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.
Can you feel it? We are getting real deep into the off-season now. Televised racing is limited to cyclocross and the news cycle is so shallow that Geraint Thomas’s revelation he’s been on 12 benders in 14 days is talked about all week.
Of course, the big story of the week was the bad news of the closure of GCN+ and the GCN app. A reminder that whatever you do, you can never, ever trust the money men. They are inevitable. They are bad vibes. They can take everything you love and hold dear but don’t ever let them crush your spirit.
To help us through, join me in enjoying the antics of Primož Roglič this off-season.
Filippo Ganna could never …
The concept of world records is an intriguing thing. Really, anything can be a world record. Maybe I’m the person who’s sat the most in my local branch of Pret A Manger coffee shop this calendar year. But there are records that matter and records that don’t.
Yes, the real, proper Hour Record is one that really matters. But also, I think I prefer another type of Hour Record, the Boris bike Hour Record.
Boris bikes are London’s most popular bike share scheme, named after London Mayor (and then future Prime Minister) Boris Johnson, who wasn’t even the Mayor who introduced them – that was his predecessor, Ken Livingstone – but by stroke of dumb luck happened to be in power when they began operating on the capital’s streets. Kind of sums him up really.
Anyway, like New York’s Citi Bikes, they are clunky, heavy, and not necessarily the fastest to ride, but that only adds to the allure of the question: how far could you ride one of these in an hour?
The existing record was set in 2015 by Rob Holden at the Herne Hill Velodrome in South London, with a distance of 31.8 km.
Enter Cameron Jeffers, cycling YouTuber and rider for the Ribble Collective. On Central London’s Regent’s Park’s 1 km-long Inner Circle, he put an extra kilometre into the record, managing a distance of 32.8 km.
“I couldn’t have gone any harder,” he said afterwards in the YouTube video of his attempt. “You get to a certain point with your cadence that you just can’t pedal any faster … well I couldn’t anyway. If you want to have a crack at the record yourself, good luck.”
Let’s hope this record takes on a life of its own like with Everesting, and we eventually have retired WorldTour pros (and maybe even our own Ronan Mc Laughlin) flying in to take on what is certainly a punishing challenge.
But why let London have all the fun, we need New York, Paris, anywhere really, to join in. World records for the people! Now!
A big ol’ Primož Roglič update
While we wouldn’t consider ourselves experts at psychological interpretation, all the signs point to the conclusion that, since his release from the austere shackles of the Jumbo-Visma machine, Primož Roglič is living his best life as he prepares for his next chapter with the Bora Boys.
First off, he visited Disneyland with his family, getting into the swing of things by donning Minnie Mouse ears and tucking into a Spiderman cake. Although, we can’t decipher whether his expression is hunger or apprehensive disgust.
Then, at a charity gala back in Slovenia, this amazing photo emerged of Roglič and Tadej Pogačar. We’re sure it’s just an unfortunate, blurry moment, but it looks like they’re on day 12 of that 14-day Geraint Thomas pub crawl. It looks like a lot of fun, to be honest.
Last, but by no means least, Roglič was then on a television show where he was more than happy to re-enact a human ski jump with the presenters on stage, even adding a textbook telemark landing at the end.
If we’ve learned anything, it’s be more Primož.
Feed Zone 🥖
📺 Cycling broadcaster FloBikes’ parent company, FloSports, has settled a class action lawsuit for $2.625m over opaque automatic subscription renewals. A separate suit for the same amount of money was settled in July earlier this year, this one pertaining to the company’s use of Facebook pixels to track users’ video views. Customers have until January 25 2024 to file claims from the settlement.
⛰️ The Mont Ventoux Challenge will not take place in 2024 as the Olympic torch passes through the region on the same day and organisationally it’s been deemed impossible to stage both events. The race will return in 2025.
🇩🇰 Jonas Vingegaard has told the Ritzau news agency that while he would like to contest the Olympic road race next year, he is not sure he will be selected for the Danish team.
🌈 Tom Pidcock will not contest the rainbow bands at the Cyclocross World Championships in January, Het Laatste Nieuws reports, and neither will Wout van Aert.
The little wanker himself James Knox has signed a new two-year deal with Soudal Quick-Step.
🇳🇿 Former Bolton Equities-Black Spoke rider, 22-year-old New Zealander Logan Currie, has signed for Lotto Dstny on a one-year deal.
🦸🏻♂️ EOLO-Kometa boss Ivan Basso has denied to Tuttobiciweb that his squad have spoken to Miguel Ángel López about signing him. The Italian has, however, signed 28-year-old Matteo Fabbro from Bora-Hansgrohe.
🐺 Julian Alaphilippe will focus on Strade Bianche, Milan-San Remo, and the Tour of Flanders in the spring.
🇮🇹 Wout Poels has told the In Koers podcast he is considering a Giro d’Italia start as he looks to seal stage victories at all three Grand Tours.
🇨🇿 Zdeněk Štybar has told WeLoveCycling he is in talks with Czech Continental outfit ATT investments about postponing his retirement and potentially continuing his racing career.
👶 Jumbo-Visma has entered into a partnership with junior team of JEGG-De Jonge Renner Academy.
🪨 The 2025 Tour de France will begin in Lille.
👴 40-year-old Domenico Pozzovivo is in talks with Corratec-Selle Italia about a contract for 2024, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.
😲 Wout van Aert has told Mundo Ciclístico while on his Colombian excursion that the 2024 Giro d’Italia is indeed his main goal next year.
