Critérium du Dauphiné: Sepp Kuss shows his worth on Col de Porte

Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visa) during stage 2 at Criterium du Dauphine
Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visa) during stage 2 at Criterium du Dauphine (Image credit: Getty Images)

It looked like the day when the empire was about to strike back. After being outclassed by Jumbo-Visma at the Tour de l’Ain last weekend and seeing the Dutch team’s Milan-San Remo champion Wout van Aert win the opening stage at the Critérium du Dauphiné, Team Ineos had the edge in terms of numbers and control on their rivals to the summit finish at the Col de Porte. In the end, the result was the same, Jumbo-Visma reasserted themselves at the critical moment to set up team leader Primož Roglič for his fourth win in a week.

The Slovene thanked his whole team for helping to catalyse his latest success, but there’s no doubt that the key rider for him was Sepp Kuss. The 25-year-old American was Jumbo’s last man with Roglič on the final summit of Col de Porte on Thursday, and showed a cool head and impressive strength to rebuff the late attack by Ineos’ Egan Bernal, and then provide a launch-pad for Roglič’s winning counter-attack.

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Peter Cossins has written about professional cycling since 1993 and is a contributing editor to Procycling. He is the author of The Monuments: The Grit and the Glory of Cycling's Greatest One-Day Races (Bloomsbury, March 2014) and has translated Christophe Bassons' autobiography, A Clean Break (Bloomsbury, July 2014).