Spin Cycle: Wout of order

Warning: contains lost sunglasses and regained tufts.

Jonny Long
by Jonny Long 12.06.2023 Photography by
Kristof Ramon, Gruber Images, Cor Vos, Tadej Pogačar and Evan Wilson.
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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.

The Tour de France is edging ever closer. To prepare us, we’re concurrently being given a reminder about last year’s race via the Netflix documentary series and a taste of what could be to come as this July’s riders warm up at the Dauphiné and Tour de Suisse. But it’s all getting a bit confusing.

Giulio Ciccone’s sunglasses have gone walkabout, Wout van Aert is everywhere all at once (once again) and something weird has happened to the voices of Thibaut Pinot and Marc Madiot. We’re sure it will all make sense when we only have Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogačar up the road to keep an eye on.


There goes the sunglasses (doo-doo-doo-doo)

It was great to see Giulio Ciccone’s sturdy breakaway victory on the final stage of the Dauphiné, confirmation that after the disappointment of a coronavirus-blighted Giro DNS he’s on track to make the most of a replacement participation in the Tour de France.

But as he dropped his head round one of the final, steep bends on the finishing climb, his sunglasses dislodged from his helmet, tumbling forward, the strained Italian flailing unsuccessfully as he tries to catch them. The glasses fall to the road, left behind and robbing Ciccone of his trademark sunglass-toss celebration as he crosses the line.

Although he chucked the glasses at his first win of the year, a stage of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana in February, a month later after taking a stage of the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya they stayed firmly on his head. Maybe that had more to do with the fact he had to outsprint Primož Roglič and Remco Evenepoel, but maybe the team or sponsors also had a word? Who knows.

How much we can read into the above forlorn outstretched arm at the Dauphiné as a hint of whether Sunglass Chuck Szn is well and truly over? We’ll have to wait until the Tour to find out!

The tiger who came to T(our de Suisse)

Wout of order

Wout van Aert has finally had a chance to watch the Netflix Tour documentary and found out first hand that he has been cast as one of the villains of the series.

Like with its Formula 1 counterpart, Drive to Survive, the show leans on intra-team rivalries to thread narratives and build suspense. That the Tour series has borrowed this schtick isn’t a surprise but for those it’s been given to it’s hardly a welcome gift.

“I was finally able to watch,” Van Aert told the Belgian press at the Tour de Suisse, where he is currently preparing for the Tour de France. “Because strange, but true, although I play one of the leading roles, I did not know what would be seen. 

“It is quite disturbing that stories were written in the documentary that were not there. For me, the series is focused on commotion. Jonas and I are great friends. The focus is on moments in which it is difficult to make the right choice, but there are also so many moments in which we have strengthened each other and worked together. It is a pity that it has been removed.”

We’ll have to see how this plays out with the expected return of the Netflix cameras to film series two this July. Will Van Aert and Jumbo-Visma be less open and keen on the whole idea after feeling like they’ve been treated poorly? We saw something similar happen with Max Verstappen in Formula 1 and coincidentally both athletes are sponsored by Red Bull.

Extra tension will be added by the fact Van Aert’s wife will be eight months pregnant with their second child when the peloton sets off from Bilbao. The Belgian rider has therefore said that he may have to leave the Tour early as doesn’t want to miss the birth, and that this is also a reason why he won’t be pursuing the green jersey this year.

Feed Zone ?

? It looks like Egan Bernal might be heading to the Tour as he has logged a recon of the hilly stage 16 time trial course.

??????? Tom Pidcock will probably only compete on the mountain bike at the Glasgow Worlds but the final decision will be made after the Tour.

? Due to the cancellation of the Lotto Belgium Tour, Lotte Kopecky will instead compete in some male junior races as she looks to build racing rhythm.

? Rasmus Tiller won Dwars door het Hageland at the weekend. Mathieu van der Poel was in the decisive leading group but punctured 20 km out from the finish.

? Remco Evenepoel has expanded on the reasons behind him not taking an unscheduled start at the Tour this summer, saying: “If I am shaken loose on the first mountain stage, a bomb will explode in Belgium.” Fair point.

? Fausto Masnada has undergone buttock surgery in order to relieve persistent saddle pain, he will be off the bike for four weeks.

? Filippo Ganna didn’t line up for the Tour de Suisse as had been expected due to illness, reports Ciclo21.

? Thomas De Gendt will not be at the Tour de France this summer but will instead be riding down to Calpe over 12 days. Tim Merlier has confirmed he will not be at the Tour for Soudal Quick-Step but Australian sprinter Sam Welsford is hopeful he will be present for Team DSM.

Pinot nah

The Netflix Tour show has heralded mostly lukewarm takes either in support or against how good the series actually is. Yet there is one aspect to it, an unequivocal train wreck run on nightmare fuel, that once you hear it you can’t unhear it.

