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An unexpected climb to Tour de France debut for Sepp Kuss

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An surprising climb to Tour de France debut for Sepp Kuss

Sepp Kuss didn’t develop up watching the Tour de France idolizing the rider within the yellow jersey. His heroes weren’t struggling up brutal mountain climbs on street bikes. They ripped round on grime and slid throughout snow.

So, at age 25, maybe no one is extra shocked the American biking star from Durango is about to make his Tour de France debut Saturday than Kuss himself.

“I wouldn’t have anticipated this in any respect,” Kuss stated Wednesday in a cellphone interview with The Durango Herald on the eve of workforce displays in Good, France. “I additionally assume that’s the good factor about it. None of this was ever within the crosshairs for me. Yearly, it’s one thing new and all the time a shock once I do effectively and I’m racing in a Giro or Vuelta or, now, a Tour de France. It’s been particular in that approach. I’ve all the time labored onerous and shot for the very best, however it’s a bit surreal at instances being in these form of positions.”

Now thought-about the very best American climber of his technology, few within the street biking world knew Kuss’ title earlier than his breakthrough efficiency on the 2018 Tour of Utah. As a rookie prospect, he gained three phases and the general title in his first 12 months with Crew Jumbo-Visma, the Dutch squad that signed him after he climbed to a 10th-place finish atop Mount Baldy during a stage at the Tour of California days after he graduated from the University of Colorado.

Jumbo-Visma workforce bosses favored what they noticed, gave the 22-year-old a physiology check and signed him to his first WorldTour contract away from American continental workforce Rally Biking 4 months later.


Sepp Kuss was first to the end line in the course of the sixth, and ultimate, stage of the 2018 Tour of Utah. It was his third stage win of the week and second in as many days. He dominated each climb and went on to be topped the 2018 champion of the race.

File courtesy of Crew Jumbo-Visma

An surprising climb to Tour de France debut for Sepp Kuss

Sepp Kuss was first to the end line in the course of the sixth, and ultimate, stage of the 2018 Tour of Utah. It was his third stage win of the week and second in as many days. He dominated each climb and went on to be topped the 2018 champion of the race.

File courtesy of Crew Jumbo-Visma

“As a household, we’re all nonetheless studying the methods of street bike racing and the best way issues are organized and the way one strikes from one degree to a different,” stated Kuss’ father, Dolph. “However, three years later, I assume we actually aren’t that shocked that Sepp was picked to do the Tour due to the best way his workforce manages their riders and displays them. They know extra about them than generally they find out about themselves. They’ve actually been bringing Sepp alongside.”

Three years into his WorldTour profession, Kuss has remained with Jumbo-Visma and accomplished two Vuelta a España races and final 12 months’s Giro d’Italia, leaving the Tour de France as the one one of many three Grand Excursions wherein he has but to compete. That every one will change Saturday when he units out on the 21-day race that will cover 2,165 miles and move via all 5 of France’s mountain ranges: the Alps, the Massif Central, the Pyrénées, the Jura and the Vosges.

Kuss may have one of the vital vital roles on the 107th edition of the Tour de France. Jumbo-Visma has two riders, Slovenia’s Primož Roglic and Tom Dumoulin of the Netherlands, who’re among the many top-three betting favorites to put on the chief’s yellow jersey to the end line Sept. 20 on the Champs-Élysées in Paris.

Kuss is among the high climbers on the WorldTour, and he’ll look to assist pull Roglic and Dumoulin alongside a route that options eight summit finishes amongst double-digit brutal climbing days. The Jumbo-Visma aim is to dethrone defending champion Egan Bernal of Colombia and finish the reign of the Ineos Grenadiers, previously Crew Sky, which has gained seven of the final eight Tour de France titles with Bradley Wiggins (2012), Chris Froome (2013, 15, 16, 17), Geraint Thomas (2018) and Bernal (2019).


Durango’s Sepp Kuss, entrance, helped teammate Primož Roglic to a Stage 2 win on the Critérium du Dauphiné in France. Kuss’ climbing effort helped fend off an assault from defending Tour de France champion Egan Bernal, left, whereas Roglic, middle, made his transfer within the ultimate 2,000 toes to safe the win. The Jumbo-Visma teammates will hope to do the identical over the following three weeks in an effort to dethrone Bernal because the Tour de France champion. The three-week race will begin Saturday in Good, France.

