Sepp Kuss wins the Vuelta, the primary American in a decade to win a Grand Tour race

Estimated read time 3 min read

MADRID – After a decade, america has a Grand Tour winner once more.

Sepp Koss gained the Spanish Vuelta on Sunday to grow to be the primary American to win one in every of biking’s prime races since Chris Horner gained the Vuelta in 2013. The opposite Grand Tour occasions are the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France.

Kos truly took the win earlier than Sunday’s largely ceremonial stage, when rivals within the Spanish capital revered his lead and didn’t launch any assaults, in step with biking custom.

“It is unbelievable. I feel at present was the stage the place I struggled probably the most throughout the entire race, and now I am completely happy it is over,” Kos mentioned. “It is life-changing for positive. I feel I’ll look again on this expertise with lots of enjoyable reminiscences. It is nonetheless sinking in, I feel it should take a while. And now a giant celebration. Household and pals are right here, so that is going to be actually particular.

It was a shock victory for Kos, who entered the race in a supporting position to Jumbo-Visma teammates Jonas Vengegaard – a two-time Tour de France winner – and Primoz Roglic, a three-time Vuelta winner.

Vengegaard and Roglic completed second and third respectively, capping a dominant efficiency and a historic hat-trick for Jumbo-Visma, which swept all three Grand Tour occasions this 12 months. Roglic gained the Giro d’Italia in Might and Winggaard repeated the Tour de France title in July.

Kuss crossed the end line together with his teammates, who have been all carrying a particular T-shirt honoring the staff’s hat-trick.

Jumbo-Visma's Sepp Koss, right, celebrates after winning the Vuelta a bike race in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, September 17, 2023.
American Sepp Koss of Jumbo-Visma, proper, celebrates after successful the Vuelta in Madrid on Sunday.Manu Fernandez/AP

Alpecin-Deceuninck rider Kaden Groves prevailed within the last dash to win the ultimate stage.

Kos took the lead on stage eight and by no means relinquished it regardless of being underneath intense stress from his teammates a number of instances. The American weathered the powerful climbs of the Col du Tourmale in France and the Alto de Langlero in northern Spain, ending the three-week race 17 seconds clear.

The 29-year-old from Durango, Colorado, began biking as a approach to practice year-round due to his ardour for cross-country snowboarding. However he ultimately modified skis to wheels and emerged for a number of seasons as one in every of Jumbo-Visma’s prime help riders. He now lives in Andorra together with his spouse, within the Pyrenees between Spain and France.

The ultimate stage started on the Madrid racecourse and ended with riders taking laps round among the Spanish capital’s well-known monuments.

Kos took it simple contained in the peloton and was celebrated by his rivals and followers who lined the streets of Madrid.

Final 12 months’s champion, Remco Evenepoel of Soudal Fast Step, completed as King of the Mountains and have become the primary Belgian to win the Vuelta’s most combative award. Groves turned the primary Australian to win the factors standings, whereas 21-year-old Spaniard Juan Ayuso was the most effective younger rider.

The 2024 version of the Vuelta will begin in Portugal, with the cities of Lisbon, Oeiras and Cascais internet hosting the official begin of the race, organizers introduced on Sunday.

Lisbon was the primary international metropolis to host the Vuelta in 1997.

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