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.
I think we’re all still recovering from Holy Week, to be honest. Re-acclimatising after nine days eating frites and drinking beers with percentages much higher than the average gradient of the Oude Kwaremont (and some work, of course).
Life is about balance, so this weekend it will be nice watching the Amstel Gold Race from the comfort of my living room instead of in a press room alongside grizzled Belgian and Dutch hacks (who still write for physical newspapers) before traipsing down to a mixed zone to watch the finale through the gaps in the barriers erected to keep the media penned in, lest we begin roaming in places we’re not supposed to, like semi-literate farm animals.
Nevertheless, the one guarantee, wherever you’re watching the race, is that there will be enough nonsense going on to fill the pages of the Spin Cycle, and ease both you and I in and out of each weekend.
An Alpecin cover-up
Some riders take competition so seriously that they will never refer to another squad by name. Instead, they may refer to rival outfits as ‘the team of [insert star rider]’.
Alpecin-Deceuninck brought this habit into the present day (and to a whole new level) with their celebratory Instagram post of Mathieu van der Poel’s Paris-Roubaix Hommes victory. When clicking on the button that shows who’s tagged in the photo, Van der Poel’s profile is of course linked to, as is his teammate Jasper Philipsen. And then, popping up over the space Wout van Aert occupies are the team’s sponsors.
Not only did Van Aert have to suffer the ignominy of Philipsen celebrating Van der Poel’s victory before going on to complete another lap and beating him in the sprint, but now the team are plastering their sponsors all over him. Brutal.
Hot seat: Criminals stealing Richard Mille watches
Not a good year to be a criminal stealing Richard Mille watches from professional cyclists as the number of them who have been jailed in 2023 is now up to four. Following the horrific and harrowing burglary of Mark Cavendish, two men have now been jailed for stealing a €165,000 watch from Tadej Pogačar’s hotel at Paris-Nice.
At this point it begs two questions. 1) maybe it’s time for thieves to give up on this very specific plan and 2) maybe it’s not worth having watches worth hundreds of thousands of Euros for the unwanted attention it attracts. Or at least give them less colourful bands to make them harder to spot amongst the undies in Pogačar’s suitcase?
Feed Zone 🥖
📉 Wahoo have had its credit rating lowered after it delayed debt service payments at the beginning of April.
🚌 Ben Healy secured a top-five GC finish at the Région Pays de la Loire Tour, rode on the team bus up to Paris-Roubaix, spent the day as a soigneur handing out bottles at the side of the road to his teammates, travelled on to Brabantse Pijl and came second. Not a bad week at all.
😖 Riders on Zaaf Cycling Team have apparently been told they can look for new employers, as wages still go unpaid. Although supposedly some salary payments have been made in recent days…
✒️ Christophe Laporte is said to have signed a three-year extension with Jumbo-Visma, turning down a lucrative offer from Ag2r Citroën to remain with the Dutch squad.
📩 AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step has received a wildcard for the Tour de France Femmes.
🗣️ UAE Team Emirates made enquiries last season about signing Mathieu van der Poel.
🔒 Remco Evenepoel has stopped uploading his training rides to Strava in the run-up to the Giro d’Italia in order to keep his rivals guessing. If he wants he could give me his login to use, that would really confuse them.
Tepid I am an island quote of the week
“I can prepare really well for an event on my own in training.”
So Jay Vine said to Barry Ryan (CyclingNews’ answer to Roy Keane), a shot across the bows for any of his fellow professionals who were considering asking if the Australian fancied any company on his training rides. On the other hand, it’s welcome evidence that his generation are still self-sufficient, in contrast to David Beckham’s son who needs 62 people to help make his Facebook cooking show where he teaches the audience how to make a bagel.
Four by four by four by four ad infinitum
Four leaders, Rod, FOUR. That’s insane.
Well, that’s apparently how the Ineos Grenadiers are shaping up to tackle both Primož Roglič and Remco Evenepoel at the upcoming Giro d’Italia.
Geraint Thomas, Tao Geoghegan Hart, Thymen Arensman and Pavel Sivakov will all take aim at the general classification, according to sports director Matteo Tosatto. Late-stage Geraint Thomas at a Grand Tour means one of two things: either he will continue to defy both his age and the upending of the natural order at the team by securing a podium spot with a dogged performance, or he will crash out and one of the younger guns will sail to an unexpected overall victory. That’s just kind of how it works now.
Ineos have become the new Movistar in terms of their insatiable desire to turn up to three-week stage races fielding multiple leaders, and is maybe a way of keeping the oodles of talent within their roster happy.
We’re wondering whether this latest
trident quadrant could be a sponsorship tie-in with their 4×4 Grenadier car? Either way, the top brass at the British squad are seemingly no longer ever content to take just one leader to a Grand Tour.
Cycling on TV (all times CET) 📺
• Tour du Jura (11.55am-14.50pm)
• Women’s Amstel Gold Race (13.00pm-14.30pm)
• Men’s Amstel Gold Race (14.30pm-17.15pm)
• Tour of the Alps, Stage 1 (13.30pm-15.30pm)
And finally …
A victory for the Escape Collective! The Amstel Gold Race organisers have announced they’ve upgraded the finish line cameras following recent controversies over their now previous set-up’s integrity. No doubt that the final straw that broke the commissaire-who-only-smokes-camel-cigarettes’ back was a gentle rinsing from our man Ronan, who posted the above image on our Instagram from the Kermesse we attended last week in Belgium captioning it that he’d found the man who operates the Amstel Gold photo finish.
Please note in the above image the lack of side-on view combine with the aerial advantage of the Belgium’s smallest stepladder. We’re chalking this one up as a win, who knew you could change the world one gentle rinsing at a time. And you can thank us later, Tom Pidcock.
Just a reminder that you can check out the whole Escape Collective podcast network at any time on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, or wherever you get your podcasts.
Not that coming off the worst in a bike race is a competition but in our Roubaix injury round-up we forgot to mention Sanne Cant’s “serious wounds on her forehead and under her eye” that required dozens of stitches and forced her relocation to a different hospital from the one she was originally taken in order to deal with her injuries. Rest up, Sanne!
This one isn’t a correction per se, but a fair few of you didn’t seem to mind the Alpecin shampoo/Roubaix shower tie-in that took the focus of the last Spin Cycle edition. We hear you, and that’s good to know as we inch ever closer toward agreeing a multi-million dollar sponsorship of this bi-weekly supplement by an international laundry detergent brand.
Until next time …
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