(Madrid) Ten years later, the United States once again has a race winner in the Grand Tour of international cycling.
Sepp Kuss won the Tour of Spain on Sunday, becoming the first American to win one of the three biggest cycling races since Chris Horner won the same competition in 2013.
The other Grand Tour events are the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France.
Kuss had already secured victory before Sunday’s stage, which was largely ceremonial, when his rivals in the Spanish capital respected his lead and did not launch attacks, as is cycling tradition .
” It’s incredible. I think today was the stage where I suffered the most of the whole race. Now I’m just glad it’s over,” Kuss said.
“It’s going to change my life, that’s for sure. I think I will remember this experience with great pleasure. I don’t quite realize it yet. I think it’s going to take a while. Now, a big celebration. Family, friends are there, and it will be really special. »
It was a surprising victory for Kuss, who started the race in a supporting role to his Jumbo-Visma teammates Jonas Vingegaard, a two-time Tour de France winner, and Primoz Roglic, a three-time Vuelta winner.
Vingegaard and Roglic finished second and third overall, respectively.
In doing so, they capped a dominant performance and a historic hat-trick for Jumbo-Visma, who won all three Grand Tour events this year. Roglic won the Giro d’Italia in May and Vingegaard was crowned Tour de France champion in July.
Kuss crossed the finish line with his teammates, all of whom wore special jerseys in honor of the team’s treble.
Kaden Groves, from the Alpecin-Deceuninck team, won the final sprint to win the last stage.
Kuss took the lead after the eighth stage and never let go, even though he was pushed around several times by his teammates.
The American held his own on the difficult climbs of the Col du Tourmalet in France and the Alto de l’Angliru in northern Spain. He finished the three-week race 17 seconds ahead.
A 29-year-old from Durango, Colorado, Kuss began cycling as a year-round practice for his passion, cross-country skiing. But he ended up replacing skis with cycling and was for several seasons one of Jumbo-Visma’s best support riders.
The final leg started at Madrid’s horse racing field and ended with laps around some of the Spanish capital’s iconic landmarks.
Kuss relaxed within the peloton and was feted by his rivals and by fans who lined the streets of Madrid.
Furthermore, the organizers of the Tour of Spain have announced that the 2024 edition will begin in Portugal.