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It was Sepp Kuss’ week to shine in Utah, Marianne Vos showed the world how to corner, and the Yates brothers are both heading to the Vuelta. Plus, a backflip.
Story of the day: Sepp Kuss the climber
Sepp Kuss didn’t need to attack up Empire Pass, the final climb of the final stage of the Tour of Utah, but he did anyway. It was a final stamp of authority on a race that the 23-year-old controlled from the first moments the peloton turned skyward to the very last. By the end of the week, he had three stage wins and the overall victory. Nobody could climb with Kuss.
That included the likes of Jack Haig, Mitchelton-Scott’s young climbing protegé, who showed his talents at this year’s Giro d’Italia. Kuss also dispatched the BMC duo of Tejay van Garderen, fresh off a disappointing Tour de France and eyeing redemption at the Vuelta, and Brent Bookwalter. EF Education First climbers Joe Dombrowski, Hugh Carthy, and Mike Woods tried to break Kuss numerous times.
It’s been a steady trajectory for Kuss, who hails from the mountain bike mecca of Durango, Colorado, where ski trails are named after his pioneering father. Sepp, a former cross-country ski racer, made his first waves on a mountain bike and then transitioned to road racing in 2016, winning the queen stage of the Redlands Classic. That led to a year with Rally Cycling, 2nd place at the Tour of Alberta and 6th at the Colorado Classic, and then a contract with LottoNL-Jumbo. After a slow start to this season and a disappointing Tour of California, Utah was a confirmation of something his early days on a mountain bike suggested: Kuss can climb with some of the best in the world.
The win in Utah punched his ticket to the Vuelta a Espana, according to VeloNews. It will be his first grand tour.
Transfer News: Will Barta to BMC
Will Barta, 22, will graduate from the formidable Hagens Berman Axeon development program to the WorldTour in 2019. Team BMC, or more accurately the CCC-sponsored team that BMC is set to become next year, has signed the American talent off the back of strong rides at the Tour of California and U23 Liege-Bastogne-Liege, where he was 4th in 2017.
Marianne Vos wins Vargarda WWT
The sprinters thought they had it; Marianne Vos thought they didn’t. She was right.
Vos (WaowDeals) attacked through the final corner and came out with a small gap, just enough to hold off a group of sprinters including Kristin Wild (Wiggle-High5) and Lotta Lepista (Cervelo-Bigla), who crossed the line in second and third.
Check out these cornering skills:
— CANYON//SRAM Racing (@WMNcycling) August 13, 2018
Yates brothers reunited at the Vuelta
Off the heels of a Tour de France that didn’t quite go to plan, Adam Yates will head to the Vuelta a Espana to support his brother Simon. The decision to add Adam to the Vuelta roster was announced by Mitchelton-Scott this week.
The purpose, according to director Julian Dean, is to further Adam’s development as a GC rider. Grand Tour consistency has been the recent downfall of both brothers, and that will be a focus in Spain.
“The idea is to continue the development of Adam and Simon by taking them both to the Vuelta, giving them another Grand Tour experience and trying to target the areas that we haven’t got right, including getting some consistency across the three weeks,” Dean said.
Jakobsen takes BinckBank Tour sprint
QuickStep Floors’ Fabio Jackobsen took the first sprint and first leader’s jersey at the BinckBank Tour, crossing the line ahead of Marcel Kittel (Katusha) and Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott). Conditions were wet and road furniture was plentiful in the finale, leading to a number of late crashes.
It was QuickStep’s 54th win this season.
Nibali will ride the Vuelta
We wrote last week that Vincenzo Nibali was targetting a Vuelta a Espana start, and now it’s official. A month after he was forced to abandon the Tour de France with a fractured vertebra, Nibali will start the Vuelta a Espana, but without any dreams of overall victory, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.
Dual slalom backflip? Sure, why not
This isn’t normally our beat, but cool is cool. And backflips in the middle of a dual slalom race are cool. Even if they are rewarded, as this was Crankworx Dual Speed and Style competition.