Vuelta a España Vuelta a España 2023, stage 17: Ribadesella/Ribadeseya - Altu de l’Angliru, 124.4k

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what a load of drama in this topic about, basically, nothing.

Kuss has always been happy to work for other leaders because, 1, he usually has a bad day in a GT or several ones, and 2, he doesn't like the stress of being sole leader.
He did have chances to lead his own GC or go for his own GC, but they never came close to a GT win, mainly because aforementioned weaknesses.

It is THANKS TO his current role that he is even leading the Vuelta. I don't think Vingegaard or Roglic don't want Kuss to win GC. But if Jumbo rode defensively there was, until today, a chance that all you do is keep the other GC guys close to Vinge/Roglic and risk losing the GC when something bad happens.
It's also a tactical advantage having Roglic or Vingegaard attack and Kuss being able to sit on the other GC guys never having to work. And putting pressure on those other guys that were still close to Roglic/Vingegaard before.
I don't think Roglic or Vingegaard mind if Kuss wins the GC in the end. But even Kuss stated he doesn't want it gifted.

These 3 seem in perfect harmony atm and most of the drama is created purely in the mind of fans. Just my 2 cents.
Just so we hopefully all can agree on who is attacking when and whatnot's of today's Angliru stage.

Primoz attacked Bahrain with approx. 2.9k togo.
With ~2.3 km togo, TJV has thrown Bahrain, Sepp, Jonas and Primoz united once again.
At the 2K mark, no one is attacking.
Sepp just can't hold the wheel to his team mates any longer.

At the crucial point we are discussing is that no one is "attacking".

Furthermore: Jonas turns around at the moment. Should Jonas have waited at that moment? IMO would've been awkward, both due to the three of them all agree on "the strongest wins" treaty, partly due to no other competitors.

When it finally comes to the race, I enjoyed the bike race today - ie. apart from the fact that I would have liked to have seen all three of them go to the bottom of their reserves, and although since the Tourmalet stage in particular I sincerely cheered for Kuss and just hoped he could get away with it all, it was primarily because I saw him as the strongest of the three by then.
Yes, it is a painful tragedy for someone if the best support rider does not get his prize. But I really sincerely believe that Kuss is most comfortable with the best guy of the 3 weeks stands on top of the podium in Madrid.

Going by your distances I think it's safe to say Primoz was attacking between 2.3 and 2km to go then. ! Riding someone off your wheel and then not slowing down when they let you they can't keep up probably meets most definitions of attacking....
Nice to see the UCI are finally taking seriously the problem of riders who take the piss
Art. 2.12.7; 8.6Inappropriate behaviour (urinating in public during the race)82 BALLERSTEDT, Maurice, ALPECIN- DECEUNINCK UCI ID 10036175526 Fine 200,00 CHF
Medical release.
Fall of 4 riders at Km 23*
Race Number 13. R. Oliveira. UAE Team Emirates. Multiple contusions (left elbow with superficial wound, ribcage region, and left iliac crest area). Local treatment performed.*
Race Number 37. Omar Fraile. Ineos Grenadiers. Bruises and abrasions on arm and leg. Treatedon-site.*
Race Number 43. M. Govekar. Bahrain Victorious. Wound on left arm and leg. Treated on-site.*
Race Number 201. J. Diaz. BH Burgos. Contusion with superficial wound on right elbow andshoulder. Treated on-site.*
All continue the race.
It's funny how some are mocking a response that doesn't approve of gifting Kuss the win. However, from an unbiased observer's point of view, I think the fans and pundits want to see a race, not something that's decided at the table. In Europe it's certainly that way.
It gets funnier when you realise folks are on twitter saying if you want Kuss to win, you are a commie. (see ned boultings twitter if you want to be depressed) :tearsofjoy:
Roglic does not want to be degraded to Nr. 3 going into next season. imagine he finishes behind a team mate that did all three GTs.

Roglic is the current Giro winner and a three time Vuelta winner, I don't see why Kuss would surpass him in the Jumbo GT hierarchy just because he gained a few minutes on a breakaway and manage to hold on to the leader's jersey until the end.
Going by your distances I think it's safe to say Primoz was attacking between 2.3 and 2km to go then. ! Riding someone off your wheel and then not slowing down when they let you they can't keep up probably meets most definitions of attacking....
Right, because he and Vingeggard were told to take their chances. They can afford to play the three card win, so that's what they do, and may the best man win. Also because Rog and Ving are not paid to relent, when not in an obviously inferior or strategic position. It's in the contract baby.
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Long time lurker with some thoughts.

Judging by the general attitude, I'm pretty sure there is no way Vingegaard and Roglic win over people's hearts in this situation. If they race, people act like many of you are doing now. If both had focused on neutralizing the stage for Kuss, then people would be castigating them for not racing. Either way, they'll be criticized.

