Sepp Kuss has ruled out competing at the Giro d’Italia next year, as the exemplary super domestique turned Vuelta a España champion adjusts to a newfound mentality.
Kuss competed in all three Grand Tours this year, assisting Jumbo-Visma teammates Primož Roglič and Jonas Vingegaard to overall victory at the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France, respectively, before unexpectedly claiming the red jersey in Spain ahead of the pair.
The 29-year-old, who was in Singapore on the weekend for the Tour de France Prudential Singapore Criterium, is yet to formalise his race programme for next season but doesn’t intend to put his body and mind through them all.
“I think next year it will be a bit too soon to do three again,” Kuss said.
“I’d like to do the Giro again but next year feels like a bit too many TT kilometres and also it’s nice to go to the Tour and focus on that.”
Kuss has clocked some frequent flyer miles during the off-season, returning to the US for a holiday, where locals in Durango, Colorado, celebrated his Vuelta success, before heading to Southeast Asia for a set of promotional activities selling the region and the sport, plus Sunday’s showcase criterium.
“It’s been a long off-season, which has been really nice, just relaxing, still riding the bike for fun,” he said.
“It’s easy to stay motivated when everything is going well, so hopefully things keep going well.
“I think this last season just gave me a lot of confidence and I hope to take that into the next season. Discovering that I could go over my mental or physical limits, and this season I could surprise myself by doing three Grand Tours, by winning the third one, and being really consistent in all three of them, when I know that I can do that, that gives me a lot of confidence.”
The approachable and well-spoken American admits he didn’t enter the Vuelta with the aim of winning the general classification.
Kuss finished the Tour with a swollen and bruised face, lacerations around his eyes from a crash on the penultimate stage stitched back together. He was still wearing bandages over what are now hardly visible scars when the Vuelta started weeks later. Jumbo-Visma selected Roglič, who underwent full preparation for a title tilt with a series of planned altitude camps and so forth, and during the Tour announced Vingegaard would also go, with trainer Tim Heemskerk unsure how the Dane would fare so soon after claiming the yellow jersey.