Durango’s Sepp Kuss keeps climbing his way up at the Critérium du Dauphiné in France.
Kuss, 23, is competing with his Team LottoNL-Jumbo WorldTour team at the International Cycling Union (UCI) World Tour event. He currently stands 75th in the general classification after finishing 75th on Tuesday’s 112½-mile hilly trek across the vineyards of the Beaujolais region between Montbrison and Belleville.
Pascal Ackermann won the second stage in a sprint Tuesday, while Daryl Impey claimed the overall lead thanks to a time bonus.
Previous leader Michal Kwiatkowski crashed toward the end of the stage. It was Ackermann’s second professional victory after he claimed a stage win at the Tour of Romandie earlier this season.
Impey finished the stage in third position and has a two-second lead over Kwiatkowski in the general classification. Kwiatkowsi’s Team Sky teammate Gianni Moscon is third, five seconds back of the lead time of 8 hours, 51 minutes, 46 seconds from Impey.
Brent Bookwalter is the top American. The BMC Racing Team rider is eighth in the GC, 13 seconds back.
The 24-year-old Ackermann won the sprint ahead of Edvald Boasson Hagen while Kwiatkowski crashed on a roundabout with two kilometers left.
Wednesday’s third stage is a 21.75-mile time trial. That won’t favor Kuss, a climber who is there to try to help his teammates.
Kuss opened the week Sunday with a 134th-place finish in the opening 4.1-mile prologue. He finished 105th on the 111-mile Stage 1 to move up to 108th in the GC. He now stands 21st in the best young rider standings.
Stage 4 is another 112½-mile route that features mountain climbs. It is the longest remaining stage.
Kuss should enjoy the final four stages with mountain climbs every day until the Stage 7 finale Sunday in Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.