Sepp Kuss on verge of being first U.S. winner of Spanish Vuelta in decade

GUADARRAMA, Spain — Sepp Kuss is set to become the first American man to win one of cycling’s Grand Tours in a decade after he protected his lead in the Spanish Vuelta on the last competitive day of racing Saturday.

Kuss kept his 17-second lead over Jumbo-Visma teammate Jonas Vingegaard over the 20th and penultimate stage.

He will wear the red leader’s jersey heading into Sunday’s final stage, when cycling custom dictates that title rivals respect the leader’s advantage in the largely ceremonial arrival to Madrid.

The last American man to win one of cycling’s three-week races, which in addition to the Vuelta and Tour de France includes the Giro d’Italia, was 2013 Vuelta winner Chris Horner.

Wout Poels won Saturday’s 129-mile ride from Manzanares El Real to Guadarrama.

Kuss crossed the finish line flanked by Vingegaard and fellow teammate Primoz Roglic, with the three exchanging handshakes and patting one another on the back as they rode over the final meters.

Jumbo-Visma arrived at the race that started last month as the team to beat.

Not only is the Dutch team set to monopolize the podium in Madrid with Kuss, Vingegaard and Roglic on target to finish 1-2-3, but Jumbo-Visma is also on the cusp of sweeping all three Grand Tours this year after Roglic won the Giro d’Italia in May and Vingegaard repeated as the Tour champion in July.

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