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Tour de France

Sepp Kuss on Tour de France cobbles: ‘Pogačar only got 13 seconds for a lot of effort’

American climber says Jumbo-Visma promises to attack 'every stage in the mountains' after bumpy cobblestone ride.

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BINCHE, Belgium (VN) — Sepp Kuss put a positive spin on things in the wake of Wednesday’s bumpy Tour de France ride across the cobblestones for Jumbo-Visma.

Primoż Roglič dislocated his shoulder in a heavy spill Wednesday, but finished the stage to limit his losses, and took to the start line Thursday. 

Kuss lauded how the team rallied despite some moments of panic to limit the losses to the attacking Tadej Pogačar.

“Pogačar only got 13 seconds for a lot of effort,” Kuss said. “We still have confidence that we have a great team, and even with the crash of Primož, we still have chances in this Tour.”

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Kuss was caught up in the chaos Wednesday as Jonas Vingegaard punctured and then swapped bikes twice with teammates before jumping on his own spare bike. Roglič crashed later in the big spill that also took down Jack Haig and Caleb Ewan, but Wout van Aert rallied to help save the day.

The chasing GC group that included Van Aert and Vingegaard limited the losses to Pogačar to only 13 seconds and the hard chase kept the team in yellow.

“We wanted to take care of both of them, and it’s always tricky in complicated stages like yesterday. Things didn’t go we didn’t want to and Primož had some bad luck,” Kuss said.

Though Roglič lost time and could potentially suffer more losses if his injuries play up, Kuss said the team is sticking with its original plan. Going into Thursday’s tricky transition stage, the team remains with its larger tactic of riding to protect both of those leaders.

“We wanted to have both of them up there in the GC. We’ll see, because the Tour is still long, and we still haven’t arrived to the mountains yet,” he said.

“Primož is still not very far back, and he is always a danger when he is still close. We will see how the others react when he attacks. And Jonas is still right there, so we still have two cards to play.”

“Jonas right now is better positioned than Primož, but they’re both still very strong, and we’ll see in the mountains truly how good they going. We have to attack.

“When can we attack? Every stage of the mountains.”