Spin Cycle: You’re taking the piss

Embrace debate: did Lance Armstrong's cameo taint Dodgeball forever?

Penticton Laundry in British Columbia, Canada.

Jonny Long
by Jonny Long 08.05.2023 Photography by
Cor Vos, William Jackson and the deranged legends over at @cyclingwhatifs
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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 weekend saw the Giro kick off, while things also kicked off at the culmination of La Vuelta Femenina. Attacking during a piss break? The jury may be out but our verdict is that scandal and drama is what gets our blood flowing.

You know what else makes us feel alive? Computer-generated images of professional cyclists if they had long hair and (sometimes) a beard. We can’t get enough of it.

Sights that can’t be unseen

Big shoutout to @cyclingwhatifs on Twitter that caught us out several times over the weekend by putting mad barnets on professional cyclists, making us question how we had missed such changes in appearance, before realising it wasn’t real.

We presume this has been done using some sort of AI (what isn’t AI these days) and we’re just glad that before the machines take over they’re at least affording us a couple of chuckles before reducing us to dust.

What really got us is the range of this thing, from Hugh Carthy who looks like he’s about to give a couple of hobbits some sage advice before their expedition to Mordor, to Jake Stewart who looks like he’s about to start harmonising Bohemian Rhapsody. Excellent stuff. The whole thread is worth perusing. Now, we want to see what Carthy’s EF Education-EasyPost teammate Ben Healy would look like without long hair or a beard…

‘The tasting notes say it goes really well with attacking while someone else is going for a nature break.’

You’re taking the piss

At last year’s Tour de France the cycling world fell over backwards waxing lyrical about the sporting respect shown by Jonas Vingegaard when he let Tadej Pogačar catch back up after a little slip. Yeah, fine, it was the morally right thing to do (although Pog would have definitely caught Vingegaard up anyway, but that’s not the point …)

ANYWAY, for sporting action that’s a little more … dastardly, this weekend’s La Vuelta Femenina delivered by the bucketload.

Did Annemiek van Vleuten and Movistar really always plan to attack at the exposed bridge section on the penultimate Stage 6? Should they have continued this attack when realising they had done so whilst Demi Vollering and SD Worx opted to take an admittedly poorly timed nature break?

“I would say that too if I were her,” was Vollering’s response to Van Vleuten’s explanation that the attack was pre-planned. On the final stage, Van Vleuten just barely managed to hold on to the red jersey despite Vollering riding away to the stage win powered by the anger of a thousand furious Demi Vollerings.

“The battle for the standings was very close, but if things had turned out differently yesterday, we would have won it too”, Vollering said, giving so much side-eye that she’ll probably need to book an appointment with her optometrist for corrective surgery. “It’s a pity I couldn’t compete against the best yesterday. But today I showed what we are worth and I am very happy with the fight we fought today.”

So, so much spice; roll on the Tour de Frances Femmes avec Zwift!

Feed Zone ?

?️ The Canadian champion, Maggie Coles-Lyster, will join Israel-Premier Tech Roland with immediate effect for the remaining part of the season after leaving the Zaaf squad.

? Zdenêk Štybar has undergone surgery for a strangulated femoral artery in both legs, which the 37-year-old says is the reason for his lesser performances over the past couple of seasons.

? Tom Pidcock won his final warm-up race in Chur, Switzerland, before the Nove Mesto round of the Mountain Bike World Cup on Friday. In the women’s race, Evie Richards beat Pauline Ferrand-Prévot.

? Tadej Pogačar will return to light indoor training this week following his Liège crash where he suffered fractures in his hand and wrist.

??‍? Bora have renewed their commitment to the Bora-Hansgrohe team and will continue to sponsor the squad until at least 2027.

? Angry breakfast-themed quote of the week ?

There must be a first time for everything, knocked down from behind by the FDJ team leader’s car in the Tro-Bro Léon. Thank you and congratulations on the driver’s license you got from Kelloggs, Frédéric Guesdon.

Lawrence Naesen lets it all out after the FDJ team car ran into the back of him at Tro-Bro Léon and he was forced to abandon the race, and Kelloggs cereals unexpectedly get caught up in the middle of it.

Our colleague José Been informs us this is a gag in Belgium and the Netherlands that if someone isn’t a very good driver you accuse them of getting their driving licence in a packet of cereal. We love it and will definitely be using it in the future, it’s giving ‘enjoy the money, Jane’.

Cycling on TV ?

(all times CEST – GCN ‘The Breakaway’ on-air times)


• Giro d’Italia, Stage 4 (12:15-17:45)


• Giro d’Italia, Stage 5 (12:30-17:45)

• Tour de Hongrie, Stage 1 (14:50-16:50)

• Navarra Women’s Elite Classics (15:30-18:00)


• Giro d’Italia, Stage 6 (12:30-17:30)

• Tour de Hongrie, Stage 2 (14:50-16:50)


• Giro d’Italia, Stage 7 (11:00-17:45)

• Tour de Hongrie, Stage 3 (14:50-16:50)

MTBXCC Short Track

• Nové Mesto UCI MTB World Cup – Elite Women (17:45-18:40)

• Nové Mesto UCI MTB World Cup – Elite Men (18:40-19:30)

And finally …

Known celebrity cycling fan Ben Stiller is backing a Geraint-shaped victory at the Giro d’Italia. We also really like his brand of support message whereby you just reply to someone by typing out their name and putting an exclamation mark at the end.

Going back through the Stiller cycling archives, we came across this superb headline: How Lance Armstrong’s cameo taints Dodgeball forever. Published in the aftermath of Armstrong’s Oprah Winfrey interview every journalist and their mum was looking for a different angle on the ordeal, and this might be the best yet also tenuous one we’ve come across.

Corrections corner ?️?

Technically, Central Europe is now on Central European Summer Time, not Central European Time. And although Escape Collective member Kaye suggested that maybe we were “just getting ahead of everyone else in dropping stupid summer/winter time switches for good…”, that is not the case…but we will consider it. Anyway, prepare yourselves for a revamped TV Guide on Friday.

Primes (for helpful members) ?

A big shout out to William Jackson for today’s laundromat image. He writes:

I was riding down the road in Penticton this week and saw this gem, so I had to stop for a photo in case you want to use it at some point. It was so odd, so I went back the next day to get it in daylight as well. Sandwiched between car dealerships on the shittiest stretch of highway you could ride down outside of Florida.

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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