Durango’s Sepp Kuss tackled the first climbing day of the Tour de France without issue Sunday in Nice, France.
The 115.5-mile Stage 2 route featured two big climbs. Team Jumbo-Visma leaders Primoz Roglic and Tom Dumoulin each finished only two seconds behind stage winner Julian Alaphilippe. Dumoulin overcame a fall to finish 22nd, while Roglic was 31st.
The Jumbo-Visma team rallied well to support Dumoulin. George Bennett placed 41st, 1:16 back of the winning time, while Kuss was 45th, 2:09 back. Wout van Aert, who dropped back to aid Dumoulin, finished 46th alongside Kuss.
Robert Gesink turned in the ride of the stage for Jumbo-Visma, leading the peloton for long stretches of the stage. He finished 64th after his effort, 8:41 back.
“Tom’s crash was a bit of a pity for us. As a result, we lost Wout, who helped Tom to get going again,” Jumbo-Visma director Frans Maassen said in a news release. “I don’t think we could have competed for the stage win because there was no one left to chase behind those three. But the plan was to finish in the first group with Primoz and Tom, and we succeeded. We were in control all day, and we didn’t do anything crazy. So in that respect, the stage went well.”
Dumoulin and Roglic are right in the mix of the general classification down only 17 seconds to Alaphilippe. Kuss is in 42nd place, 2:24 back.
Kuss played a key role along with Bennett, Gesink and Van Aert, in reeling in an early breakaway group at the start of the Col d’Eze climb. The Jumbo-Visma riders continued to keep a high pace the rest of the way.
Monday’s third stage will take riders out of Nice to Sisteron. It is 123 miles in length and features some early climbing at moderate grades before a downhill and mostly flat finish.