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Friday, September 22, 2023

VUELTA’23 Closing Wrap: Precisely The place/How Sepp Kuss Received

Vuelta’23 Closing Spherical Up: After having a couple of days to ponder Sepp Kuss’s unimaginable experience to get a extremely sudden general Vuelta a España victory (and turn into the primary American in a decade to win one among biking’s three grand excursions), Spencer Martin wished to pause to interrupt down how and the place he received the race over his teammates/rivals Jonas Vingegaard and Primož Roglič, in addition to UAE’s Juan Ayuso, who completed in fourth place general, and try and predict how this win will have an effect on the way forward for the Jumbo-Visma staff.

– This text is an excerpt from the Past the Peloton publication. Enroll right here for full entry. –

vuelta23 st6
Sepp Kuss wins on stage 6

At first look, the 29-year-old Sepp Kuss received after taking time because of moving into an enormous breakaway within the chaotic opening kilometers of Stage 6, earlier than taking the lead on Stage 8, and holding on for expensive life till they arrived in Madrid to complete the race. However, upon additional inspection, Kuss really outrode his non-Jumbo rivals, and proved himself to be a possible GC contender at future grand excursions.

vuelta23 st8
And took crimson on stage 8

The race might need allowed Jumbo-Visma, who saved the race fascinating with their intra-team battle, which got here to a head on the finish of Stage 17 on the steep slopes of the l’Angliru, to focus on their dominance of the game with their sweep of each the Vuelta podium and each grand tour on the 2023 calendar, but it surely additionally left a couple of main questions concerning the staff’s future. By the race’s finish, it was clear that their superior recruitment and improvement course of, which has left them with a number of choices to win grand excursions, is also their undoing because it was made clear to Primož Roglič, the staff’s stoic heart of gravity and nonetheless one among their most vital UCI factors and win collectors, that he’ll doubtless have to go away the staff within the low season if he desires to ever have one other probability to contest the Tour de France.

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Roglič should go away Jumbo-Visma for a Tour victory probability

Under is a numbers-based breakdown of how the race, which I imagine was by far the very best and most enjoyable grand tour of the season, performed out and was received. For a mirrored image on the emotional influence, I like to recommend testing Jonathan Kaplan’s RIDING WITH publish on this Vuelta.

Closing GC Prime Ten:
1) Sepp Kuss (Jumbo) +0
2) Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo) +17
3) Primož Roglič (Jumbo) +1’08
4) Juan Ayuso (UAE) +3’18
5) Mikel Landa (Bahrain) +3’37
6) Enric Mas (Movistar) +4’14
7) Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora) +7’53
8) Cian Uijtdebroeks (Bora) +8’00
9) João Almeida (UAE) +10’08
10) Santiago Buitrago (Bahrain) +11’38

To assist us digest the tip outcome, and try to know what precisely occurred and the place errors/profitable strikes had been made, I’ve remoted each stage the place the highest three received/misplaced time relative to one another and the way a lot time they received(+) or misplaced(-).

vuelta23 st1
DSM had been fortunate with the situations on stage 1

The place Time Was Received/Misplaced

Stage 1 Group Time Trial
Roglič +0
Vingegaard +0
Kuss +0
Ayuso -5

Stage 3 Summit End
Vingegaard +0
Ayuso -2
Roglič -6
Kuss -18

Stage 6 Summit End
Kuss +0
Roglič -3’02
Vingegaard -3’02
Ayuso -3’09

Stage 7 Dash End
Vingegaard +0
Roglič -2
Ayuso -2
Kuss -2

Stage 8 Mountain Stage (Downhill End)
Roglič +0
Ayuso -6
Vingegaard -12
Kuss -12

Stage 9 Summit End
Roglič +0
Ayuso +0
Vingegaard +0
Kuss -9

Stage 10 Particular person Time Trial
Roglič +0
Ayuso -42
Vingegaard -49
Kuss -1’00

