Cyclo-cross Betting, in advance of Single Speed Worlds, “Eagle of Durango” flies the coop.
Sepp Kuss won’t challenge the prized tattoo because he’ll be on holiday in the Maldives with his new wife.
The Durango Eagle has left the building on Cyclo-cross Betting.
We can officially confirm that American climbing prodigy Sepp Kuss won’t compete in Durango’s Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships under the cover of anonymity after all.
As a dirt-loving native of Durango and a former three-time collegiate mountain bike champion, Kuss was initially registered as “The Eagle of Durango” and was supposed to be the surprise star racer at this year’s competition.
Many cycling celebrities have expressed interest in the boisterous end-of-year bash known as the SSCXWC over the years, and some have competed under false identities, most notably Belgian cyclocross legend Sven Nys, who competed as “Stan Nice” in December 2016.
The 28-year-old WorldTour rider is presently on a vacation in the Maldives with his new bride rather than competing for the coveted winner’s tattoo.
According to Kuss, his season-ending plans were abruptly altered when he was forced to compete in the Tour de France criteriums in Singapore and Japan for the Cyclo-cross Betting.
Kuss acknowledged that he had been signed up for the single speed world championships and expressed regret at having to miss it. The highly unofficial, unsanctioned, and anarchistic World Championships have returned after two years of Covid postponements, and the qualification rounds began today.
The SSCXWC, now in its 14th year, is a celebration of everything we love about cross-country racing: playing on bikes in the mud, beer, hand-ups, fried foods, spectator engagement, and a healthy dose of competition, without the burden of annoying regulations regarding sock length, tire width, barrier height, flat bars, or course features.
Actually, there is only one requirement that must be followed: the victor must permanently mark their victory with a tattoo, or they will be shunned by the single-speed community. Other unsaid guidelines include dressing up, having your sobriety verified, and not taking oneself too seriously.
There are plenty of professionals among the competitors even without Kuss, including Stephan Davoust (Giant Factory Team), Keegan Swenson (Santa Cruz Bicycles), Specialized off-road pro Russel Finsterwald, elite cyclocrosser Sunny Gilbert, retired domestic pro roadie Beth Ann Orten, and gravel pro Sarah Sturm.
The World Championship’s Instagram account is definitely your best chance if you want to follow this year’s wildest competition. Additionally the Cyclo-cross Betting, we’ll have a race report and pictures for you here on cyclingweekly.com early the following week.