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Olympics

Sepp Kuss bypassing Olympics to focus on Tour de France

Despite a climber-friendly Olympics course in Tokyo, Sepp Kuss took himself out of consideration to focus on the Tour de France and Vuelta a España.

Sepp Kuss, one of the top hopes for the US men’s road team, is taking his name out of consideration for the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Kuss posted a message on Instagram on Thursday confirming that he is pulling his name out of contention for the two-rider men’s road contingent from the United States for the Olympics in August.

Kuss cited upcoming targets at the Tour de France and Vuelta a España as a priority ahead of the one-day race in Japan.

“After much thought and discussions with the U.S. Olympic selection committee, I want to let you know I am declining to be considered for the U.S.A. Olympic Road Team for Tokyo,” Kuss wrote. “My goals and priorities for the year are focused on other events. I will have a busy summer racing the Tour de France and the Vuelta España, so it’s important to take the time in between these races and be ready for my main goals of the season.”

The decision reflects Kuss’s rising profile inside his professional home at Jumbo-Visma.

Not only is he already one of the most important climbers on the team’s heavily favored Tour roster — where he will be riding to help Primož Roglič — Kuss will likely see a tilt at the GC at the Vuelta.

His decision also reflects differing priorities for the top pros in the WorldTour, who often put their professional obligations ahead of such races as the Olympic Games or world championships.

Kuss had already wondered out loud about the viability of fitting the long trip to Japan during a world pandemic as part of what is going to be a critical summer both for his team and his personal trajectory.

Kuss is currently at an altitude camp in Spain, and returns to competition at the Critérium du Dauphiné in late May.