The criticism that Roglic chose to stay with Kuss yesterday and that Vingegaard should have done the same today is rather absurd. Roglic did not chose to "help" Kuss - he tried to attack, but could not bridge the gap to Vingegaard. If he could have, he would have. He just did not have the legs yesterday. Today Vingegaard had the legs to follow Roglic. Personally, I think he could probably also have dropped Roglic, but chose not to - 1) because following on Roglic's wheel to gap him at the end would have been an actual nasty move, 2) Vingegaard already has 2 stage wins - no need to be greedy, and 3) I think he honestly doesn't mind giving Kuss the Vuelta win.

I think it's weird that people try to find ulterior motives in everything these guys say, rather than just accept that - perhaps - they might be telling the truth? Both can be telling the truth and race like they did today (and yesterday).

I think Vingegaard mainly wanted the stage win yesterday - I don't think he expected to gain so much time yesterday as he did - as many have noticed, this came out as much from the other teams being weak/tactical than pure strength over Kuss. And I think his ride today shows he is in two minds - on the one hand, he can't stay with Kuss when he is obviously stronger - that would make the gift very obvious (and Kuss doesn't want gifts), but on the other hand, he's not willing to push 110% to get the win.

It'll be interesting to see how the final important GC stage goes, but I think Vingegaard (and Roglic for that matter) are riding the way they do, not only because they have huge egos (which you must have to some extent, to be a champion), but also out of respect for Kuss. Think to the alternative scenario, with Roglic and Vingegaard both riding purely as domestiques for Kuss. I don't think anyone (other than Americans) would love that. Kuss would win, yes, but there'd always be a huge asterix next to the win and people would say it is undeserved (i.e., he only won because Roglic and Vingegaard let him). If Kuss manages to defend the jersey tomorrow, people will still put a small asterix by his name but at least no one can say that the win is not deserved.
I don't agree with this, but it is well reasoned. Good first post!
I think one's personal take on this will be determined by how much you wish to consider the fundamental nature of the team that's involved.

These guys often spend more time with each other than they do their own families. They train with each other abroad for weeks on end, share hotel rooms, sit down meals and physio suites. It's a team like any other, with personal relationships and inter-individual dynamics that are critical to it's performance, particularly in the long term.

This will almost certainly be of more consideration to the 3 former professional riders in the Eurosport studio, for example, than to many random followers of the sport on the internet, who may or may not have the 1st idea of what contributes to a harmonious team environment.
I think the drama is hilarious but what's really going on is Jumbo have simply told their riders to fight. That's it. Why? I don't know, but I can imagine the 'fun' involved here is way better than Jumbo simply shutting down the race & riding to the finish in Madrid, all in formation behind Kuss.

It makes for better tv entertainment. As long as it's fair & all involved get the freedom to fight for their chances (& frankly Jumbo risk nothing in GC anyway), then people should enjoy the show.

It's not every day a team rides a GT with 3 guys top 3, so 'normal bike racing etiquette' shouldn't really apply here either.

Just my two cents.
Again, I do not agree 100%, but if we didn't have this drama, we'd have no drama at all...and this thread would be 7 pages.
Of course, what these nuckleheads don't acknowledge is that Kuss, who was brought as a domestique, didn't get the lead on strength, but because for tactical reasons he was permitted a job to put Evenepoel/Soudal in a predicament, who, in turn, made a mistake in giving Sepp a leash. Sure it was a gamble on both teams' part, but it put Kuss artificially in the lead. However, that lead never put Rog and Ving out of contention and now Jumbo has the podium all but rapped up. So the race is on amongst them, as it should be. Otherwise it makes a mockery of what already is a farce, which frankly is just too much.
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I'm just absolutely amazed that people think this is a sensible option in this context within any functional team - cycling or otherwise. TJV clearly had the top 3 GC Vuelta wrapped up towards the end of this stage. If Kuss were to have a random bad day or crash in the remaining stages and get dropped, both Rog and Vinge are there to make sure they still finish 1-2. They are so far ahead of any rivals that this is in no doubt whatsoever. Nobody is asking them to start collecting bottles.

At this precise point in the race / stage however, there is simply no justifiable reason for Kuss' teammates to start attacking his overall lead. Kuss is never going to get the opportunity to win a Grand Tour again in his career. He's turned himself inside out on many, many occasions & sacrificed his own ambition in doing so for both of them.

