Seb Kuss & Nielsen Powles: ‘People in America only care if they win the Tour de France’

Impotent: “My father watched the Tour de France every morning in the summer. I already knew about cycling from a young age. I didn’t realize there were many races in Europe, haha. At that time we did the Tour of California. It often started or ended in Sacramento, and I left school early to watch the race. . Of course I looked up to Armstrong at that time. He was the American who won everything. Then I also started reading books about Greg LeMond. He often trained in the same area where I grew up, so I became interested in him. When I started training, I felt like I was following in his footsteps.

the kiss: “Outside of the Tour de France, every other race is hard for Americans to follow. When I say I rode the Tour de France, people say, ‘Oh, you must be really good.’ Explaining to the uninitiated the nuances between professional and recreational cyclists remains a difficult game.

Impotent: “When I met my wife, her entire family knew nothing about cycling. They all wanted me to be able to take care of her. They say, ‘You’re a cyclist, but what does that mean? Are you making money?’ It was a lot of fun. Except for a few people in the bike shop, everyone else doesn’t understand the sport. When I return to the US, I will give up cycling for a while. Then cycling was not my identity. That’s how I see it
A benefit, because it keeps everything in perspective. My mother-in-law understands the game better now, you know. Not every aspect is there yet, but they understand that, for example, cycling is not an individual sport.

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the kiss: “When I won a stage in the Tour de France last year, I got more attention than I expected. As a cyclist you live in a small world and you miss what it means to the fans in your country. I got a lot of positive feedback about that win.

Impotent: “I won the Classica San Sebastián last year and finished fifth at the World Championships in Leuven. My achievements got attention in the cycling media, but when I returned to Sacramento nobody knew who I was. If I won the Tour de France it would be different. The only race that really attracts the majority. That’s it. America only cares if you’re the best in the biggest race of all. So I know what to do if I want street cred, haha.

“My mother-in-law said: ‘You’re a cyclist, but what does that mean? Are you making money?”

Photo JdM/PN/Cor Vos © 2021 – Sep Kus wins a stage in the Tour de France

Lance Armstrong

the kiss: “I’m still often reminded of the Armstrong era. So to the doping years. Cyclists say they are still the same as they were in those years. It’s hard to convince people that today’s sport is different compared to then. The confessions of Armstrong and other former greats certainly had a huge impact on the popularity of the sport. “People have lost faith in fair play. Only the environment is completely different now.”

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