Sepp Kuss gets his fingers caught in spokes - 'I can change a derailleur battery but taking off my shoe covers got me'
After sending the internet into overload with his high-speed derailleur battery change, Sepp Kuss flew too close to the sun on stage 11 of the Giro d'Italia, and did end up with his fingers caught in his spokes.
There was no derailleur fiddling this time, but the US climber did have trouble removing shoe covers mid-race, which sent his hand into his front wheel.
He finished the stage with a finger bandaged and covered in blood, an outcome that he may consider fortunate.
“I was taking off my shoe covers and my hand went into the front wheel,” the American told Cyclingnews.
"I can change a battery on a rear derailleur but taking off my shoe covers got me," he added, joking about how he had managed to change a battery on his bike at high speed during stage 3 but was not so lucky this time.
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The 2023 Giro d'Italia has been beset by crashes, with Jumbo-Visma team leader Primož Roglič coming down on stage 11 in a spill that also saw Ineos Grenadiers' Tao Geoghegan Hart leave the race with a broken hip.
28-year-old Sepp Kuss is now a seasoned professional. He appears to understand that crashes, injuries and the daily stress of Grand Tour racing are part of the sport.
“There have been a lot of incidents, that’s unfortunate but that’s how it goes in pro cycling,” he said.
“Sometimes these ‘easier’ days are when you can lose the most just by bad luck. It’s important to do these days as best we can.”
Kuss was saddened to hear about Geoghegan Hart’s crash but tried to put any personal thoughts and emotions about the risk of racing to one side.
“Primož crashed but compared to Tao, things can always be worse, we know that,” he said.
“It’s best not to think about it all too much because if you start to worry about it, then it costs you energy. Crashes aren’t things you can control, you have to focus on doing your best, staying healthy and staying out of trouble.”
Despite Roglič’s latest crash, Kuss is convinced his team leader is ready to challenge for overall victory in the Giro d’Italia as the Alps loom ever larger on the horizon to the north.
“Primož is good. Even when as crashes like today, he can always look on the bright side and he’s still in a perfect place,” Kuss said.
“The hard stages are coming, I think he’s feeling good and I think he’s growing into his best form, so we’re all excited to see how the Giro plays out.”