The correct outcome for TJV at this juncture is crystal clear for anyone that has any professional experience of working in a cohesive team, either as a leader or team member. If Kuss gets dropped by another team, then that's that, he's done. Until that happens, Roglic and Vinge should be riding in a manner that keeps him in red whilst ensuring they complete the 1-2-3. If Kuss in fact falls away, then I don't think anyone is going to complain if Vinge and Rog are allowed to race each other - that's a completely different dynamic to two multiple grand tour winners shafting a guy that has played such a fundamental role in their own successes.

Your first paragraph made sense. The second is pure, uninformed speculation and leads to the misunderstanding of "fans"; most of whom don't ride much and probably never raced.
Vingo wants to win. Roglic wants to win. Kuss would love to win, but is paid as a domestique and operates under orders from the DS. The other two are allowed to set pace to gain advantage over the competition and not compromise the overall prospects for a win. As it stands only a complete collapse by any of these 3 JV guys would allow another competitor into the podium zone. They should be able to race each other as long as they don't bring adversaries along for a podium-threatening position. If they don't; the wailing fanbase would be disappointed and turn off their TVs.

Yesterday Jonas attacked when Primoz was supposed to pursue the stage win (because of prior time gifted to Jonas). Primoz was then challenged to close the gap with Kuss upon Jonas' attack, but the rule of No passengers shut that down and Kuss was floundering to keep pace anyway and Primoz took note of it. Roglic knew he was not going to gain much and to further pursue Jonas would've done some harm. The gap Jonas enjoyed to Primoz was an outright gift from he and Kuss. When they responded on that stage they both cut Vingo's gap in half in 2km without passengers. That's exceptional.

Today Vindegaard did what he should have; stay on Primoz's wheel. Sepp dropped off and, if I were the DS I'd balance the bad press for Jonas not dropping back to aid Kuss against the advantage of gaining further time. How that was decided we don't know but trying to portray either of the two strongest guys as heroes or villians is a conceit of prejudice.
Keep lurking, would be my advice for now.
(although I agree the "keep lurking" jab was uncalled for. You might disagree, but it was a reasonable and well worded post)

Love your little speech about teamwork DaveJones, but teamwork in a company and teamwork in a professional sports team, especially in a weird semi-solo sport like cycling, is something altoghether different and incomparable imo. For one, these athletes are also out there to entertain us.
And every time I see them after the finish, they seem (genuinely) happy. It's like some people can't wrap their heads around the fact that while they're fighting eachother on the road, they still like eachother when they crossed the finish line.
I also seriously doubt they (including Sepp himself) would have as much fun just peddling Sepp to Madrid in red.
Having just watched the end of the stage this evening, I am absolutely shocked that there is anyone who follows cycling who thinks that the behaviour of Roglic and Vinegaard today - and most importantly by proxy the TJV DS - was acceptable.

TJV clearly have the race, and the top 3 positions in the bag at this point. They have the 3 best climbers in the race and all are a reasonable distance away from their nearest rivals.

To drop their team mate in the red jersey at that point on the stage (i.e. not from a mixed group lower down the mountain) was an absolute disgrace and reflects extremely badly on those involved - Primoz Roglic and his DS being most culpable imo. There was no tactical nuance or uncertainty going on here -

Cycling is a team sport. Kuss sacrifices his own ambitions for stage wins etc every year across multiple grand tours in support of his team leaders - as expected. To rewrite this fundamental principle of cycling - and essentially declare it an individual sport where it is every man for himself as Roglic has done at the end of this stage - is complete nonsense.

Kuss has done what is required of him in the ITT and these mountain stages thus far. Clearly if he gets dropped from a mixed group halfway down the climb noone is going to expect Roglic or Vinge to hold back and ride for him. If that happens then fair enough. But that was not the situation today, and looking at the upcoming stages and Kuss' form that is hugely unlikely to happen.

I have always been a fan of Roglic but he has shown his true colours today imo.

A complete and utter disgrace.
By contract Ving and Rog are the captains and thus have the right to race, so long as it doesn't jeapordize Jumbo's victory. This not being the case, given they are mearly shuffling the cards for podium postions, they seek to win. Kuss is a domestique, brilliant though he is, who, however, only obtained the lead on a tactical ploy. But he isn't the strongest on the team and doesn't have a suficient advantage to justify relegating the other two into domestique roles. So the race will be fought out amongst them.
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All the other people cheering for Kuss to lose bother me, but not you. I appreciate the commitment to your hatred of Kuss, and the unwavering dedication you have to it. You are my kind of people, even if I don't agree with you...the rest of these clowns are just part time Kuss haters, with situational dedication. You're 24/7. Chapeau!
I see nobody "cheering for Kuss to lose". I see people not happy with him being given the win as a gift, but if he is the strongest tomorrow, I doubt anyone here (possibly LS aside) would begrudge him the victory, and most of those saying that it should be won on merit will be very pleased for him.

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