With Sepp Kuss again helping lead the way, it was another strong day for Team Jumbo-Visma in the final tuneup race before the Tour de France.
Kuss, paired with Tom Dumoulin, once again turned in an impressive climbing effort in support of Jumbo-Visma team leader Primož Roglic on Stage 3 of the Critérium du Dauphiné on Friday in France. Roglic finished second on the stage, 33 seconds behind Davide Formolo. The UAE-Team Emirates rider completed the 97½-mile stage in 4 hours, 6 minutes, 56 seconds to take the win.
Roglic extended his overall lead at the five-stage race to 14 seconds ahead of Thibaut Pinot of Groupama-FDJ.
Kuss, a 25-year-old from Durango, was 18th on the stage, 1:14 back of Formolo. He is now 21st overall, 3:52 behind his teammate.
It was another big day for climbers with the Col de la Madeleine in the mix. An early breakaway group of nine riders had established a lead of six minutes on the peloton, but the Jumbo-Visma squad was in control all along.
The finish featured a climb of more than 3,000 feet in nine miles.
Dumoulin, Steven Kruijswijk and Kuss set the tone, and Roglic staged an attack to get into second place.
“It was a great day for us,” Roglic said in a team news release. “It was a tough and fast stage, but we had the stage perfectly under control. The team was again very strong, and they kept me out of trouble. For us, that leading group was an ideal situation, but we could not give them 15 minutes either because Formolo was still quite close in the standings. The fact that I still managed to take bonification seconds is an extra bonus. The next two days will be very difficult, and there is still a lot of climbing to come. The team, but also myself, have to keep their focus. We rely on our own strength and we have proven that we are very strong. So, we have a lot of confidence for tomorrow.”
<URL destination="https://durangoherald.com/articles/335223-climbing-effort-of-sepp-kuss-helps-send-primo-roglic-to-stage-win-at-critrium-du-dauphin">The result mimicked that of a day earlier, as Kuss took control, as Dumoulin dealt with a mechanical problem and needed a bike switch at the bottom of the final climb. Kuss shut down the chance of an attack from Team Ineos and defending Tour de France champion Egan Bernal and helped send Roglic up the road for a stage win.
</URL>Saturday’s Stage 4 and Sunday’s finale are both mountain stages that should continue to suit Kuss well. Both routes are 95 miles in length. The finish Sunday is in Megève.