After Primoz Roglic’s victory in the Giro d’Italia and Jonas Vingegaard’s victory in the Tour de France, Team Jumbo-Visma has completed a unique trilogy with Sepp Kuss’ final victory in the Vuelta a España. For the first time in cycling history, the same team has won all three grand tours in the same season.
After the eighth stage, Kuss, part of this year’s winning teams in Italy and France, took the red leader’s jersey. The American never relinquished it for the rest of the Spanish race. Flanked by teammates Vingegaard and Roglic, the 29-year-old shone on the top step of the podium in Madrid on Sunday evening. “This is like a fairytale. With Primoz winning in Italy and Jonas winning in France earlier this year, I wanted to be part of this team chasing the overall victory in the Vuelta. Standing here as the overall winner is something I could never have imagined in my wildest dreams.”
Team Jumbo-Visma CEO Richard Plugge was equally pleased with the team’s performance. “This is phenomenal. The fact that we are also first, second and third on the podium makes it truly exceptional. We came here to achieve our big goal of winning all three Grand Tours in one season. We won this race as a team. The way we did it makes it even better. Sepp’s success over two super champions like Jonas and Primoz demonstrates our values. Winning together is not only our slogan but also our trademark.”
“It will take a while for this to sink in”, Kuss said, struggling to find the words to describe his triumph. “At some point, I felt it was possible. I was getting stronger and more confident every day. When you add that to the team’s strength, you can take on the whole world. I have grown wings in the last few weeks. I am eternally grateful to Jonas, Primoz and the others for their support. This is an achievement I will remember for the rest of my life. The same goes for the support of the fans from all over the world. From the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this success story. Together, we have made history.”
Plugge: “Winning the three grand tours with three different riders in the same year is the crowning achievement of the last ten years. It is a milestone written in golden letters in the history book that Team Jumbo-Visma is writing. Even after this triumph, we will continue to evaluate and see what could be even better. There is no time to sit still in top sports. The competition is getting stronger and stronger, so we cannot let up or become complacent. It is not that we are saturated now. We are doing something unique. I have to pinch myself to realise that this is really true. We are going to enjoy it with the whole team. We have managed to do it together again.”
Team Jumbo-Visma won five stages in the last Vuelta. Kuss’s final victory takes the team’s total number of victories to 62 in 2023. The Dutch outfit also won the team classification of the Spanish race.