🤘 Daniel Oss has told La Gazzetta dello Sport he will be the latest WorldTour pro turning to gravel after retiring from road racing.
😡 Intermarché-Circus-Wanty riders Madis Mihkels and Gerben Thijssen have been fined by the UCI for the racist gestures posted online while the pair were at the Tour of Guangxi. While they subsequently apologized, the two fully grown adults will also attend a course that will hopefully teach them how to not be racist.
🇹🇷 The Tour of Turkey, which took place recently in October, will next take place in April 2024.
👋 Movistar’s Héctor Carretero (28) has announced his retirement from racing.
🧦 Bora-Hansgrohe boss Ralph Denk has told GCN he would rather see Jai Hindley start the 2024 Tour de France alongside Primož Roglič than see him at the start of the Giro d’Italia.
📬 DSM-Firmenich will now be DSM-Firmenich PostNL next year after the Netherlands’ largest mail and parcel delivery company joined as a title co-sponsor, and will be sporting new orange, blue and white jerseys in 2024, which everyone apart from the PostNL CEO looks stoked about.
Cycling on TV 📺
Saturday November 18th
Superprestige Merksplas, Aardbeiencross – Elite Women
GCN+ (07:30-08:30 ET/12:30-13:30 GMT/23:30-00:30 AEST)
Superprestige Merksplas, Aardbeiencross – Elite Men
GCN+ (09:00-10:30 ET/14:00-15:30 GMT/01:00-02:30 AEST)
Sunday November 19th
UCI World Cup, Troyes – Elite Women
GCN+ (07:30-09:00 ET/12:30-14:00 GMT/23:30-01:00 AEST) And on FloBikes in the US
UCI World Cup, Troyes – Elite Men
GCN+ (09:00-10:30 ET/14:00-15:30 GMT/01:00-02:30 AEST) And on FloBikes in the US
Monday November 20th
No live racing.
The Ineos Gren-oh-dears
Some breaking news just as we were going to print … Rod Ellingworth has resigned as Ineos Grenadiers’ deputy team principal.
This is according to British newspaper the Telegraph, who report there had been rumours of tensions in how the team was being run, with Ellingworth in charge of the day to day but with team principal Dave Brailsford having the final say in strategy and transfers. The article goes on to suggest that Brailsford could also soon leave his role in the team, as he’s being lined up for a senior management position at Manchester United Football Club, which Ineos owner Jim Ratcliffe is currently in the process of buying a significant stake in.
Concerning and disruptive news for the British squad … but back to what was supposed to be the main story of this section, which also doesn’t exactly fill you with hope for the team. Sometimes we worry we’re developing too much of a reputation for being Ineos haters, but then also, when they provide us with hubristic wide-open goals, it can be hard to resist.
In case you were wondering how things were going at the £50 million a year team, they’ve posted a series of photos on Instagram asking their fans to pick their favourite moment for the squad from 2023. Admittedly there are Tom Pidcock’s Strade Bianche win as well as Carlos Rodriguez and Michal Kwiatkowski’s Tour de France stage victories, but the rest of the reel is made up of:
- Filippo Ganna’s sixth-place finish at Paris Roubaix.
- Josh Tarling becoming European time trial champion, a competition where he wasn’t competing for Ineos Grenadiers.
- Filippo Ganna’s second-place finish at Milan-San Remo.
- Connor Swift’s gravel victory at The Gralloch.
- Tom Pidcock and Pauline Ferrand-Prévot becoming mountain bike World Champions, again, not technically Ineos Grenadiers victories.
- Astana-Qazaqstan rider Mark Cavendish’s Giro d’Italia stage win where Geraint Thomas helped with his leadout.
That last one is also pretty weird, considering the team had 36 victories this year to choose from instead of a win for a rider who doesn’t even race for them!
Although, with the incoming purchase of a quarter of Manchester United, this sort of creative social media posting could come in handy again soon.
And finally …
Just what the embattled cycling community needs right now: Social media skid mark Jake Paul on a bike.
Paul’s current girlfriend is world champion speed skater Jutta Leerdam who (for now) is sponsored by Jumbo-Visma and therefore has access to all of Jonas Vingegaard and co’s equipment.
Sit back and laugh until your stomach hurts as Jake Paul does his Los Angeles influencer-coded pose in the mirror while decked out in lycra.
As the video rolls on documenting his first proper road ride, exclamations of “LET’S GO!!” and “I’M ON A FUCKING ROLL!!” punctuate the otherwise pleasant Dutch countryside. Additionally, his manner on a bike has a lot of the Chris Froomes about it, right?
“Way harder than it looks much respect to bicyclists,” came the almost Trumpian response from Paul in the comments on the video.
For those thinking we’re being too harsh, there is the option of the longer-than-a-long-thing dropdown menu of “controversies and legal issues” that naturally adorns the Wikipedia pages of all notable good guys, or you can step back with me in time to watch maybe his original crime, his debut single titled “It’s everyday bro.” It is indeed everyday. Bro.
🧺 Send us yer laundry pics 🧺
“This photo is as dull as it gets in the suburbs of Dudley, UK,” writes Murray Ferguson, attaching today’s laundrette photo. “I’d like to thank EC for bringing these automatic laundry machines to my attention. I used to dismiss them, letting sweaty kit build up in a hotel room when away with work for a few days. Now with an extra motivation to get a picture I’m not having to don PPE to empty my bag once home.”
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next time …
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