You Have to See This Mid-Race Bike Repair from American Sepp Kuss in the Giro d'Italia
Yesterday’s Giro d’Italia stage showed us that, well, pro racers? They’re just like us... and sometimes, they have issues with their electronic shifting. Like forgetting to keep your battery charged.
But unlike most of us, they’re also skilled enough to attempt to remedy the situation mid-ride. At least, that’s what American racer Sepp Kuss did during Stage 3 yesterday. In lieu of pulling over and waiting for his team car, Kuss fiddled with the battery near his rear derailleur while riding at full speed.
Watch the moment here
In the broadcast, commentator Adam Blythe said that the repair attempt “was the most impressive thing he had seen today,” showing immense courage on the part of the Jumbo-Visma racer who, with complete disregard for his own fingers, was willing to attempt to repair his bike in order to help his teammates up the road.
As some commentators pointed out, the swap was made even harder due to the UCI’s rules about staying in contact with the saddle of the bike (primarily in place to avoid dangerous ultra-tucked aero positions).
Luckily, Kuss seems to have an impressive range of motion (or just really long arms).
Naturally, Twitter had some fun with Kuss’s attempt, adding commentary like “I’m waiting for an IT Consultant to say ‘Try switching it off, then on again’” and “Take out the cartridge then blow on it.”
“Grampy, how did you lose your fingers?”
“Well kids, I was a support rider at the Giro and had a derailleur problem on a meaningless GC stage and tried to fix it at 50kph instead of just waiting for the team car and that’s why they call me Stumpy.” https://t.co/jbLtillBXi
— joelindsey (@joelindsey) May 8, 2023
Unfortunately, despite his Herculean effort, he wasn’t able to smoothly swap out the battery. Instead, he was forced to pedal furiously in a ludicrously easy gear in the back or tuck into aero position and coast.
He did eventually pull over to try to troubleshoot his bike, but lost a significant amount of time waiting for mechanical support to arrive.
What can we learn here?
There are a few important takeaways from Kuss’s debacle: First, always carry a fully charged spare battery if you use electronic shifting.
And second, please come to a complete stop whilst swapping out your battery. Do not try Kuss’s dramatic fix at home!
As for the race itself: Michael Matthews took the win, and Kuss’s teammate Primož Roglič sits in third in the overall, just 44 seconds down from race leader Remco Evenepoel. And despite the debacle with the derailleur, Kuss is only 5:08 down from the leader in the overall, sitting in 67th position.
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