File courtesy of Crew Jumbo-Visma

An surprising climb to Tour de France debut for Sepp Kuss

Durango’s Sepp Kuss, entrance, helped teammate Primož Roglic to a Stage 2 win on the Critérium du Dauphiné in France. Kuss’ climbing effort helped fend off an assault from defending Tour de France champion Egan Bernal, left, whereas Roglic, middle, made his transfer within the ultimate 2,000 toes to safe the win. The Jumbo-Visma teammates will hope to do the identical over the following three weeks in an effort to dethrone Bernal because the Tour de France champion. The three-week race will begin Saturday in Good, France.

File courtesy of Crew Jumbo-Visma

“I feel the route fits me rather well,” Kuss stated. “It’s onerous to say as a assist rider what to anticipate. I do know this race is tough to start with, onerous within the center and onerous on the finish. I’ve to distribute myself in a wise approach for the entire race. The third week might be so decisive, and I need to be there in the long run for Primož and Tom.

“Loads will come right down to the uphill particular person time trial on Stage 20 if there aren’t huge gaps earlier than that. It’s robust, and lots of it’s within the mountains, and that makes for a extremely onerous Tour. You may lose a while right here and there, however in the long run, I feel we have now a number of the strongest riders for that third week. The whole lot goes in the suitable course. I hope to have good luck, good well being and are available into that third week actually sturdy.”

‘Let Sepp be Sepp’Kuss has remained as calm and funky as ever within the week main as much as the Tour. His common smile and easy-going nature hasn’t been overtaken by nerves or stress which might be inherent when an athlete reaches the top of their sport.

“That’s simply our little Seppy,” his mom, Sabina, stated. “He’s the identical man he has been all his life, and his persona by no means went via totally different phases in life. He has this actual gentlemanly, elegant strategy to issues. I feel that composure stays with him in all of his actions. He by no means got down to be an Olympian or WorldTour racer, none of that. He has gotten there with complete persona and since he simply loves using his bike. He loves what he does.”

Kuss’ basis comes from his household. Dolph was a famed coach for U.S. Ski Crew from 1963 to 1972. Kuss was named to the USA Cycling Olympic long team for the 2020 – now 2021 – Olympics in Tokyo. If he’s chosen, which is almost a assure, it gained’t be the primary Olympics for his rapid household. Dolph coached the U.S. on the 1964 Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria, and the 1972 Olympics in Sapporo, Japan.


Sepp Kuss grew up racing on skis greater than bikes. His father, Dolph, was a longtime U.S. Ski Crew coach and was inducted into the Colorado Ski Corridor of Fame in 1990.

File courtesy of Durango Nordic Ski Membership

An surprising climb to Tour de France debut for Sepp Kuss

Sepp Kuss grew up racing on skis greater than bikes. His father, Dolph, was a longtime U.S. Ski Crew coach and was inducted into the Colorado Ski Corridor of Fame in 1990.

File courtesy of Durango Nordic Ski Membership

Dolph additionally coached at Fort Lewis Faculty from 1965-76 and was an organizer for the 1975 NCAA Championships held at Purgatory Resort, which he helped develop together with Chapman Hill ski space in Durango. Dolph was inducted within the Colorado Ski Corridor of Fame in 1990, and his contributions have laid a basis for generations of Durango athletes.

Dolph admits he didn’t have the identical calm demeanor as his son when it got here to competing and training. He stated his son has come by his unwavering optimistic angle naturally.

“Sepp’s dad was such an elite coach, however he let Sepp be Sepp,” Cheeney stated. “They’re such a Nordic household, and Sepp was actually into snowboarding once I met him. However they let him do no matter he form of wished to do, whether or not it was mountain biking or hockey, which he performed ceaselessly. They fostered his ardour whichever approach he took it.”

