Between the 12th and 14th centuries, southern France was home to a religious movement called Catharism, a split from Christianity that believed in two gods under a dualistic system. It was brutally repressed by the Catholic Church during the Albigensian Crusade and then by an inquisition in the 14th century which saw the primacy of the monotheistic system reestablished in the region.
At the Tour de France this year, Jumbo-Visma attempted a dual system, in which their strategy is split between their hunt for the yellow jersey, which began as a split in itself between Primož Roglič and Jonas Vingaard, and their campaign for the jersey. green through Wout van Aert.
This split plan had worked well so far, with Van Aert essentially out of reach in the green jersey and Vinegaard firmly in the yellow jersey after two weeks of racing.
However. On Sunday, as the Tour de France ended in Carcassonne, one of the cities where the Cathars thrived, which was besieged by the crusade that ended the movement’s influence in the region, Jumbo-Visma finished the day shaken.
Sunday started with the news that Roglič, who had worked for Vingegaard once his own winning ambitions ended, had pulled out of the race with injury. It was bad enough to be without one of their main climbers.
But then, 65km from the finish, Steven Kruijswijk, one of Vingegaard’s main mountain servants, crashed and was forced to retire. Then, just 7km later, the yellow jersey itself fell in an accident which also brought down Tiesj Benoot. Neither was seriously injured, but the team was also clearly shaken by this latest incident.
Jumbo’s split strategy, their attempt to play two gods with Van Aert and Vingaard, has worked well so far, with the former able to help the latter in the mountain stages, now his green jersey is almost done.
The withdrawal of Kruijswijk and Roglič, however, shows the limits of the team; they are left with only Sepp Kuss as pure climbers, as they have brought in Nathan van Hooydonck and Christophe Laporte to help Van Aert, and Tiesj Benoot to cover all the bases.
“They are two very important teammates, two very strong riders, so it’s not nice,” was all Vingaard could say in his post-race press conference. “It’s a pretty bad day for us, but we’ll keep fighting until Paris.
“I think today was not the best day for us. I’m fine, I also hope Tiesj is fine. It’s a bad day, but it can happen.”
Its sporting director Grischa Niermann tried to take the positive from a difficult day for the team.
“It’s better to be two and a half minutes ahead than running after two and a half minutes,” he explained. “It was a difficult day for us, not the best so far, but in the end we can be happy that Jonas fought in the final and looked good. But first I have to tell them talk, not really sure about everything, we’ll see about that later.”
This is not the end of the dualistic system. Van Aert and Vingegaard still appear to be two of the strongest runners in the race, but it opened a hole in their armour, in the same way that George Bennett and Vegard Stake Laengen’s retirements weakened Tadej’s UAE Team Emirates team. Pogacar.
This perhaps opens the door for Ineos Grenadiers, still with eight riders, to try something, there are few stages where the teams could be decisive ahead.
The Cathars, Jumbo-Visma, could still thrive in the south of France. The Pyrenees are looming, and with them stages that will be more man against man than team against team. It doesn’t matter that the UAE and Jumbo are both short on riders.
Mauro Gianetti, UAE team manager, is in favor of this theory.
“In the end, the mountain stages we have left won’t change much, because it will be force against force with Tadej and Vingaard,” he said. “I don’t think the teams will make the difference – the difference will be [made] between them.
“They have the pressure but they have the yellow too, and I would like to have the pressure with the yellow and be in their place. But we are where we are, and now we have to recharge the battery tomorrow and see what happens. happening next week.
“There are three mountain stages, and it will be between the best, between the leaders, and I don’t think it will change much [because of the withdrawals] Because it will be Tadej, Vingaard, Yates, Thomas, Gaudu, the leaders. The teams won’t make the big difference now.”
Difficult day for Jumbo-Visma in Cathar country, but they are still in yellow and green. Dualism could survive, without the need for an inquisition or a crusade.
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