After his breakthrough overall victory at the Vuelta a España, Sepp Kuss might be expected to be looking for more Grand Tour wins in the future, maybe even at the Tour de France. But the American and his Jumbo-Visma team are taking a cautious view of the future with Jonas Vingegaard and Primož Roglič already established as Tour team leaders. Kuss anticipates being in his usual role next summer even after establishing himself as a Grand Tour champion.
“I can still be that same rider at the back of the peloton, but there will be more expectations from the outside world,” Kuss said in an interview with Wielerflits, adding that he’s not keen to put more expectations on himself. Yet Kuss did something no other rider has done in history this summer: He was a part of the winning team at the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France then went on to win the overall Vuelta a España. It showed not only that he could be good at the end of one Grand Tour, but he excelled even after two other demanding ones.
Read moreSepp Kuss and Jumbo-Visma make Grand Tour history at Vuelta a España It’s SEPPtember – Kuss rises from meme to people’s Vuelta a España champion Philippa York analysis: Jumbo-Visma have to learn from Vuelta a España success It was a stark contrast from previous Grand Tours where Kuss invariably had one bad day in the last week. In 2021, he lost over five minutes to Roglič in the final time trial. This year, he gave up less than a minute to most of his rivals and held onto his red jersey.
The Vuelta was a step forward in learning the mentality of a Grand Tour winner but the Tour de France would be a much different affair, even if his fans would love nothing more than seeing him in the maillot jaune. “You can always have those aspirations,” Kuss said of possible Tour de France dreams. “But I realize that the Vuelta is very different from the Tour.
“Normally I have nothing to lose because I focus on my work and want to do it well. From that point of view you have nothing to lose, but being focused every day and getting the most out of every stage is not easy mentally. “The Vuelta is the perfect race.
It is much more nervous in the Tour. The transition stages there are harder and the climbs are less steep. So that race is really different for me,” Kuss said.
Most likely Kuss will go back to being a super-domestique for Vingegaard and/or Roglič but with a slight change. “I also like to be played as a joker. That is also motivating for me, to work for a leader this way and also to be able to race.
“Sport Director Merijn Zeeman said Kuss can win another Grand Tour but in the short term, “nothing will change for Sepp”. “Sepp knows that he can win a Grand Tour at Jumbo-Visma, much more so than being the only leader somewhere else. “Zeeman says the team know that Kuss doesn’t necessarily want to be the sole leader of the team for a race like the Tour de France.
“That’s not his personality. He loves it this way. And he can also enjoy intensely when Jonas wins the Tour or Primož wins the Giro.
He is just as proud of that as he is of winning. “.