‘Love for bikes at an early age’Highway biking was a brand new problem and a enjoyable challenge for Kuss in 2015 when he was nonetheless a school pupil on the College of Colorado. The 2013 Durango Excessive Faculty graduate grew up a mountain biker in a mountain biking mecca. Kuss didn’t need to look additional than up the path to see his heroes who referred to as Durango residence after the primary World Mountain Bike Championships had been held in 1990 in Durango and led to world champions akin to Ned Overend and John Tomac calling Durango residence.

Kuss grew up within the Durango Devo youth program whereas Durango’s Todd Wells was within the midst of three consecutive Olympic picks for the U.S. mountain bike workforce and Travis Brown was capping off a corridor of fame profession of his personal.

Kuss’ early idols got here out of Devo akin to Tad Elliott, who had professional mountain biking and cross-country snowboarding careers. Kuss admired Adam Craig, who did super-D and cross-country mountain biking whereas snowboarding and boating within the winter.


Durango’s Sepp Kuss, far proper, will look to climb via each mountain vary of France throughout 21 days of the 2020 Tour de France in his supporting position on Crew Jumbo-Visma.

File courtesy of Crew Jumbo-Visma

An surprising climb to Tour de France debut for Sepp Kuss

Durango’s Sepp Kuss, far proper, will look to climb via each mountain vary of France throughout 21 days of the 2020 Tour de France in his supporting position on Crew Jumbo-Visma.

File courtesy of Crew Jumbo-Visma

Durango Devo began in 2006. Kuss and a few his associates, together with professional mountain biker Stephan Davoust, had been within the center faculty and caught wind of Devo co-founder Chad Cheeney teaching a highschool workforce. They confirmed up at Cheeney’s home and satisfied him to take them out for rides like he did with the highschool group. A 12 months later, Devo had a center faculty workforce.

What Kuss knew about street biking got here from the Fort Lewis Faculty workforce and a few Devo riders who went on to have American continental workforce careers. Cheeney would spotlight their accomplishments on the Devo web site, and Kuss would soak all of it in. Kuss additionally beloved to gather street biking caps, although he by no means wore them. Cheeney would be sure you choose him up a hat anytime he went to a street race.

“He was simply this little man, however he was very coachable and would present as much as observe every day desirous to know every part about biking,” Cheeney stated. “He had a well-rounded strategy to all varieties of biking. He raced downhill in full-face helmets, would do cross-country, cyclo-cross, street, all of that. On high of that, he was normally cobbling collectively his personal bikes from elements off the web or from the Durango Cyclery recycling part. He had a love for bikes at that early age.”

A shift in bikesWhen Kuss went to the College of Colorado and joined the membership biking workforce, it was on mountain bikes the place he earned his first three nationwide championships. However in 2015, he would win a collegiate street nationwide championship.

It was a household pal who first obtained Kuss into professional street biking. Kuss wore the jersey of the Gateway-Harley Davidson workforce out of St. Louis when he started to dabble on the Tour of the Gila in Arizona and the Cascade Biking Basic in Oregon. However in April 2016, Kuss climbed to a stage victory on the Redlands Bicycle Basic in California forward of some WorldTour professionals, and continental groups took discover.


File courtesy Jonathan Devich

Sepp Kuss claimed a stage on the 2016 Redlands Bicycle Basic forward of former WorldTour professionals to achieve the eye of the street biking world.

An surprising climb to Tour de France debut for Sepp Kuss

File courtesy Jonathan Devich

Sepp Kuss claimed a stage on the 2016 Redlands Bicycle Basic forward of former WorldTour professionals to achieve the eye of the street biking world.

It got here on the good time, as Kuss’ household started to note his ardour for mountain biking waver.

“He shifted from mountain biking to the street these final two years at CU,” stated Sabina. “He gained the highest collegiate mountain bike title in Snowshoe, West Virginia. After the race, I used to be there watching, and he didn’t have that exuberance he normally has. I assumed, ‘That’s not the Sepp we all know.’ It’s when sponsorships in mountain biking had been going by the wayside for lots of groups aside from the highest folks like Chris Blevins and Howard Grotts with Specialised.”

