A bizarre yet wildly successful season is now over for Sepp Kuss.
Kuss helped lead Team Jumbo-Visma teammate Primoz Roglic to a second consecutive win at the Vuelta a España on Sunday after 18 stages of Grand Tour racing. The 26-year-old pro road cyclist from Durango finished 16th in the overall standings at the Vuelta after he placed 15th at this year’s Tour de France. He was the top-American rider in both of those Grand Tour events.
“2020 was a pretty crazy, intense season – almost non-stop from August to November, but having such a great, motivated team & staff made all the difference,” Kuss wrote Tuesday in a post to Instagram.
At the Spanish Vuelta, Kuss came through with five top-10 stage finishes. He likely could have won Stage 12, but he dropped back on the steepest climb of the entire race to aid Roglic in his quest to win a second consecutive red jersey. His effort was not in vain.
It backed up Kuss’ brilliant performances at his first career Tour de France, where Roglic placed second after leading much of the race until the penultimate day.
Kuss did earn one impressive stage win in 2020 on the final day at the Critérium du Dauphiné, where he finished 10th overall after five days of racing.
Team Jumbo-Visma finished the season No. 1 in the International Cycling Union (UCI) rankings. Roglic was the rider of the year, while Wout van Aert was the best one-day rider of the year.
It was an impressive showing after the COVID-19 pandemic shut down racing across Europe from March to late July.
“This is a wonderful milestone,” Team Jumbo-Visma general manager Richard Plugge said in a team news release. “As a team, we wanted to get out of the first lockdown as well as possible. It is great to see that everyone supported that thought. Partners, sponsors, staff and, of course, the riders have all contributed to this ultimate reward. From the restart up to, and including the stage to Madrid, we participated for the victories and achieved great results.
“Despite the global corona crisis, we were able to compete in many races. This is a victory for cycling in general. The organizations and the UCI certainly deserve compliments for this.”
Kuss is under contract with Team Jumbo-Visma through the 2021 season after he signed a two-year extension with the Dutch-based team last offseason. One of the best climbers in the world, it is expected Kuss will once again get a chance in the 2021 Tour de France.