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Roglic wins Giro d’Italia

Sepp Kuss has now helped his leaders win all three grand tours
Sepp Kuss of Durango, left, fist bumps his leader on Team Jumbo-Visma, Primoz Roglic, during the Giro d'Italia. Roglic ended up winning the grand tour. (Courtesy Team Jumbo-Visma)

Team Jumbo-Visma leader Primoz Roglic started as one of the top favorites in Italy. Roglic stayed out of trouble throughout the wet first week, taking a pinch in the wall stage. But even Roglic was not spared bad luck when he crashed on stage 11. Despite the pain, the Slovenian continued his campaign, fought until the end with the unconditional help of his teammates and ultimately won the race.

“I am really enjoying this victory,” Roglic said. “I haven't even realized that I won the Giro d'Italia. It was a three-week long roller coaster. We fought as a team and always believed in ourselves. It's astonishing that we actually prevailed. It's amazing that we can celebrate it here in Rome.”

Roglic’s teammate, Sepp Kuss of Durango, ended up finishing 14th in the general classification, 13:09 back. With Roglic’s general classification victory, Kuss has now helped his team’s leaders win all three of cycling’s grand tours, which also include the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España.

During the climbing time trial on Saturday, Roglic received a passionate ovation from the Slovenian fans. On Sunday, it still touched the winner. “Winning is always good, but the fans' excitement really gets to me,” he said. “I am incredibly grateful to everyone and will never forget it. This was the season's primary target, and we did it together.”

Roglic also referred to his shoulder surgery. The Slovenian underwent surgery over the winter and is relieved to be back performing at a high level. “We were happy I could come to the first training camp in January. I skipped the second because I was expecting my second child, but after that, the focus was on the new season. It's remarkable to be able to enjoy cycling so much again. I adore cycling.”

“It was not an easy Giro, so we are incredibly proud,” sports director Marc Reef said. “The setbacks began before we started, partly because we had to change riders due to COVID and the injuries sustained by Jan Tratnik and Wilco Kelderman. We were happy to be able to start with eight riders, although there was a feeling that things were not going our way. For Primoz, the preparation started much earlier. He was already talking about the queen stage to Tre Cime di Lavaredo and the climbing time trial during the winter. We saw what good preparation and encouragement did for him. Primoz has had some setbacks in the last few years. Fortunately, as the Giro went on, the tide turned, and he was able to prevail.”

General manager Richard Plugge is proud the yellow and black formation now has all the grand tours on its list of honors. “It is a great achievement, and we could not have done it without the whole team,” Plugge said. “Primoz is a king. He exemplifies one of our core values: resilience. It's clever how he does it every time because don't forget he crashed, had hip problems and chain issues in the climbing time trial.”

Riders compete in the Giro d'Italia. (Courtesy Team Jumbo-Visma)
Sepp Kuss of Durango rides in the rain during the Giro d'Italia. Kuss helped his leader, Primoz Roglic, win the race's general classification. (Courtesy Team Jumbo-Visma)
Sepp Kuss of Durango, right, keeps his leader on Team Jumbo-Visma, Primoz Roglic, dry during the Giro d'Italia. Roglic ended up winning the grand tour. (Courtesy Team Jumbo-Visma)
Primoz Roglic of Team Jumbo-Visma celebrates after winning his first Giro d'Italia on Sunday in Rome. (Courtesy Team Jumbo-Visma)