Sabina stated her son didn’t just like the format {of professional} mountain biking and having to continuously journey to Europe to chase UCI factors. The purpose rankings additionally decide beginning place at mountain bike races, and he felt like that largely, and unfairly, determined mountain bike races earlier than they even started.

“He felt it was predetermined who the highest finishers can be. However, in street racing, he felt all people had an opportunity, and he favored that uncertainty,” she stated.


Howard Grotts, left, and Sepp Kuss make their approach up Coal Financial institution Go towards Silverton in the course of the 2017 Iron Horse Bicycle Basic professional street race. Kuss would stage a powerful climbing effort to reel in a breakaway rider and win the occasion.

Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file

An surprising climb to Tour de France debut for Sepp Kuss

Howard Grotts, left, and Sepp Kuss make their approach up Coal Financial institution Go towards Silverton in the course of the 2017 Iron Horse Bicycle Basic professional street race. Kuss would stage a powerful climbing effort to reel in a breakaway rider and win the occasion.

Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file

Kuss turned his fast success right into a contract with Rally Biking. He shortly caught onto the dynamics of street racing and, by 2017, was maintaining with WorldTour riders on the Tour of California earlier than he returned residence to Durango to show in a stunning victory in the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic after he chased down a breakaway rider who had gotten away five minutes up the road on the final climb of Molas Pass.

4 months later, Kuss packed his baggage for the Netherlands and went condo searching in Spain to start a professional street biking profession with he hadn’t allowed himself to even dream of whereas working to finish his bachelor’s diploma in promoting the earlier two years.

A steep, quick climb to the highestKuss was slated to start out gradual his rookie 12 months on the WorldTour with Jumbo-Visma. The Dutch workforce had an eye fixed towards the longer term, and Kuss was excited to hitch a workforce that wouldn’t put an excessive amount of stress on him immediately.

However along with his three stage wins and general classification victory at the Tour of Utah, Kuss would return to Spain and enter his first Grand Tour, the 2019 Vuelta a España, in his rookie season. A tenth-place end on Stage 7 gave him his first style of success on one in all biking’s greatest phases and set him up for his debut Giro d’Italia the following spring. He played a role in helping Roglic finish third at the Giro.

When it got here time for the 2019 Vuelta, Kuss was able to star in his supporting position of Roglic. He would win Stage 15 for his first Grand Tour victory, and Roglic would journey to the end line within the chief’s pink jersey because the race champion.


Slapping arms with spectators on his technique to a Stage 15 victory on the 2019 Spanish Vuelta, Durango’s Sepp Kuss flashed a smile whereas incomes his first stage victory at a Grand Tour occasion.

Picture Gomez Sport file

An surprising climb to Tour de France debut for Sepp Kuss

Slapping arms with spectators on his technique to a Stage 15 victory on the 2019 Spanish Vuelta, Durango’s Sepp Kuss flashed a smile whereas incomes his first stage victory at a Grand Tour occasion.

Picture Gomez Sport file

It grew to become clear Kuss can be one in all Roglic’s assist riders going into the 2020 Tour de France, with the Slovenian star regularly praising the onerous work of Kuss. Now, the workforce will look to get Roglic on the rostrum after an eighth-place end on a vital time trial despatched Roglic from third to fourth on the 2018 Tour.

“All of us get alongside effectively collectively, and that makes it simpler,” Kuss stated. “With Primož, it’s an important relationship. I feel we’re each actually calm and don’t take something too critically. For me, he’s straightforward to work for in that sense. A relaxed man like me. He actually thinks issues via, is a extremely beneficiant man with good character. He doesn’t give himself away to the media and all that, however amongst the workforce, he’s a extremely good man. Ultimately, it’s an important workforce ambiance.”

Underdogs to a powerhouseKuss has thrived in that workforce ambiance he discovered lacking in mountain biking. He has no downside sacrificing a person end result for the betterment of the workforce chief, evident at instances final 12 months on the Vuelta when he would drop again after a breakaway climbing effort to rejoin Roglic and his teammates. Dolph stated his son enjoys serving to a teammate win as a lot as any of his personal particular person victories.

