Tweets of the week: GC Sepp Kuss vs Jumbo-Visma breaks the internet

Did we see a team cowed into making a tactical decision because of social media? Maybe

Sepp Kuss with tweets overlaid
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The last week of this year's Vuelta a España looked like it might be quite a dull affair. Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) had over two and a half minutes on his nearest non-Jumbo challenger, Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates) in fourth, and looked solid in red.

It was not a dull affair. Four days later, and the American just about still looks secure in red, but not without extraordinary drama this week, drama wholly created from within Jumbo-Visma. First there was stage 16, where Jonas Vingegaard took a minute on his teammates Kuss and Primož Roglič to leapfrog the latter into third; then there was stage 17, the really weird day, when Roglič and Vingegaard rode away from their teammate and race leader to gain more time on him.

The whole thing was very, very strange. As I explored earlier this week, one wonders if this was the harmonious team image Jumbo-Visma wants to present to the world, especially as a team searching for a title sponsor for next year. If the team is going to be so dominant, why not do it in a more photogenic way? Comments by Vingegaard, and Roglič in particular, have not helped our view on the situation.

The reason why this is relevant to Tweets of the Week is that the situation created an outpouring of takes and memes on social media, a tsunami mostly in favour of Kuss' general classification charge, or GC Kuss as he or it has come to be known. 

Between stage 17 and 18, things seemed very fraught, with Escape reporting that things were very awkward at the Jumbo hotel. A crisis meeting was held, with the plan for stage 18, and possible the rest of the race, decided; the team would ride for Kuss, and Vingegaard and Roglič would support this.

Is it possible that the decision to ride for Kuss came from the overwhelming social media pressure? It doesn't seem too outlandish. Every Jumbo-Visma tweet on Tuesday and Wednesday was inundated with GC Kuss propaganda, or messages lambasting the Dutch team for their confusing tactics. I wouldn't rule out that team tactics were decided by Twitter/X/online pressure.

Anyway, this weeks social media roundup is dominated by the memes that came out of the GC Kuss saga, but there is also Annemiek van Vleuten on a horse, Luke Rowe downing a beer at the Tour of Britain, and a Mark Cavendish and Chris Froome reunion.

1. Jacopo Guarnieri knows what bike racing is all about

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2. Nothing wrong with silver

3. My favourite fresco

4. At one point on the Angliru, it did seem like life was pointless

5. You're gonna let me win this one, right?

6. It was heartbreaking

7. The meme that refuses to die

8. One future American at Jumbo-Visma made his feelings very clear on Wednesday

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9. There were some very unhappy people on Twitter

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10. By Thursday, the PR machine had kicked in to make sure everything looked rosy. Blair and Brown, they were best friends forever, right?

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11. Jumbo-Visma, 1-2-3 on general classification, is only able to be stopped by err the Spanish police?

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12. We were being played by Jumbo the whole time

13. There are many reasons to love Sepp Kuss, but his dog with its accreditation is right up there. He should win the Vuelta for that alone

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14. Away from the Spanish Grand Tour and GC Kuss, Annemiek van Vleuten reveals how she got so good in the saddle - by, err, riding a horse

15. Luke Rowe having the time of his life on the final stage of the Tour of Britain, downing a Corona with his brother, in a dress. Naturally

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16. SD Worx, the hippest group out of the Netherlands, has an album dropping soon

17. Does Mark Cavendish crash, does he swerve off road? What's going on here, I have no idea

18. Finally, I love this tweet for digging down into the absurdity of professional cycling. Imagine being a hotel manager and suddenly Alpecin-Deceuninck turn up with 10 mattresses

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Adam Becket
Senior news and features writer

Adam is Cycling Weekly’s senior news and feature writer – his greatest love is road racing but as long as he is cycling on tarmac, he's happy. Before joining Cycling Weekly he spent two years writing for Procycling, where he interviewed riders and wrote about racing, speaking to people as varied as Demi Vollering to Philippe Gilbert. Before cycling took over his professional life, he covered ecclesiastical matters at the world’s largest Anglican newspaper and politics at Business Insider. Don't ask how that is related to cycling.