December 10, 2023

Sepp Kuss wins first Tour de France stage but Tadej Pogacar retains lead

Sepp Kuss, of the Jumbo-Visma group, won stage 15 of the Tour de France, from Ceret to Andorra-La-Vieille, after a 32-rider breakaway split up on the last trips of the Port d’Envalira and the principal class Col de Bexailis.

The 26-year-old Coloradan, who lives in Andorra during the season, held off the seeking after veteran, Alejandro Valverde, of the Movistar group, on the last drop, to take a vocation first win in the Tour.”I’m lost for words,” Kuss said. “Frankly, I’ve truly endured a great deal in this Tour. I simply didn’t feel I had the flavor in the legs. Today I realized it was completing where I reside and I was truly roused.”

Kuss, a previous champ of the precipitous Tour of Utah, has consistently been at home at elevation as his dad was a notable US public ski mentor. He examined English Literature in Boulder prior to dashing in the big showdowns as a mountain biker, before moving into street hustling and joining Jumbo-Visma as an ascending lieutenant to Primoz Roglic.

“I realize the last ascension genuinely well,” the American rider said. “I really don’t ride it such a great amount in preparing, on the grounds that it’s so difficult, yet I realized the start was extreme, so I knew whether I went there, and got a hole, then, at that point I could attempt to hold it to the completion,” Kuss said. “I actually can’t trust I’m in the Tour de France, substantially less winning a stage.”On what could, just before the second rest day, have been classifed as ‘moving day’, both the Ineos Grenadiers and Jumbo-Visma groups picked to bet on dislodging the race chief, Tadej Pogacar, with an adjustment of strategies.

The two groups, progressively frantic to track down the reigning champ’s flimsy point, sent riders, including Kuss, into the 32-man bunch with the desire for forcing the apparently unyielding Slovenian and his UAE Emirates group.

The 2018 Tour champ, Geraint Thomas, the recent Ineos Grenadiers pioneer, presently recuperating gradually from the three crashes that wrecked his Tour, driven his partner Richard Carapaz over the penultimate ascension, the 2021 Tour’s most noteworthy point, the 2,408 meter Port d’Envalira.

On the 80 kilometer an hour plummet the Welshman then, at that point crossed over across to his partners, Dylan van Baarle and Jonathan Castroviejo, which, with Pogacar segregated from his own group, gave Ineos four riders in the front group.Yet even that was sufficiently not to bother the limpet-like Pogacar who, regardless of the absence of group support, held off a progression of assaults from his adversaries in the stage’s end kilometres.Four kilometers from the highest point of the winding and limited last move of the Beixalis Carapaz assaulted, with Pogacar and Kuss’ colleague, Jonas Vingegaard and Rigoberto Uran, of EF Education-Nippo, on his wheel. Next it was Vingegaard’s move and afterward, with a counterattack, Uran’s. All through everything, notwithstanding, Pogacar stayed unperturbed.

“I don’t believe he’s tough,” Thomas said, “however as Dave Brailsford would say, he resembles a bamboo. He twists however he infrequently snaps, so we will see. However, you must keep confidence and certainty. Anybody can have an awful day. He’s been hustling hard and forcefully from the beginning, so you just never know.”

In any case, as the stages are ticking by, the chances to imprint Pogacar’s defensive layer are waning and the packing of those battling for a main three completion is strengthening.

“It’s hard with UAE enjoying such a benefit,” Thomas said. “They don’t care either way if someone at 10 minutes [in arrears] goes, however then out of nowhere that rider hops five minutes and that is another in that gathering. It’s surely unique hustling from any Tour I’ve done. The control isn’t there.”

In any case, Thomas demanded that neither he nor his partners were surrendering. “No, we’re as yet in the race and battling for that platform, at any rate. There are still things to go for, you know, stages. The confidence is still there. We are as yet anticipating dashing hard.”

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