“He enjoys the teamwork and understanding that everyone will get their probability finally,” Sabina stated. “He can put his coronary heart and soul into supporting whoever he has to assist. He is aware of someplace down the road, they’ll be requested to do this for him. He loves the camaraderie and never having the one aim of successful. It’s the method of what it takes to get to the ultimate end line in good pace.”

Kuss signed a contract extension with Jumbo-Visma final fall after his preliminary two-year deal was set to run out. It got here throughout a flurry of strikes, as Jumbo-Visma additionally prolonged Roglic and signed Dumoulin away from Crew Sunweb. The workforce had additionally added Belgian time trial and sprinting star Wout Van Aert earlier in 2019 in addition to Germany’s Tony Martin, a five-time stage winner on the Tour de France, so as to add to longtime workforce stars George Bennett of New Zealand and Steven Kruijswijk of the Netherlands. Kruijswijk positioned third finally 12 months’s Tour de France after a fifth-place end on the Tour in 2018, however an harm will preserve him out of this 12 months’s Tour.


Durango’s Sepp Kuss, left, is using in assist of common classification hopeful Primoz Roglic, proper, in the course of the Tour de France. Kuss has been in a position to lend a wheel to Roglic in the course of the Slovenian’s win on the 2019 Vuelta and his third-place journey on the 2019 Giro.

File courtesy of Crew Jumbo-Visma

An surprising climb to Tour de France debut for Sepp Kuss

Durango’s Sepp Kuss, left, is using in assist of common classification hopeful Primoz Roglic, proper, in the course of the Tour de France. Kuss has been in a position to lend a wheel to Roglic in the course of the Slovenian’s win on the 2019 Vuelta and his third-place journey on the 2019 Giro.

File courtesy of Crew Jumbo-Visma

With a couple of key additions and the speedy growth of Roglic, who signed with Jumbo-Visma in 2016 as a WorldTour rookie, in addition to that of Kuss, all of the sudden Jumbo-Visma was poised to show 2019 success right into a doubtlessly dominant 2020.

“Ever since I first joined the workforce, I may see all of the little particulars they had been listening to,” Kuss stated. “They had been slowly build up and placing lots of confidence in every rider they signed. It wasn’t all about two or three marquee guys to hold the entire workforce. They noticed one thing in everybody and wished to enhance all people. With this actually nice tradition and the outcomes of final 12 months, we had been in a position to retain the highest riders, and now lots of good riders are coming to the workforce to make us so effectively rounded. We don’t have the funds of Ineos or different groups to rent a bunch of these super-high wage riders, however our workforce constructed from the bottom up with all these guys and myself.

“Years in the past, it was just like the Unhealthy Information Bears of biking with the yellow equipment and every part. Now, you have got lots of respect within the peloton. With that comes much more duty in races. Different groups are trying towards us now. It’s a pleasant place to be in, and we all know we are able to do it and have the energy to be in rivalry within the greatest races.”

From lockdown to the rostrumKuss obtained 2020 began in France with an eye fixed towards his debut Tour. He completed eighth general on the Tour de La Provence in February. However a month later, the racing schedule froze because the COVID-19 pandemic swept throughout Europe and all the world.

Immediately, the Tour de France was postponed by France President Emmanuel Macron from its original June 27 start date, and Kuss was in lockdown in Spain along with his girlfriend Noemi Ferré. Unable to go outdoors for rides, Kuss rode his coach and took half in Zwift digital rides not understanding when racing would resume.

Kuss had prompt it might be greatest to postpone the Tour de France till 2021, however he knew an excessive amount of hung within the stability for biking groups that depend upon the visibility of the game’s high occasion for funds.


Durango’s Sepp Kuss stormed to a stage victory Sunday on the ultimate day of the 2020 Critérium du Dauphiné in France.

Courtesy of Jumbo-Visma

An surprising climb to Tour de France debut for Sepp Kuss

Durango’s Sepp Kuss stormed to a stage victory Sunday on the ultimate day of the 2020 Critérium du Dauphiné in France.

