.


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

We’re back here, with here being a gymnasium on the outskirts of a French city. This time a little village outside Dijon, where the stage 7 time trial is taking place. An unofficial rest day, we have so far managed to have a lazy morning, swerved the mystery (slightly undercooked) meat at the press buffet, and are now waiting for the boys in the silly helmets to pedal their bikes until they feel a bit sick.

That’s just another day at the Tour, it’s not supposed to make sense.

Thank god he did it

Imagine a world where Mark Cavendish hadn’t taken his 35th stage win: what would have happened to these commemorative ’35’ Astana-Qazaqstan bottles?

This shows there was a level of confidence from Alexandre Vinokourov and co. that their sprinter would win a stage, and if not they would be quickly stashed into a bin liner and buried in landfill, never to be seen again.

Do we think they’ve been sitting around since last year? Hidden away somewhere where their mere existence wouldn’t anger the sprint gods?

Amongst the history making, there was a nice moment shared between Tadej Pogačar and Cavendish’s son, who seemed more interested and impressed at spotting the yellow jersey than the fact his dad had just become the record-holder for most Tour de France stage wins. Kids, ey.

Pogačar hands the lad a pair of Scicon sunnies, a brand that the boy would have had near-infinite access to had Cavendish not forced Astana to drop them as a sponsor in favour of his own glasses provider, Oakley. Quite a roundabout way for Scicon to finally get a pair of glasses onto the face of a Cavendish.

Humorously, ‘Cycling out of context’ has reversed the video to make it look like Pogačar was instead ripping the gifted glasses out of the young fan’s possession.

Spotted at the Tour 👀

Sustainability drive

At the Grand Départ in Florence, we are reliably informed, the teams of the Tour de France were invited to a sustainability meeting by race organisers ASO. The first faux pas was that this meeting was long enough after the team manager meeting that everyone drove back to their hotels only to drive back for the next meeting an hour later (not very sustainable organising from the organisers), but representatives from only eight out of the 22 teams actually bothered to turn up!

Would you care to guess which teams didn’t? The petro-thruple stayed home. Ineos Grenadiers did not attend, neither did UAE. TotalEnergies? They zoomed into the call, which didn’t appear to have been offered as an option up until the point the French team popped up virtually …

EF Education EmailsentjustintimePost

A well-timed email from EF Education-EasyPost, of their daily Tour de France round-up, but unfortunately titled ‘Richard Carapaz takes yellow’ which was true for about all of six minutes after the email was sent just before he got dropped on the Galibier. Still, better than sending it out after he had fallen out of the race lead …

Visma-Lease a Bag

Tucked away inside the belly of the Visma-Lease a Bike bus: a Jumbo supermarket shopping bag, which we’ve also seen Wout van Aert carrying around as well before the start in Florence. Presumably, they had a huge volume of them on hand before the early exit of the sponsor at the end of last year. So, really, this is as sustainable as it gets. The smile is quite haunting, however …

Visma’s secret weapon

The Lanterne Rouge’s Patrick Broe has done a great job in changing and bringing something new, youthful and refreshing to cycling media. Nevertheless, it was quite the shock when he revealed on the eve of Jonas Vingegaard’s first Tour de France victory in 2022 that he had been quietly working with Visma-Lease a Bike as an analyst. Two years later, the Australian former lawyer has been made one of the team’s official coaches.

Described by Merijn Zeeman as “an important sparring partner for me and the other coaches,” we didn’t presume this meant clickbait headlines negging their own riders.

The video itself isn’t critical, and the YouTube algorithm game necessitates headlines like this, where WORDS are put in CAPITALS to try and get you to click. But what a world we live in that Broe is still doing his thing while also collecting a paycheck from Visma. What’s next? Tom Pidcock doing livestreams disparaging each member of Ineos Grenadiers staff individually should they not kiss the ring? Here’s hoping.

Feed Zone 🥖

😲 19-year-old Cameron Rogers, the nephew of retired pro Michael Rogers, beat Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) to win the 3 km prologue of the Tour of Austria.