Stage 12 Dash End
Roglič +0
Ayuso -4
Vingegaard -4
Kuss -4

Stage 13 Summit End
Vingegaard +0
Kuss -38
Roglič -43
Ayuso -50

Stage 16 Summit End
Vingegaard +0
Ayuso -1’11
Roglič -1’11
Kuss -1’15

Stage 17 Summit End
Roglič +0
Vingegaard -4
Kuss -25
Ayuso -1’52

Stage 18 Summit End
Ayuso +0
Kuss +0
Roglič +0
Vingegaard -9

When the Prime 4 Received/Misplaced Time Relative to Sepp Kuss:


Week 1 (Levels 1-9)
Roglič -2’29
Vingegaard -2’33
Ayuso -2’43

Week 2 (Levels 10-15)
Roglič +52
Vingegaard +49
Ayuso +6

Week 3 (Levels 16-21)
Vingegaard +1’27
Roglič +29
Ayuso -41 (-1’23 earlier than Kuss sat as much as have a good time)

The above graphs and figures present us exactly what we might count on; that Sepp Kuss took time on the remainder of the GC contenders, together with his teammates Jonas Vingegaard and Primož Roglič, together with his Stage 6 breakaway, earlier than Vingegaard and Roglič began reeling him in by means of the second and third weeks.

  • However, opposite to the narrative, Kuss didn’t win this Vuelta solely because of the breakaway and, even after sitting as much as have a good time and dropping time on the previous few phases, really put time into each different non-Jumbo GC contender after Stage 6
    • Ayuso: misplaced 35-seconds
      Mas: misplaced 1’32
      Landa: misplaced 1’47
  • And, whereas Vingegaard might need seemed to be the stronger rider on Jumbo within the race, he took most of his time on Kuss when Kuss was both working for him (Stage 3) or when he wasn’t marked by the others or Kuss (Levels 13 & 16).
    • When Kuss and Vingegaard had been really racing towards one another on Stage 10 & 17, Kuss restricted his losses to only 36 seconds.

vuelta23 st11
Kuss rode an excellent time trial

Course Kind The place Time Was Received/Misplaced Relative to Kuss*

Time Trials (Particular person + Group)
Roglič +53 (gained)
Ayuso +13 (gained)
Vingegaard +11 (gained)

  • Particular person Time Trials
    Roglič +53 (gained)
    Ayuso +18 (gained)
    Vingegaard +11 (gained)

Mountain Levels
Vingegaard -46 (misplaced)
Roglič -2’09 (misplaced)
Ayuso -4’03 (misplaced)

  • With out the Stage 6 breakaway (with out time bonuses)
    Roglič +44 (gained)
    Vingegaard +2’06 (gained)
    Ayuso -1’04 (misplaced)

Time Bonuses
Vingegaard +18 (gained)
Roglič +8 (gained)
Ayuso -10 (misplaced)

*The time Juan Ayuso took again on Sepp Kuss whereas he sat as much as have a good time on Levels 20 & 21 usually are not included

Kuss/Vingegaard Time Distinction Per Stage Kind
Particular person Time Trial (1):
11-seconds per stage (Vingegaard)

Mountain Levels (6): 7.6-seconds per stage (Kuss)

  • Stage 6 Breakaway (1): 172-seconds per stage (Kuss)

Time Bonus (6): 3-seconds per stage (Vingegaard)

  • As you may see above, Kuss limiting his time losses to Jonas Vingegaard and Primož Roglič within the Stage 10 particular person time trial was key to his win.

vuelta23 st21
The PR state of affairs was not good at Jumbo-Visma

Key Takeaways

1) Jumbo-Visma was put in a troublesome PR state of affairs as soon as Remco Evenepoel imploded

