"Many people in my country still remember the era of Lance Armstrong. It would be nice if that image changed a bit" - Sepp Kuss on potential impact of his Vuelta victory

For the first time in a decade, an American has emerged victorious at a Grand Tour with Sepp Kuss taking the Red Jersey at the Vuelta a Espana. Now, the 29-year-old is hoping to inspire more of his compatriots and regrow the sport Stateside.

"Of course it's not the Tour de France, but it is a big step forward. More and more people are realizing what it means for the United States," In de Leidestrui quotes Kuss as saying at a post-Vuelta a Espana press conference. "Hopefully I have also been able to inspire many people or offer new insights into the field of cycling. In any case, things are going well for American cycling, as guys like Matteo Jorgenson, Neilson Powless and Brandon McNulty are also showing great things."

Sadly, in the US, cycling is still viewed as a sport tarnished by the controversies of yesteryear with a black cloud hanging over professional bike racing. "Many people in my country still remember the era of Lance Armstrong. It would be nice if that image changed a bit," says Kuss. "However, I continue to find it difficult to say whether America really needs a new classification rider, because I am not sure how our love for racing will develop."

Kuss himself seemingly has no interest in swapping his more usual role of super domestique to the pressures of being a regular Grand Tour contender, especially not at the most well-known of cycling's races, the Tour de France. "That is really something different from the Vuelta. Moreover, the Vuelta is a round that simply suits me best. Things are much more nervous in the Tour. The transition stages in France are also much more difficult. The climbs also suit me less well, because they are generally less steep," he explains. "Probably I will be a super domestique again next year, although the role of joker is also close to my heart!"

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