In a remarkable conclusion to an eventful 2023 season spanning 77 grueling race days and featuring three Grand Tours, Sepp Kuss of Team Jumbo-Visma is ready to embrace a well-deserved break as he clinches the coveted title of Vuelta a España Champion.
The cycling world is abuzz with admiration for Kuss, who had already played pivotal roles as the climbing domestique for Primož Roglič and Jonas Vingegaard during their triumphant campaigns at the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France earlier in the season.
However, it was at the Vuelta a España where Kuss etched his name in the annals of history, becoming the first American since Chris Horner in 2013 to seize victory in one of cycling's Grand Tours. Mastering all three Grand Tours in a single season is an achievement few dare to pursue, let alone attain.
The only other rider to accomplish this feat was Gastone Nencini, a staggering 65 years ago. Given the enormity of this accomplishment, it is understandable that Kuss is eagerly anticipating some well-earned respite from the intense world of professional cycling.
Celebrations and Reflections
Kuss, reflecting on his triumphant season, shared, "It's a welcome break from the constant rigors of racing, allowing me to recharge both mentally and physically. However, my love for cycling endures, and I will continue to pedal for the sheer joy it brings me." The celebrations for Kuss and Team Jumbo-Visma have been widespread, with festivities at the team's service course in s-Hertogenbosch and gatherings with loyal sponsors and fans in Amsterdam.
Kuss, soaking in the joy of victory, revealed, "After such an arduous tour, the predominant feeling is relief, but there are more celebrations lined up in the coming weeks. Perhaps I'll treat myself to a memento that will forever remind me of these incredible three weeks." Kuss's triumph at the Vuelta a España completes a momentous Grand Tour trifecta for Team Jumbo-Visma, an accomplishment lauded by CEO Richard Plugge as "the crowning achievement of the last decade" on the team's official website.
The 29-year-old American's incredible season, marked by Vuelta victory, a 12th-place finish at the Tour de France, and a commendable 14th-place showing at the Giro d'Italia, culminated in his final race days for 2023. When asked about future competition, Kuss playfully quipped to reporters, "I believe I've raced enough for now.
It's better to conclude the season on a high note." Kuss will soon head back to his hometown of Durango, Colorado, having capped off an extraordinary season with the most significant triumph of his career. He expressed his plans, saying, "I intend to return to the States by the end of this month, slightly earlier than usual.
It will primarily be during the offseason, affording me more time to reconnect with everyone." Sepp Kuss's journey in 2023 has undoubtedly been one for the history books, leaving an indelible mark on the world of cycling and ensuring his legacy endures for years to come.