  • It was straightforward to criticize Jumbo-Visma’s messy techniques within the closing week, when Jonas Vingegaard and Primož Roglič almost ripped the chief’s jersey off their teammate’s again after they rode away from Sepp Kuss on l’Angliru on the finish of Stage 17.
    • Nevertheless, whereas this undeniably seemed unhealthy, the staff was caught in a no-win state of affairs because of the sudden collapse of Remco Evenepoel and the shortage of any actual GC challengers. As soon as this occurred, the staff was left with three choices, all of them with important downsides:
  • Order Roglič and Vingegaard to help Kuss by means of the complete third week:
    • Sepp Kuss, Jumbo’s loyal domestique, was a storybook winner for the staff, but when they allowed him to experience uncontested for the complete third week, they might threat alienating their two largest GC stars (Roglič and Vingegaard).
      • Primož Roglič, who at present ranks second on the staff in 2023 win rankings with 14 victories (he had received each race he entered in 2023 earlier than the Vuelta), is likely one of the staff’s most vital riders now and within the close to future.
        • He had constructed his season round profitable the Vuelta, and would have definitely felt cheated if the staff had ordered him to sit down again and permit Sepp Kuss to experience uncontested for the complete third week (contemplating that Kuss and Vingegaard had been each complicated late additions to the beginning listing, he doubtless does nonetheless really feel a bit cheated) and certain would have pushed for a transfer away from the staff within the low season.
        • And, for Jonas Vingegaard, profitable the Vuelta wouldn’t have been insignificant since he’s at present making an attempt to construct up a top-tier palmares, and he could not have loved being ordered to go up the possibility.
  • Permit the three riders to duke it out till Stage 21 and let the strongest rider win:
    • This doubtless would have left Roglič and Vingegaard the happiest however would even have made Vingegaard, who had probably the most to realize from a Kuss collapse and Roglič’s aggressive racing, appear like a grasping jerk who ‘stole’ a life-changing victory from a key domestique.
      • And, even when Vingegaard determined to not go away Kuss and let Roglič chase the victory himself, he risked ceding a key race to one among his largest rivals for the 2024 Tour de France and doubtlessly make his Jumbo staff assume Roglič was the higher shot to steer the staff.
    • The exterior optics of this technique are all the time unbelievably unhealthy, and would have risked turning almost each biking fan exterior of Denmark and Slovenia towards them.
  • Race in a mix of the above two choices by protecting the racing ‘reside’ by means of the toughest climb of the race on Stage 17 and falling in line behind whoever is the chief:
    • This mixture possibility, which they ultimately picked, created unideal optics and opened them as much as immense criticism
      • However, by permitting Roglič to proceed to race aggressively by means of Stage 17, they maybe appeased him sufficient to maintain him on the squad in 2024, whereas additionally delivering the win to Kuss, and gathering the publicity and goodwill that comes together with profitable a grand excursions with an underdog rider, in addition to capping off their 2023 grand tour sweep with three totally different riders.
  • Even after touchdown the airplane with a Kuss victory and a reasonably cohesive podium sweep, it is going to be troublesome to maintain this staff intact within the coming season.
    • And, even when they do full that process, it is going to be almost unattainable to maintain everybody proud of the restricted management choices their embarrassment of riches creates.

Kuss held the lead even after the powerful stage 17

2) Sepp Kuss continued to take time on GC stars after his Stage 6 breakaway and will proceed to problem for grand tour wins sooner or later

  • As a result of circumstances of his win, which included getting an enormous time cushion with to a breakaway on Stage 6, many will assume that Sepp Kuss was merely gifted this Vuelta and that he received’t be a menace for victory in future grand excursions.
    • Nevertheless, this is able to be overlooking the truth that whereas he misplaced time to his teammates Roglič and Vingegaard after Stage 6, even when he took the leaders’ jersey on Stage 8, he took time on each different GC contender, a few of them being extremely highly-touted GC contenders like Juan Ayuso, Remco Evenepoel and Enric Mas.
      • And, despite the fact that Roglič and Vingegaard took time on him, most of it was completed by means of assaults the place Kuss sat within the group and marked his different GC rivals whereas Vingegaard rode considerably uncontested up the street (Levels 13 & 16).
      • And, within the Stage 10 time trial, Kuss held his personal towards Roglič, Vingegaard, and Ayuso, all world-class riders towards the clock, which performed a big position in his victory.
  • Some may debate if Kuss has the ‘winner’s mentality’ and might deal with the stress of sole management, however, from a bodily perspective, this Vuelta confirmed that he definitely has what it takes to go up towards, and beat, among the strongest GC contenders.

vuelta23 st18
Mas and Ayuso – Disappointing?

