Sepp Kuss rules out starting Giro d’Italia in 2024

American is also hopeful that he’ll have more GC opportunities in 2024

Clock12:04, Saturday 28th October 2023
Sepp Kuss after winning the Vuelta a España

© Velo Collection (TDW) / Getty Images

Sepp Kuss after winning the Vuelta a España

Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) has ruled out starting the Giro d’Italia again in 2024 having been put off by the lack of high mountains.

2023 was a landmark year for Kuss who stepped up from his regular support role to unexpectedly win the Vuelta a España. The Jumbo-Visma rider’s ability has never been in doubt, but the win came at the end of a gruelling season in which Kuss started all three Grand Tours, an impressive feat in itself.

While the American believes that the victory will lead to more leadership opportunities in 2024, he isn’t planning on completing the Grand Tour triple again, with the Giro likely to disappear from his calendar.

“I think next year maybe will be a bit too soon to do all three again, I think it’s definitely possible but for sure one year I’d like to do the Giro again,” he told GCN and other reporters in a press conference at the Tour de France Prudential Singapore Criterium.

“But next year looks like too many TT kilometres and also I think it’s nice to go for the Tour and focus on that, whether that’s helping [a teammate] or whatever. And then going to the Vuelta, which is a really really important race to me.”

“I wish there were more high mountains, but maybe another year."

More leadership opportunities

While Kuss’ calendar is likely to feature fewer Grand Tours in 2024, he believes that there will be more opportunities to target the general classification at races.

The American’s stock is up after winning the Vuelta, an impressive achievement considering Jumbo-Visma’s stacked line-up for the race, with Kuss emerging from the shadows of three-time Vuelta winner Primož Roglič and two-time Tour de France Champion Jonas Vingegaard to take his first Grand Tour title.

Kuss has been one of the best climbers in the world for many seasons now, but his leadership opportunities have been limited thanks to Jumbo-Visma’s strong squad. He’s also previously been coy about taking on leadership roles, but that’s likely to change following the Vuelta victory.

“Now there are more opportunities for me and even if there were more leaders, it is still okay for me because in the end, I just have to do my best and be there with the best,” he said.

“In the Vuelta there were two leaders and I could still have my chance, but now there’ll be more races that are more open for me. I can go for stages or go for the GC if it’s possible.”

More opportunities are also likely to arise following the departure of Roglič to Bora-Hansgrohe. The Slovenian has joined the German outfit on a two-year contract and is likely to be one of Jumbo-Visma’s main rivals at Grand Tours over the coming years.

Winning feeling spreads confidence

Kuss’ win at the Vuelta a España completed a clean sweep of Grand Tour victories for Jumbo-Visma in 2023. The American was a part of all three which helped to breed confidence and motivation within the team, something Kuss hopes continues into 2024.

“It’s easy to stay motivated when everything is going well, so hopefully things keep going well,” Kuss reflected. “I think this last season gave me a lot of confidence and I hope to take that into the next season.”

Taking part in all three Grand Tours within 2023 also helped Kuss to learn more about his body, something that provides extra confidence for the future.

“No, but just knowing what my limits were, or discovering that I could go over my mental or physical limits,” Kuss responded when asked if he lacked confidence in the past.

“This season I surprised myself by doing three Grand Tours, winning the third one and being really consistent in all three of them. When I know that I can do that, it gives me a lot of confidence.”

Keep up to date with the latest racing news and features on the GCN website, linked here.

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