All week Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) has been saying she’s not targeting the green jersey. That her team is at the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift to win stages.
But just because she’s not targeting green doesn’t mean she won’t win it.
In fact, while Vos has been resplendent in yellow Since winning stage 2, she’s quietly been building an unassailable lead in the points classification as well. She has now led that competition for five days without once racing in green.
In Vos’s press conference after winning Friday’s stage 6 into RosheimThe CyclingTips asked whether it was simply a happy accident that she’d found herself in green, given it had apparently never been the focus. Or was it that she had actually been keeping an eye on green, but just not saying as much? After all, she has been active in intermediate sprints throughout the week.
“Well, it’s not an accident,” the 35-year-old said with a chuckle. “We were aiming for stage victories, and we knew by doing that then of course you try to be there up front every day.”
It’s fair to say Vos has managed that goal of being “up front every day”. In six stages so far she’s managed two victories, two second places, a third, and a fifth. That’s a pretty good way of accumulating points.
Vos explained that it’s all been about energy management.
“Aiming for the green jersey [also costs] a lot of energy along the way,” she said. “So we want to spend the energy right and put the focus on the stage victory. But of course, along the way, taking those points, it’s really nice to be in this position in the green jersey classification now going into the final weekend.”
With two stages remaining, Vos leads the Tour by 30 seconds ahead of Silvia Persico (Valcar-Travel&Service) and Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM), with Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) just five seconds further back. With both remaining stages essentially finishing atop a sizeable climb, Vos is very much expecting to lose yellow.
“Well, looking to the profile of tomorrow and Sunday it’s definitely another kind of race,” she said. “We were aiming for a stage victory. That worked out on Monday already and now a second one in [the] yellow jersey is already more than we could have dreamed of; we could have expected. But I’ll try to recover as good as I can to go into the final weekend.
“Of course, there are some really good climbers. The GC riders are targeting this weekend. We’ll see other names up front tomorrow.”
Tomorrow’s stage features three first-category climbs, including the 13.5 km Grand Ballon (average 6.7%) which peaks roughly 7 km from the finish. It’s highly unlikely Vos will still be in the maillot jaune by day’s end. Thankfully, there’ll be another iconic jersey waiting for her.
With 267 points in the bank, Vos essentially has the green jersey classification locked up. With Lorena Wiebes (DSM) in second on 191 points, and Longo Borghini being the best-placed climber of note on 67 points, the only way Vos loses green is if she doesn’t finish the Tour.
Given Vos has won two stages this week and Spent five days in the yellow jersey, every Tour has already been a raging success. By the sound of things, winning the green jersey will simply be a bonus.
How very Vos-like.