Courtesy of Jumbo-Visma

As Europe started to get a stronger maintain off the coronavirus downside than the U.S., the Tour was put again on the calendar and Kuss was in a position to return to coaching rides in Spain and Andorra. Jubmo-Visma organized a Tour de France workforce camp in July, and Kuss was despatched to stage races in Spain at Vuelta a Burgos and France on the Critérium du Dauphiné.

In a workforce management position at Burgos, Kuss would end twentieth general in his first occasion again from the four-month break. At Dauphiné, Kuss confirmed he was prepared for the Tour with impressive support rides of Roglic on Stages 2 and 3, as Roglic gained Stage 2 and held the general lead till a crash on Stage 4 took Roglic and Kruijswijk out of the race. With no workforce chief to journey for, Kuss was able to ride for an individual result on Stage 5, and he made an early breakaway on the final climb of the race and would ride solo to the finish line for a dominant victory.

“It was a extremely good week,” Kuss stated. “On daily basis felt higher and higher. Each single stage was tremendous onerous, and the extent was actually excessive. I feel all people got here out of the coronavirus break actually motivated and contemporary. On daily basis was full-on, and to return out of that and win on the final stage gave me lots of confidence. Other than the crashes, I feel we got here out of it alright. Primož is prepared for the Tour. It’s not ideally suited that the crash will preserve Stevie out of the race, however Primož recovered effectively and needs to be good to go.”

Kuss completed tenth general for the five-stage race at Dauphiné. His win delighted hometown followers in Durango.

“I cant bear in mind once I’ve been extra excited a few sporting occasion,” Dolph stated.

In a vogue that has turn into a trademark for Kuss, he smiled as he climbed quicker than anybody else within the race, sticking his tongue out as he danced on the pedals towards the end line. He acknowledged the assist of followers, although this time with out slapping high-fives due to COVID-19 protocols.

“Once I consider Sepp, I consider his smile and apparent enjoyment of the game,” stated Cheeney. “It’s so cool to see. In so a few years of watching the Tour and professional street racing, you normally see the grimace and anguish or a conquering look on their faces. Then you have got this child who’s smiling, sticking his tongue out, high-fiving followers for a minute up the ultimate climbs. That youthful, enjoyable look on him when he’s doing what he’s doing, it appeared unimaginable earlier than seeing him do it. Not many different folks journey like that, and I feel he’s going to achieve lots of followers if he has a great journey on the Tour.”

NFTF/Reside Like BenCheeney’s Durango Devo motto of “By no means Overlook the Feeling,” has caught with Kuss on his journey to Europe. He additionally has been positive to maintain elements of his Durango upbringing on the forefront of his thoughts.

After his stage win at Dauphiné, Kuss devoted the victory to the reminiscence of Benjamin Sonntag, the Durango-based pro mountain biker who was killed in March when he was struck by a motorist while out for a training ride on a remote gravel road southwest of Durango. Sonntag lived a mile from Kuss’ residence in Durango, and the 2 regularly shared the street collectively.


Durango’s Sepp Kuss devoted his Stage 5 win on the 2020 Critérium du Dauphiné to the late Benjamin Sonntag, a professional mountain biker from Durango who was killed when he was struck by a motorist on March 4 whereas on a coaching journey. Kuss and Sonntag had been neighbors.

File courtesy of Crew Jumbo-Visma

An surprising climb to Tour de France debut for Sepp Kuss

Durango’s Sepp Kuss devoted his Stage 5 win on the 2020 Critérium du Dauphiné to the late Benjamin Sonntag, a professional mountain biker from Durango who was killed when he was struck by a motorist on March 4 whereas on a coaching journey. Kuss and Sonntag had been neighbors.

File courtesy of Crew Jumbo-Visma

Initially from Germany, Sonntag was an avid street biking fan. He would get up early within the morning, make an espresso and stream races or watch highlights of what he might need missed. Dolph and Sabina stated they wished they may have gone to Sonntag’s residence after Kuss’ stage win to have a good time collectively like they all the time would have.

