Sepp Kuss emerged from 2020 as one of many star assist riders at the moment racing on the highest degree.
After a breakthrough season in 2019, when he received his first Grand Tour stage on the Vuelta a España and helped Primož Roglič to general victory, Kuss grew to become an much more very important cog within the Jumbo-Visma machine final season.
The US rider lined up in the entire staff’s main targets for the 12 months – the Critérium du Dauphiné, the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España – and proved himself to be one of many strongest climbers on all three races.
Kuss’ performances in 2020 raised the inevitable query of common classification management, and whether or not the 26-year-old will in the future be a Grand Tour contender himself.
Talking from the latest Jumbo-Visma coaching camp in Spain Kuss, from Colorado, mentioned: “Clearly, I just like the Grand Excursions but when I’m life like, I nonetheless have rather a lot to work on to have the ability to contend for the Grand Excursions.
“I feel it’s step-by-step and see how issues go in week-long races and see if I get pleasure from that, that sort of mindset or strain in these races.”
Kuss, who joined Jumbo in 2018 after beginning his profession with Rally Biking within the US, constantly featured in summit finals through the Tour de France and was a daily top-10 stage finisher within the Vuelta final 12 months, ending 15th and 16th respectively within the two Grand Excursions.
He additionally added a stage victory from the Critérium du Dauphiné to his palmarès in 2020.
On his improvement as a rider since becoming a member of the Dutch WorldTour staff, Kuss mentioned: “In lots of methods, I really feel totally different. I feel I’ve clearly discovered rather a lot.
“However via that I’ve gotten extra confidence in myself and simply the arrogance that figuring out that I might be there with a few of the finest riders lots of the time – that’s one thing I by no means actually envisioned once I began.
“I’m nonetheless determining what sort of rider I’m. However for me, it’s additionally thrilling as a result of I by no means had any predisposed thought, not less than once I began my profession, of what I needed to do on this sport.
“I’ve undoubtedly matured rather a lot alongside the way in which.”
Kuss hopes to race the Volta a Catalunya as chief, earlier than returning to domestique duties on the Tour and the Vuelta.
On spending the winter in Europe for the primary time, Kuss mentioned: “Yearly I’m extra snug residing in Europe.
“I spent the winter with my girlfriend and her household, so I nonetheless had that household facet however in fact I miss my dad and mom and my pals again house.
“I feel in addition they perceive that increasingly more my life relies in Europe and that’s additionally part of being knowledgeable bicycle owner.”