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Jumbo-Visma super-domestique Sepp Kuss has already secured his first podium of the year, but not how you might have expected. Over the weekend, Kuss lined up for a 10 km cross country skiing race in Sant Julià de Lòria, Andorra, where he finished second.
Kuss’s star is firmly on the rise as a cyclist – he finished in the top 10 at the Vuelta a España, despite riding in support of fellow winter-athlete Primož Roglič, and won a stage of the Tour de France last year. His skill on skis is not, however, entirely unexpected.
Kuss – who grew up in Durango, Colorado – enjoyed an outdoors-oriented youth in a town that revolves around the outdoors. Kuss’s parents – Dolph and Sabina Kuss – are Colorado skiing royalty. Dolph has been described as the local “patriarch of skiing” and as a “legendary Durango outdoorsman”.
Dolph is a member of the Colorado Ski Hall of Fame, was on the US National Ski Team from 1950 to 1960, and was the US Nordic ski coach for the 1964 and 1972 Winter Olympics. He was also Durango’s parks and recreation director for around a decade. According to the Durango Herald, it was Sepp’s father that “laid the foundation for recreation in Durango well before it was at the core of the economy and everyday life.”
As for Sepp, his outdoorsy upbringing saw him excel at mountain biking, skiing and rafting. He transitioned from mountain biking to road cycling while at college, broke into the WorldTour with LottoNL-Jumbo (now Jumbo-Visma) in 2018, and has been there ever since.
His return to skis was seemingly a brief, early season dalliance – he wrote on Instagram that he’s “now ready to join @jumbovisma_road for some racing on the bike” – but it goes to show that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.