US rider Sepp Kuss wins Vuelta a Espana as team Jumbo-Visma make history

© Oscar del Pozo, AFP

American rider Sepp Kuss claimed his first Grand Tour victory in the Vuelta a Espana on Sunday in Madrid, which he described as "life-changing", as his team Jumbo-Visma completed an unprecedented treble.

The Dutch team became the first to win all three Grand Tours in a single year, after Jonas Vingegaard won his second consecutive Tour de France and Primoz Roglic triumphed at the Giro d'Italia.

While Jumbo-Visma co-leaders Vingegaard and Roglic are accustomed to being the superstars, this week they supported their usually loyal domestique Kuss to his maiden Grand Tour success on apparent team orders.

Kuss, 29, crossed the line smiling wide, his position as general classification leader not under threat on stage 21's flat 101.5 kilometre procession to Madrid.

"It's incredible -- I think today was the stage that I suffered in the most of the whole race, now I'm just glad it's over," said Kuss.

"I'll still be me -- it's life-changing for sure, but I think I'll just look back on this experience with a lot of fond memories."

He continued: "It's still sinking in and it's going to take quite some time.

"(Tonight we'll have) a big celebration, family and friends are here and that is going to be really special."

Danish rider Vingegaard finished second, 17 seconds behind Kuss, who finished the gruelling 21 stage race in 76 hours, 48 minutes and 21 seconds.

The chasing pack reeled them in to 12 seconds with six kilometres to go in a dramatic finale to both the stage and the Grand Tour as a whole.

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