Teams & Riders Sepp Kuss is the next Sepp Kuss thread

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I’m probably more conflicted about him at the moment than any other rider in the peloton.

On the one hand, I love to watch him climb. He makes it look so effortless.

On the other hand, as I said in the race thread, I’ve always hated the super domestique as an institution and therefore find myself speechless with horror at the brand new role Jumbo have invented for this guy of “reserve superdomestique”. The strongest climber in a GT not only being paid to control things for someone else, but in this new role actually being paid to hang around breathing through his nose doing nothing except looking ominous. He doesn‘t even control things on most climbing stages, he’s there to intimidate anyone out of even trying an attack as he chats on the radio and looks like he’s out on a coffee ride. He only pulls when something has gone wrong for his leader.
 
He got a chance this Vuelta, then lost 10 minutes on Formigal. Probably has quite a lot to learn to be a GT rider, otherwise I honestly wouldn't mind if he basically takes Kruijswijks place.

That said, we don't get to see how good his climbing really is cause every time Roglic goes himself he just sits up. He might be one of the best in the world at a very narrow skillset, which isn't gonna be enough to win a Grand Tour.
Ok, but clearly it's enough to start a nuclear war on mountains like this. He could take half a dozen GT stage wins a year with that "narrow skillset".
 
Ok, but clearly it's enough to start a nuclear war on mountains like this. He could take half a dozen GT stage wins a year with that "narrow skillset".
Breakaway specialists win like 2 stages in a GT at the very best of times. And it's not that easy to get into the right breakaways. The last Tour had maybe 3 stages max that actually might have suited Kuss to go into the breakaway.
 
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Breakaway specialists win like 2 stages in a GT at the very best of times. And it's not that easy to get into the right breakaways. The last Tour had maybe 3 stages max that actually might have suited Kuss to go into the breakaway.
Yeah, that's what I'm saying, he could be better at that than anyone else in the current peloton. He doesn't even need to go into the breakaway when he can win from the favourites' group.
 
In that steepest part he was only one to ride straight. Seriously, he looked like it was 7% climb. I am not telling that is so easy for him but he looks extremely effortless on every climb.
He also looked relaxed on the stage when he couldn't follow Faile and Valverde on that breakaway stage that was won by Woods, he always looks smooth on his climbs.
He already did monster numbers on the mountain stages of the Tour of Utah when he dominated the race, but he's one of the few Americans who can actually replicate those performances in Europe.
I think breakaway wins are a lot harder for him when the stage isn't super hard and he has to work before on the flat and rolling terrain (see the stage won by Woods). To me he's a pure climber who's engine gets fried when he has to work too much on the flat.
 
He also looked relaxed on the stage when he couldn't follow Faile and Valverde on that breakaway stage that was won by Woods, he always looks smooth on his climbs.
He already did monster numbers on the mountain stages of the Tour of Utah when he dominated the race, but he's one of the few Americans who can actually replicate those performances in Europe.
I think breakaway wins are a lot harder for him when the stage isn't super hard and he has to work before on the flat and rolling terrain (see the stage won by Woods). To me he's a pure climber who's engine gets fried when he has to work too much on the flat.
He seems very similar to what George Bennett was a few years ago before he put some focus on the flats and ITTing, but looks even better again on the steepest pinches.

As for climbing technique, he looks excellent. IMO it's between Kuss, Hindley, Landa and Pogačar in terms of technique in the current peloton.
 
Ok, but clearly it's enough to start a nuclear war on mountains like this. He could take half a dozen GT stage wins a year with that "narrow skillset".
Absolutely, but riding for whom? If he's on TJV, that would only happen if the leader is either 10 minutes up on the field on GC or has crashed out. He'd have to go to a team like...Arkea? Any team with GC aspirations would not want him to play the role of "mtf winner who's 30 minutes down on GC."

This year he could have won Loze and Angliru, at least, from what I saw.
 
He seems very similar to what George Bennett was a few years ago before he put some focus on the flats and ITTing, but looks even better again on the steepest pinches.

As for climbing technique, he looks excellent. IMO it's between Kuss, Hindley, Landa and Pogačar in terms of technique in the current peloton.
When it comes to climbing style Pogi is clearly behind the other 3. Ciccone looks great when he's dancing on the pedals, his seated climbing on the other hand doesn't look great.
 
