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Sepp Kuss gets his mountain bike groove on during off-season

Kuss enjoys some single-track and a trip to Colombia following a stellar 2021 capped by Tour de France stage-win and top-10 at the Vuelta a España.

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Sepp Kuss is returning to his roots during the off-season.

The Tour de France stage-winner is hitting single-track in Spain and will lead a high-end bike tour in Colombia next month.

Just call it “active recovery.”

The 27-year-old posted a video on his Instagram account riding some choice single-track on mountain bike terrain in Catalunya near Tremp, Spain, in the foothills of the Pyrénées.

Kuss, who hails from Durango, Colorado, wrote: “Amazing area that reminds me of Durango, Sedona, Moab all in one. Well-maintained trails and amazing riding — can’t wait to come back for more.”

Kuss hits high note in 2021

Kuss enjoyed a stellar season in 2021, capped by winning his first Tour de France stage in his European home base in Andorra, and then rode to his best grand tour result with eighth overall at the Vuelta a España for his breakthrough first top-10 in a three-week stage race.

Since his grand tour debut in the 2018 Vuelta, Kuss quickly rattled off seven grand tours, with each one quietly hitting new milestones and personal achievements.

In 2019, he won his first European pro race with an emotional stage victory at Santuario del Acebo, where he high-fived fans as he swept to victory in the final meters. In 2020, he won the “queen stage” at the Critérium du Dauphiné.

And this year, he scored a breakthrough stage win at the Tour after soloing home the victory in Andorra ahead of a chasing Alejandro Valverde.

Jumbo-Visma sport director Addy Engels said the team is backing Kuss’s progress without putting too much pressure on his shoulders.

“He will get his chances,” Engels told VeloNews on Kuss’s GC prospects. “For the moment, when he’s really good, he’s up with the best. But he also has moments when he’s not, and to be able to make a GC, especially in a grand tour, he’ll have to be up there every day. That consistency has to improve and grow, but he still has the time to grow into that.

“The role that he [had] in this Vuelta, helping Primož and being there in the key moments, that will make him grow as a GC rider,” Engels said. “And hopefully he gets to that level like he performed at Covadonga, but for three weeks, or even for one week.”

Since settling in Andorra, he’s picked up Spanish and Catalan, and is regularly giving interviews to local media in each language.

Kuss is also taking advantage of the off-season to lead a week-long cycling tour in Colombia in the mountains above Medellín.

Jumbo-Visma will be holding pre-season training camps and begin work on the 2022 racing season.