3) Enric Mas & Group UAE had been the large winners of the extremely publicized Jumbo-Visma intra-team battle

  • A few of the large winners of the Jumbo-Visma intra-team battle sucking up all of the press oxygen distracting from their races had been Movistar’s Enric Mas and Juan Ayuso’s UAE staff.
    • Mas, who has been thought of a possible grand tour-winning rider since ending second on the 2018 Vuelta, utterly flopped at this race.
      • After a terrific opening staff time trial, he went on to cede time to Kuss, Vingegaard, Roglič, and Ayuso on almost each stage all through the remainder of the race. And, not solely did he lose time, however he continued to experience in a frustratingly conservative method designed to restrict losses however by no means really take time on anybody.
      • Mixed with the truth that he has by no means received a European World Tour-level stage race, this Vuelta uncovered the 28-year-old as merely not on the required degree wanted to steer a prime staff at a contemporary grand tour.
        • For comparability, his 5 profession Grand Tour top-five finishes observe equally with Wilco Kelderman’s, a domestique on Jumbo, rely of three.
  • Group UAE rode so poorly as a staff that it raises critical questions on their means to ship Pogačar one other Tour de France win
    • Whereas the 20-year-old Juan Ayuso put in a stable efficiency to complete in 4th place general, this Vuelta, which noticed the UAE staff race with none clear plan, and, at occasions, even towards their very own GC chief.
    • This confirms that no person is up within the sales space calling the photographs at UAE and basically ended any hope that they might ever be capable of create and execute a well-defined and intelligent technique for Tadej Pogačar to tackle Jonas Vingegaard on the Tour de France.

vuelta23 st18
What now for Remco Evenepoel?

4) Even probably the most spectacular younger stars should proceed to enhance in the event that they need to keep away from changing into veteran also-rans

  • As anticipated, a proficient younger Belgian completed inside the highest ten of this Vuelta. Nevertheless, as a substitute of defending champion Remco Evenepoel, it was 20-year-old Cian Uijtdebroeks.
    • One other 20-year-old, Juan Ayuso, put in a formidable experience to complete 4th place general.
    • A 23-year-old Remco Evenepoel received three phases and completed on the stage podium six occasions.
  • These are unimaginable outcomes; nevertheless, upon nearer inspection, a troubling development emerges: Ayuso and Evenepoel regressed from their performances from the 2022 Vuelta.
    • Evenepoel, who received the general in 2022, suffered a serious, unexplained collapse on Stage 13 that ended any hopes of defending his title.
      • The large time loss meant that in 4 profession grand tour begins, Evenepoel solely has a single general top-ten end.
        • It’s straightforward to wave off this as a nasty day, however the uncomfortable reality is that riders who get right into a behavior of struggling sudden unhealthy days in grand excursions typically have a troublesome time ever constantly stringing collectively 21 consecutive days of racing with out struggling a single unhealthy day that prices them important time.
    • Whereas Ayuso needs to be applauded for being the primary non-Jumbo rider and ending 4th place general at simply 20 years previous, it’s simple that he appeared to lack the identical sparkle he had within the 2022 version of this race.
    • He misplaced time to each Jumbo-Visma rider in each the mountains and time bonuses, solely gained 18 seconds on Kuss within the time trial, and would have misplaced to Kuss even with out the time he gained on the Stage 6 breakaway.
      • It would look like nitpicking to criticize riders this younger, however it is very important keep in mind simply how crucial it’s for younger riders, even ones this good, to proceed to enhance.
        • If Uijtdebroeks and Ayuso stall out of their improvement, in a couple of seasons, they’ll go from highly-touted future superstars to considerably forgotten also-ran GC contenders like Mikel Landa and Enric Mas (who’re excellent and able to GC podiums however aren’t thought of superstars).

vuelta23 st8
Is there an enormous future for Cian Uijtdebroeks?

Meet up with all of the 2023 Vuelta a España phases with pictures and video HERE.

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Jumbo-Visma – Grand Tour domination

# Spencer Martin is the writer of the cycling-analysis publication Past the Peloton that breaks down the nuances of every race and solutions large image questions surrounding staff and rider efficiency. Enroll now to get full entry to all of the out there content material and race breakdowns. #

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