Sepp Kuss tops 2023 Vuelta a España, becoming first American to win Grand Tour in 10 years


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Sepp Kuss led a Jumbo-Visma sweep at the 2023 Vuelta a España, becoming the first American to win one of cycling’s Grand Tours in a decade as the race wrapped up Sunday in Madrid. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Kuss, 29, is the first American to win one of the three-week races since Chris Horner in 2013.
  • He is one of four U.S. riders ever (not counting Lance Armstrong, whose seven Tour de France titles were stripped) to accomplish the feat.
  • Kuss bested two-time defending Tour de France winner Jonas Vingegaard and three-time Vuelta winner Primož Roglič as the super team Jumbo-Visma dominated the field.


The Colorado native Kuss, who played a key role as Vingegaard’s lieutenant in July’s Tour, led the Vuelta for the last two weeks. He took over the general classification lead for good after Stage 8 following his Stage 6 win from a breakaway.

Belgian rider Remco Evenepoel (Soudal–Quick-Step) was expected to challenge for the title, but cracked on a mountain stage last week and ended up 12th overall.

Vingegaard and Roglič controversially each won a stage earlier this week, cutting their teammate’s lead to just eight seconds, but the result held on the last finish in the mountains Thursday. The trio rode into Saturday’s finish arm-in-arm.

Kuss finished 14th at the Giro d’Italia, the third Grand Tour event, in May (Roglič won that race). He is the first man to win the Vuelta after competing in both the Giro and the Tour the same year since the Vuelta was moved from April and May to September in 1995, per NBC Sports.

Kuss’ success raises questions about his Tour de France GC aspirations. He’s signed with Jumbo-Visma through 2024 — but Vinegaard, 26, is considerably younger and eyeing a three-peat.

What Kuss said

“It will take a while for everything to sink in,” Kuss said Saturday after the last competitive stage of the race. “It’s an incredible feeling. It was a huge relief to cross the line here. I knew it was possible to finish this, but you have to get through all the stages well. I suffered a lot, but I survived every time.

“This Tour of Spain has been an unexpected success for me. When I became a cyclist, I did it for the love of the sport. Now, I am close to winning a grand tour. It is still too difficult to express my feelings. I am grateful for this experience.”

(Photo: Alexander Hassenstein / Getty Images)

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Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams is a writer and editor. Angeles. She writes about politics, art, and culture for LinkDaddy News.

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