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Sepp Kuss solos to third stage victory for Team Jumbo-Visma in Dauphiné

Sepp Kuss solos to third stage victory for Team Jumbo-Visma in Dauphiné

Sepp Kuss has given Team Jumbo-Visma a third stage victory in the Criterium du Dauphiné. The 25-year-old American soloed in Megève to his first victory of the season after having been on the attack all day. For Team Jumbo-Visma it was a nice boost after race leader Primoz Roglic and Steven Kruijswijk had abandoned the race. Roglic crashed hard on Saturday and did not start today. Kruijswijk literally dropped out yesterday with an injured shoulder.

In addition to the three stage victories, the team of Grischa Niermann and Arthur van Dongen also won the team classification and the points classification with Wout van Aert.

For Kuss it is his sixth victory of his career. Last year, the American had his breakthrough with a stage victory in the Vuelta d’Espana, which was ultimately won by Roglic. Kuss clinched Team Jumbo-Visma’s thirteenth victory of 2020.

With race leader Roglic not taking the start, the riders of Team Jumbo-Visma were able to race aggressively today. Dumoulin, Kuss and Van Aert attacked from the start.

On the penultimate climb, Kuss got away with Sivakov, Pogacar, Martinez and Lopez. On the final climb, Kuss proved to be the strongest and left his rivals behind in the last ten kilometres.

“After yesterday, I felt strange when I woke up this morning”, Kuss said. “We were all shocked by what had happened to Primoz and Steven. But the switch in mindset also gave us the opportunity to race aggressively today. And we did. It was one of the toughest days on the bike. It was full throttle from the start. I had seen that everyone was riding on their limits. It was a bit of a poker game at the end. I waited for the right moment and then went all in. It was still a long way, but it luckily worked out well. Today was a beautiful day for me. I’ve been training very hard for this lately, also to be ready for the Tour. This is a confirmation that things are going in the right direction. The team is very strong. Anyone on the team can win. It is a privilege to be able to ride for this team and to get my chance now and then.”

Dumoulin is looking forward with full confidence after a great Dauphiné. “What a day. What a week. I don’t know whether it is because I had not raced for a while or whether it is just this race. I’ve never had such a tough five consecutive days. You don’t even get that in the Tour. It was really hard every day, but it went well I think. I was competing with the best every day, but I should still gain some power to make a real difference. Luckily Sepp finished it off in a great way. After Primoz and Steven had abandoned, we decided this morning to go for it and go all out one more time. And so we did. From the start fifteen riders attacked including three of us. Wout was really very strong. I am impressed. It was going very fast when Wout was setting the pace. So all in all it was a great day.”

Van Aert collected enough points along the way to take home the green jersey, just like last year. “It is a day with mixed feelings, but the stage victory and this green jersey makes things more or less right. We have shown that we can also deal with setbacks. We answered on the bike. This morning it felt like all the work this week had been for nothing, but in the end we had to switch our minds and we gave everything one more time. I helped Tom and Sepp as well as I could and I am glad Sepp finished it off. He is a great guy who is always ready to help everyone and does not hesitate to do the work that needs to be done. This victory is well-deserved.”

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Criterium du Dauphiné: Stage 5

Stage 5

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