Some viewers when clicking on to watch (it seems to be fairly random but maybe also has something to do with what your settings for the last non-English show you watched were) get the original, undubbed version accompanied by plenty of subtitles. Others get an English-dubbed version and it’s … not great, let’s say.

First of all, there’s a narrator that sounds like the person in your ear telling you what to do when you’re completing story mode on a Call of Duty game, while the actor who voices Marc Madiot sounds like someone you’d stand in line behind at the fish and chip shop on a Friday night.

But undoubtedly the biggest crime is the voice given to Thibaut Pinot. Like the third choice for an audiobook narrator, who’s putting way too much into it instead of replicating the sullen Pinot everyone knows and loves, he’s turning the Frenchman’s poetry into what sounds like the instructions on the back of a cereal packet, with some similarities to Daniel Radcliffe if Harry Potter ever fell on hard times. We can’t screen-record the show because Netflix is smart, so if you want to change your life for the worse you’ll have to do the leg work yourself.

I guess there’s no point blaming the actors or Netflix for including this feature; they’re just responding to the demand. So instead it’d be simpler to blame the viewers who watch shows like this (really! who does this?!) and have forever tainted Pinot’s soul-crushing admission “sometimes I feel like I’m more popular than I am talented” with a Squid Games-esque butchering of the voice acting.

? Big dumb douchebag quote of the week ?

“The riders have requirements that do not suit their level.”

This quote, from the CIC Tour de Pyrénées race director Pascal Baudron about the women’s peloton following the UCI cancellation of a race that *checks notes* saw riders racing alongside moving cars on the first day and the second stage neutralised until the Hautacam as their safety couldn’t be guaranteed. A story our Kit Nicholson was reporting on this weekend.

“They think they are riding the Tour and that all roads should be closed, everything should be closed. But in France that is impossible. Yesterday [Saturday] the chairman of the jury went to the riders to tell them that they had unfulfilled requests,” Baudron continued telling La Nouvelle République.

“Even Marion and Elisabeth [former riders Marion Clignet and Elisabeth Chevanne-Brunel, who are involved in the organisation] say that the riders are shooting themselves in the foot. There will come a day when there will be no more competitions. Then they will cry for what happened.”

Not sensing that enough was enough before he had even opened his mouth, Baudron carried on.

“I’ve told myself it’s not worth putting months of energy into a race that is then cancelled at the whim of a bunch of spoiled kids. I also think of the volunteers we have mobilised. This is catastrophic for morale.”

The only thing worse than putting on a race that has traffic on the course? Complaining about riders complaining that there’s traffic on the course.

Cycling on TV ?

Note: The Tour de Suisse is on GCN+ in the UK and much of the EU, but FloBikes has the rights for Australia, the US, and Canada. Listed start times are for GCN+; FloBikes’ start time may vary.


Tour de Suisse, Stage 3

GCN+/FloBikes (09:20-12:00 ET/14:20-17:00 BST/23:20-02:00 AEST)


Men’s Tour de Suisse, Stage 4

GCN+/Flo (08:35-11:15 ET/13:35-16:15 BST/22:35-01:15 AEST)

Baloise Belgium Tour, Stage 1

GCN+ (09:00-11:50 ET/14:00-16:50 BST/23:00-01:50 AEST)


Men’s Tour de Suisse, Stage 5

GCN+/Flo (08:35-11:15 ET/13:35-16:15 BST/22:35-01:15 AEST)

Baloise Belgium Tour, Stage 2

GCN+ (09:00-11:25 ET/14:00-16:25 BST/23:00-01:25 AEST)


Men’s Tour de Suisse, Stage 6

GCN+/Flo (08:20-10:20 ET/13:20-15:20 BST/22:20-00:20 AEST)

Baloise Belgium Tour, Stage 3

GCN+ (09:00-11:30 ET/14:00-16:30 BST/23:00-01:30 AEST)

Mountain bike – Leogang World Cup

Downhill – Women’s Junior Final

GCN+ (07:10-07:55 ET/12:10-12:55 BST/21:10-21:55 AEST)

Downhill – Men’s Junior Final

GCN+ (07:55-09:15 ET/12:55-14:15 BST/21:55-23:15 AEST)

Cross-country short track – Elite Women

GCN+ (11:15-12:00 ET/16:15-17:00 BST/01:15-02:00 AEST)

Cross-country short track – Elite Men

GCN+ (12:00-13:00 ET/17:00-18:00 BST/02:00-03:00 AEST)

And finally…

Following Jonas Vingegaard’s dominant Critérium du Dauphiné display, some are already prematurely crowning him the winner of the Tour. But with just one picture, the reappearance of ‘the tuft’ is a sure sign that Pogačar is ready. Bring it on.

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A post shared by Tadej Pogačar (@tadejpogacar)

Primes (for helpful members) ?

Thanks to Evan Wilson for this week’s classic laundromat photo. He writes:

“A local laundromat here in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA, that I thought of as soon as you began collecting photos for Spin Cycle. Finally made it over for a photo on a morning ride.”

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

Until next time …

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