I think people are misguided a bit on how Sepp Kuss looks while climbing. In both TDF and Vuelta he has looked effortless only to get dropped after 1/2 attacks near the end, when he had chances to go for it himself.

He's a great pure climber but lacks in almost everything else. And even while he looks effortless he's still human an drops quite a bit. He isn't GT winning material.
 
I think people are misguided a bit on how Sepp Kuss looks while climbing. In both TDF and Vuelta he has looked effortless only to get dropped after 1/2 attacks near the end, when he had chances to go for it himself.

He's a great pure climber but lacks in almost everything else. And even while he looks effortless he's still human an drops quite a bit. He isn't GT winning material.
It’s a bit like Quintana...he’s got that poker face.
Still I’d really like to see whether this is peak Kuss or if there’s a version 2.0...
 
I think people are misguided a bit on how Sepp Kuss looks while climbing. In both TDF and Vuelta he has looked effortless only to get dropped after 1/2 attacks near the end, when he had chances to go for it himself.

He's a great pure climber but lacks in almost everything else. And even while he looks effortless he's still human an drops quite a bit. He isn't GT winning material.
To be fair to Kuss he's written himself off as a GT rider for that reason. It will be interesting to see what happens if he tries to expand his abilities
 
Kuss is 4 years younger than the GC riders he’s currently working for, and there’s nobody else on the TJV roster who you’d currently say is good enough to have Kuss work for them.

He’s been getting his opportunities for Jumbo (Vuelta stage last year, Dauphiné stage this year), he will no doubt have more chances in the future, and he’s presumably getting quite well paid for it. If he were to go to a different team, who’s to say it wouldn’t have the Sky/Quickstep effect where talented domestique doesn’t, for whatever unexplainable reason, step up a level when given a leadership role elsewhere.
 
He'd be a lot more boom or bust than Majka, with the bust option being the likelier.
Yeah Majka is a consistent rider, who has a GT podium, a mounment podium, and an Olympic medal. He just doesn't have the level to contend for wins in big races. Kuss on the other hand has massive climbing potential, but severely lacks in other areas.
 
Yeah Majka is a consistent rider, who has a GT podium, a mounment podium, and an Olympic medal. He just doesn't have the level to contend for wins in big races. Kuss on the other hand has massive climbing potential, but severely lacks in other areas.
Majka also has 3 stage wins and 2 polka dot jerseys from the TdF (all from Tours he was supposed to start as Contador’s domestique, funnily enough). I’d say Kuss would be more than happy to finish with a palmares like that.
 
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Sep 12, 2020
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Yeah, my thought was he rides 2 GTs a year, top 10s in one of them. Then has 1 year where his shape is perfect and he does a Majka '14 and wins 2 stages and the KoM

I think it's not the best case, but it would be a pretty successful career. Then the step down is the Barguil, where you still have the magical year, but you don't have the consistency and so have multiple nothing seasons. Below that, the Meintjies is never having the top end, but enjoying 3 or 4 years where you are there or thereabouts in the tour, and pick up plenty of top 10s.

All of those would be good careers for him as a leader, even if the bottom two would both feel like wasted potential. Any weaker than that, and I think he's back as a support rider in 3-4 years time.

Any better, and he could have the Landa career where he's a constant threat for GT podiums, but never looks quite good enough to win one. Best case is probably if he turns into purito, and wins multiple stages in the Vuelta every year, while hoping that when the GT opportunity lands in his lap he takes it
 
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Until he has some kind of explosivity or some kind of inclination to actually do some work rather than this ridiculous role, as basically a bouncer who serves to deter anybody who tries to actually add something to racing, that Jumbo have created for him, that Zinoviev Letter has so perfectly described, he's basically the best possible Sylwester Szmyd if they dared to use him that way. Szmyd would set whatever tempo Basso wanted for him. If it was "rip everybody's legs off", he would rip everybody's legs off. And because of how he rode and how formidable he was as a climbing hand, if it was "I'm not so good, ride at 80%", everybody would think "wow, I'm on a good day if I can hang with Szmyd's tempo!" and so it would deter attackers as they'd fear blowing up if they tried to attack him.

Kuss does the latter bit, of deterring attackers, and would be more than capable of doing the former, Jumbo simply never seem to want him to because apparently 20 riders at the top of every mountain and Sepp breathing through his nose is the future.
 

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