France, Italy, Spain: The Tour de France is threatened with a historic zero

The Canadian Houle wins stage 16 of the Tour.

The Canadian Houle wants stage 16 of the Tour YOAN VALAT (EFE)

There have already been 17 stages of the Tour des 22. They have been won by: Lampaert, Jakobsen, Groenewegen, Van Aert (two), Clarke, Pogacar (3), Jungels, Cort, Vingaard, Pidcock, Pedersen, Mathews, Philipsen and Houle. By country: Belgium (5), Slovenia (3), Denmark (3), Netherlands (1), Australia (2), Luxembourg (1), United Kingdom (1) or Canada (1).

Nobody for Spain, France and Italy. A Dane, Jonas Vingaard, wears the yellow jersey; a Slovenian, Tadej Pogacar, the best youngster; the green jersey is the Belgian Wout van Aert and an Aryan, Simon Geschke, the king of the mountain. The first Frenchman in the ranking is David Gaudu, a bottle, almost eight minutes from Vingegaard, Enric Mas, tenth, more than 16 minutes and the Sicilian Damiano Caruso, 22, more than an hour.

The 2022 Tour, which is on track to become the fastest in history (42.059 kilometers per hour on average so far, 405 meters per hour faster than the Made Armstrong 2005, then 41.654), could even be the registration plates. If it ended like this, the Tour would end without a victory for the three great Mediterranean nations for the first time since its birth 119 years ago. In 1926 and 1999, there were no French victories but one stage for an Italian on the 26th and in 1999, seven stages went to the country beyond the Alps and three to Spain. If Filippo Ganna does not avoid it in Saturday’s time trial, or if Friday’s stoppage rewards the gachupin or the industrious Frenchman, 2022 will be the minimum harvest.

Then cycling started to change. In 1998, the Tour del Festina gave birth to what the French called two-speed cycling. While in their country, they explained, the issue of EPO and doping had been taken very seriously and they had changed it, swept it away, in other countries, notably Spain and Italy, where the magicians continued to work miracles after the downpour, they had closed the umbrella and carried on as if at least it had happened. In Spain and Italy, where it is specified that a Frenchman who has the expressions of one of his compatriots, winner of the Tour (Bernard Hinault, 1985) must be nearly 50 years old, the explanation for the drought is in particular the at the beginning of 2006 when Operation Puerto had the same goal of innocence as Operation Festina, it was clearly globalization.

All countries have cyclists. They are no longer necessarily children of rarity, but today the characters are mostly young people from wealthy families who seek in their technology the fascination of adventure, the tragic effort and the joy of cycling. And in countries once outside the Tour, like Great Britain, whose only contribution to their history was the murder of Tom Simpson at Ventoux in 1967, their bourgeois love had become so great that they were even the most rich, the most powerful, the Sky, which changed the science of cycling and began to chain victories with Wiggins, Froome and Thomas. And like a splash of oil, the model has spread to all countries without a history of cycling. Globalization and modernization have ignored the ancient cycle of the Mediterranean. And the countries that produced ancient cycling, first occupied Belgium, are still in the lead because cycling is the most important sport there, its classics, its monuments, even more than football. And their champions, the current Van Aert, are the most admired.

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