😓 Soudal – Quick Step’s Ilan Van Wilder is not happy with the criticism the Tour de France squad he’s a part of receives. “I’m going to take a moment to express my disappointment to the media,” he told Het Nieuwsblad . “I’ll say it like it is: we really feel like shit sometimes. People forget that we’re young and that for many it’s the first Tour.”

🤩 “Congratulations Mark Cavendish on this historic achievement. Such a nice guy to break my record in the Tour,” was Eddy Merckx’s reaction via his Instagram page to Cavendish breaking his record.

👋 With Victor Campenaerts apparently off to Visma-Lease a Bike and Pascal Eenkhoorn heading to Soudal Quick-Step, two other riders are also set to depart Lotto-Dstny, according to Het Nieuwsblad, with Sylvain Moniquet supposedly off to Cofidis and Andreas Kron to Uno-X Mobility.

👎 Mark Cavendish (Astana-Qazaqstan) was given a time penalty and points deduction by the UCI for sheltering in the cars too much during the Tour de France’s stage 6.

🙄 Mads Pedersen (Lidl-Trek) wasn’t best pleased with having been awarded the combativity prize for the Tour’s stage 6. “It would have been nice to give it to someone else,” the Dane told Eurosport, having been delayed an extra half an hour before getting back to his bus by the podium ceremony.

Cycling on TV 📺

Saturday July 6th

Tour de France – Stage 8
(07:00-11:20 ET/12:00-16:20 BST/21:00-01:20 AEST) ITV/Eurosport/Discovery+🇬🇧, NBC/Peacock🇺🇸, FloBikes🇨🇦, SBS🇦🇺

Sunday July 7th

Tour de France – Stage 9
(07:15-11:50 ET/12:15-16:50 BST/21:15-01:50 AEST) ITV/Eurosport/Discovery+🇬🇧, NBC/Peacock🇺🇸, FloBikes🇨🇦, SBS🇦🇺

Giro d’Italia Women – Stage 1
(06:50-07:50 ET/11:50-12:50 BST/20:50-21:50 AEST) Eurosport/Discovery+🇬🇧, Max🇺🇸, FloBikes🇨🇦, Staylive🇦🇺

Monday July 8th

Giro d’Italia Women – Stage 2
(06:50-07:50 ET/11:50-12:50 BST/20:50-21:50 AEST) Eurosport/Discovery+🇬🇧, Max🇺🇸, FloBikes🇨🇦, Staylive🇦🇺

😩 Capitalism has gone too far again of the week 😩

Yeah, money makes the world go round, has lifted us all out of living in the woods and allows us to do nice things like watch telly and eat pizza. However, when a human being dressed as a bottle of ketones runs along the side of the Tour de France peloton, you have to question what this greater standard of living is all for.

And finally …

People sometimes question the point of the race radio broadcasts we now get served by the Tour’s television coverage, but often it provides us with gems.

Such as this discussion amongst the TotalEnergies group, who agreed that they would continue to do nothing. I feel that deeply.

In case you missed it … 🫣

Royal Rumble on the Galibier …

Jasper Philipsen swearing post-sprint on the Alpecin-Deceuninck bus while his partner and press officer wait sheepishly outside.

Correction corner 😖

Monday’s edition was full of Tour fever (the bad, bloodshot eyes exhausted kind) and therefore we incorrectly told you that the Pogačar fake attack was on stage 1 when it was actually on the San Luca on stage 2, whilst the Copenhagen Grand Départ was of course in 2022 and not 2021. Doh!

🧺 Send us yer laundry pics

“A laundry pic from the Intermarché at Le Bourg-D’Oisans, near the foot of Alpe d’Huez,” writes David Campbell, attaching today’s featured laundry photo. “The day after completing La Marmotte Granfondo on 29 June.”

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 David Campbell 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.

Every edition of Spin Cycle is available for free so please share it with your friends and help us enjoy limitless growth. 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 by clicking the button.

What did you think of this story?