Between the 12th and 14th centuries, southern France was a hotbed of a religious movement called Catharism, a split from Christianity that believed in two Gods under a dualist system. It was ruthlessly put down by the Catholic Church in the Albigensian Crusade and then 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 have been attempting a dualist system, one in which their strategy is split between their hunt for the yellow jersey, which began as a split in and of itself between Primož Roglič and Jonas Vingegaard, and their campaign for the green jersey through Wout van Aert.
So far, this divided plan had been working well, with Van Aert basically out of reach in the green jersey, and Vingegaard firmly in the yellow jersey after two weeks of racing.
However. On Sunday, as the Tour de France finished in Carcassonne, one of the cities where the Cathars thrived, which was put under siege by the Crusade which ended the movement’s influence in the region, Jumbo-Visma ended the day rocked.
Sunday started with the news that Roglič, who had put in a shift working for Vingegaard once his own ambitions of winning were over, had pulled out of the race with injury . That was bad enough, to be deprived of one of their key climbers.
But then, with 65km to go, Steven Kruijswijk, one of Vingegaard’s key mountain domestiques, crashed and was force to […]