“For me, I all the time consider Ben once I’m out coaching and doing lengthy rides,” Kuss stated. “Every time I’m in an analogous scenario as Ben would have beloved to be in – out within the mountains, out having fun with using – I consider him. He was such a optimistic man. I can simply think about his face after a stage like that, going a mile up the street to my mother and father home and coming in with a giant smile. It’s such a tight-knit neighborhood in Durango, and all of us actually miss Ben, his persona, who he was. That win was for Ben and all of Durango that misses him. I do know he would have beloved this Tour.”

Tour de COVID-19An added stress will come within the type of frequent COVID-19 testing. Kuss stated he underwent testing six and three days out from the beginning of the Tour in addition to antibody testing. Groups are staying remoted on one flooring of accommodations, although the accommodations aren’t fully closed to different common company.

“We’re principally in a bubble with the workforce, however it’s simpler stated than accomplished,” Kuss stated. “It’s nonetheless a sport that could be very a lot open to the general public. They’re doing a great job at begins and finishes ensuring there isn’t any contact from the general public close to workforce buses or something, and the press conferences are all digital. However I feel there might be lots of people spectating the race. Already at Dauphiné, there have been lots of people within the mountains. In that regard, it felt like a standard race to me.”

‘His three weeks will really feel like six weeks for me’There gained’t be any easing into this 12 months’s Tour, both. Stage 2 on Sunday will head immediately into the mountains with 4 huge climbs together with Col de la Colmiane and Chilly del Turini. The primary summit end, Kuss’ specialty, will come on Stage 4.

Riders will climb into the Pyrenes on Stage 8 on Sept. 5 for consecutive days of brutal climbing.

Kuss will have a good time his twenty sixth birthday Sept. 13 throughout Stage 15 with a summit end on Grand Colombier within the Jura vary. He’ll get a relaxation the next day, doubtlessly organising for a particular birthday journey to finish the second week.

Kuss stated he has his eyes on Stage 17 coming off the remainder day, too.

“So most of the climbs are new this 12 months,” Kuss stated. “The Col de la Loze above Méribel on the queen stage of Stage 17, I checked out it when coaching there a couple of months in the past, and will probably be a extremely onerous climb with the Col de la Madeleine proper earlier than that on the identical day. That might be a day to observe, for positive.”

All eyes are on Stage 20 on Sept. 19, the one particular person time trial of this 12 months’s Tour. It’s uphill practically all the 22 miles to the end atop La Planche des Belles Filles and will very effectively determine the race winner.


The route for the 107th version of the Tour de France.

Courtesy of Tour de France

An surprising climb to Tour de France debut for Sepp Kuss

The route for the 107th version of the Tour de France.

Courtesy of Tour de France

Durango might be watching all the approach. Kuss grew up with out tv in the home, so he and his mother and father they by no means sat collectively and watched the Tour de France. That has modified now, and Cheeney is keen to go to the Kuss household residence and watch a couple of phases collectively.

“I’m standing on our espresso desk hugging the massive display screen once I see Sepp on it,” Sabina stated. “I’m yelling and giving him every kind of recommendation. ‘Don’t look again, preserve trying forward.’ When the cameras focus shut up on him, it’s like he hears me, sees me, feels me, and vice versa. It’s wonderful to observe him, however his three weeks will really feel like six weeks for me.

“It already looks like two years in the past watching him at Dauphine getting that win. It’s unbelievable and plausible seeing his actually speedy succession. That wasn’t his goal or goal, however he has fulfilled all of it as a result of it’s one thing he has loved doing a lot that he by no means even realized he was working towards this.”

Requested what they count on to see in the course of the subsequent three weeks, Kuss’ household echoed one another. They imagine he might be an excellent teammate.

“He simply likes to be concerned in serving to out,” Dolph stated. “I see him being an excellent sport throughout the entire 21 days.”

Kuss has no particular person expectations aside from to be contemporary and able to lead his workforce to victory the ultimate week. No matter occurs, he might be pleased with the end result.

“It’s lots of pleasure; simply the very fact it’s the Tour de France and every part that goes with that,” he stated. “I really feel fairly calm about it, however it’s going to get fairly onerous early. We gained’t be easing into the race in any respect, so possibly that creates some nerves. However, on the finish of the day for me, it’s identical to some other race. I’m not going to do something totally different.”

jlivingston@durangoherald.com

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