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Tour de France

Active Pass: When will Sepp Kuss get to lead a grand tour team?

On today's roundtable, one reader wonders when Sepp Kuss will get grand tour leadership duties, while another proposes a classification jersey for riders over 35 at the Tour de France. As always, we want to hear your best and wildest questions about the 2020 Tour de France!

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You have questions about the 2020 Tour de France, and we have answers and educated opinions. Our veteran reporters, Andrew Hood and James Startt, are fielding your biggest inquiries each day in this Active Pass roundtable column. Today, one reader wants to know when Sepp Kuss will get to lead a grand tour, while another reader hypothesizes a classification jersey for older riders at the Tour.

OK, let’s get to your questions!

When do you think Sepp Kuss will get his first shot as a leader at a grand tour and what do you think his ceiling would be as a GC guy?

Andrew Hood @eurohoody: Hmmm, that’s an interesting question. If Kuss stays at Jumbo-Visma, he might have a hard time finding space to at least try. He is so effective in his role that the team will want to bring him wherever the team’s GC ambitions lie. Kuss has made it known he’d like to get a few chances for his own results, and I can imagine that we will see that in 2021 if things return to normal. Kuss might get a juicy offer from some team to let him take more leadership. Let’s hope he tries.

James Startt: Good question. Next year in the Giro or the Vuelta would be good. The Vuelta would likely be the more logical option vis-a-vis his team. It is often easier to double the Tour/Vuelta than the Giro/Tour. And the team still may want him to focus his energy on Roglič during the Tour. In addition, Sepp has experience in the Vuelta as he already won a stage there. I might well be a logical progression.

The year of 2020 is a year of many changes. Perhaps the race organization should consider changing the “white jersey” from a young riders to a masters “old riders” competition since the young riders seem to be dominating pro cycling … it seems a joke to have a former TDF winner to be riding in a white jersey. Thoughts?

Andy: I love that idea! There are many riders over 35 who could be in the mix. In fact, Richie Porte was joking at the start line Saturday that the riders are so young in the peloton that he is leading the “masters” category at the Tour. If ASO can sell it to a sponsor, there will be one next season. I will pass along their marketing department’s contact information.

James: Well I like the thought of an old masters jersey as I think the older guys often are not awarded for the resiliency and experience, say anyone over 36? But it should be a different color. Regardless, I would vote to maintain the white jersey for best-young rider. It is a historic jersey and often a very telling on. And hey, it is likely that Bernal may well not win the white jersey this year!

Can Bernal still win? Tell me a scenario for him still winning please!

Andy: It’s going to be difficult. He needs to claw back the 59 seconds that he’s currently in deficit to Roglič and then take back at least another minute going into the final time trial. Bernal will really need to find his climbing legs in the Alps. If he struggles Sunday at Grand Colombier, I think it will be very difficult for him to win. Of course, Roglič could crumble, crash, get sick or have a bad day. Most Tours are not won by someone else as strong as Roglič looks now on having a bad day. I fully expect Roglič to try to crush his opponents tomorrow if he can. That would turn the GC into a battle for the podium, and allow Roglič to race defensively in the Alps. If Bernal can drop Roglič tomorrow, we have a race on our hands.

James: He has to ride better than he is riding and Roglič and Pogočar have to fade. The scenario would be that he has a monster day in the Alps like he did last year. But he needs nearly two minutes now as he is a minute behind yellow and needs to go into the final time trial with a minute’s advantage on Roglič to be assured of keeping the yellow jersey. In short, he has a path. But it is a complicated one.


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