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Sepp Kuss poised for starring role at 2022 Tour de France

Confirmation of Jumbo-Visma's Tour de France squad underscores growing importance of Sepp Kuss inside the Dutch powerhouse.

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Sepp Kuss is now part of the DNA at Jumbo-Visma.

Confirmation this week that the Coloradan climber will return to the Tour de France with the Dutch powerhouse is the latest proof of the 27-year-old’s growing importance within the team.

“For me, it’s always nice to be part of the team,” Kuss said in a team presentation. “Since the first Tour that I did with Primož, it’s exciting to be part of that project. And it’s another year where we go for it again. I am really happy to be on the team.”

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Of course, his nomination to Jumbo-Visma’s Tour plans for 2022 shouldn’t come as a surprise at all.

After all, Kuss won a breakout mountain stage in last year’s edition and emerged as the team’s most reliable lieutenant in the mountains.

Yet a few big names, including Tom Dumoulin and Robert Gesink, were not on the Tour roster revealed this week by Jumbo-Visma’s sport directors.

Since joining Jumbo-Visma in 2018, he’s steadily climbed up the ranks.

He debuted at the Vuelta a España in his rookie season, and after winning a stage in the 2019 Vuelta, he punched his ticket to the Tour in 2020.

That season he was the best climber in the race and helped Primož Roglič ride into the final time trial with the yellow jersey on his back only to see Tadej Pogačar snatch it away.

Last year, Kuss quietly hit a new level, winning his first Tour de France stage and then riding into a career-first top-10 in a grand tour with eighth at the Vuelta.

With the Tour once again at the center of his plans, a return to the Vuelta might be in the cards later this season where he can press his case as a team GC leader.

For July, Kuss vows to play the role of loyal lieutenant to Roglič and Jonas Vingegaard, who broke out last year as the sensation of the Tour with second overall in his Tour debut.

“To help out as best as I can,” Kuss said. “It looks like it will be a hard race. Like we spoke about, we have to make the most of the opportunities that are there, and with the team we have, it will be exciting.

“No year is like any other year. It’s always a different situation in the race.”

Sepp Kuss to play central role at Tour de France

Sepp Kuss (right), shown here at last year’s Tour, will play a key role in the 2022 edition. (Photo: Pete Goding – Pool/Getty Images)

Jumbo-Visma vows to try to unravel the Pogačar mystery in 2022.

It’s hoping to do it by bringing its top riders to the Tour, and throwing everything at Pogačar and UAE Emirates.

The team already confirmed six of its “Tour Eight,” with Vingegaard and Roglič leading the way. Wout van Aert, Steven Kruijswijk and newcomer Rohan Dennis fill out the early roster alongside Kuss.

Roglič, meanwhile, said he’s not obsessing on what place he might end up in Paris, but instead is focusing more on the process of arriving at the Tour in top condition.

Roglič’s schedule will include Paris-Nice, Milano-Sanremo, Basque Country, and some classics before a run-up to the Tour’s start in Copenhagen.

“It will be nice if I can finish,” Roglič said with a laugh. “The more important question is how to be the best, or how we can all be in the best shape and function together. When we can achieve this, the result will probably follow.”

What’s sure, is that Kuss will be there every step of the way.