Sep 17, 2023 at 5:07 am
A ‘clean sweep’ of the final podium in the Vuelta a España and a ‘clean sweep’ of all major tours this season; Jumbo-Visma’s dominance has rarely been seen in cycling. NU.nl lists the special figures.
The Kas-Kaskol cycling team was almost forgotten. Until the name of the Spanish formation, which was disbanded in 1988, suddenly appeared very often in articles and videos last week.
Kas-Kaskol is the only team that managed to occupy the entire final podium of a Grand Tour after the Second World War. In the 1966 Vuelta, Spanish teammates Francisco Gabica, Eusebio Vélez and Carlos Echeverría finished first, second and third respectively.
That trio will be joined in Madrid on Sunday by Sepp Kuss, Jonas Vingegaard and Primoz Roglic. If the three top riders of Jumbo-Visma survive the laps in the Spanish capital in the final stage of the Vuelta – and that should not be a problem – they will ensure the first ‘clean sweep’ in a major tour in 57 years.
The 29-year-old Kuss is in the lead after 20 of the 21 stages. He has a lead of 17 seconds over Vingegaard, while Roglic is third at 1.08 minutes.
The first rider from another team follows at an appropriate distance. The Spaniard Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates) concedes almost four minutes to Kuss after three weeks of racing. Due to the big difference with the competition, Jumbo-Visma was in the special situation that it could almost choose who should win. The choice ultimately fell on Kuss, a highly valued servant for the black and yellow team for years.
All Grand Tours are for Jumbo-Visma
The 78th edition of the Tour of Spain once again confirms that Jumbo-Visma is currently almost impossible to beat in the (grand) tour. The Dutch formation already won the Giro d’Italia (Roglic) and the Tour de France (Vingegaard) earlier this year.
It has never happened before in men’s cycling that one team has won all three Grand Tours in one year. It is extra special that the three final winners will stand next to each other on the podium on Sunday evening in Madrid.
“It is a great achievement to win three major cycling races in one year,” team boss Richard Plugge told Eurosport on Saturday. “It was our plan in January to go for this. But step by step. This is historic, it has never happened before.”
Sepp Kuss never thought he would win a Grand Tour. Photo: AFP
Kuss is the first American winner since 2013
Kuss will ensure Jumbo-Visma’s seventh overall victory in a grand tour on Sunday. The series started with Roglic’s win in the 2019 Vuelta. Since then, Jumbo-Visma has delivered the winner in more than half of the major tours (see box).
Kuss, born in Durango (Colorado), becomes the first American winner of a Grand Tour since Chris Horner’s Vuelta victory in 2013. That success was also very surprising at the time. Horner was 41 when he brought the red leader’s jersey to Madrid.
Kuss gives the United States a total of six Grand Tour victories. Greg LeMond won the Tour three times (1986, 1989 and 1990) and Andrew Hampsten was the best in the Giro in 1988. Lance Armstrong had seven Tour victories on his list of achievements, but he lost them all due to doping.
The final stage of the Vuelta is 101.5 kilometers long and starts on Sunday at 5:15 p.m. The finish is expected around 8 p.m. The ride is comparable to the traditional final stage of the Tour on the Champs-Élysées in Paris. At the end of stage, the riders will ride nine flat laps of 5.8 kilometers in the center of Madrid.
Jumbo-Visma final victories in grand tours
Vuelta 2019: Roglic Vuelta 2020: Roglic Vuelta 2021: Roglic Tour 2022: Vingegaard Giro 2023: Roglic Tour 2023: Vingegaard