La Vuelta was probably the hardest of the 3 grand Tours this year. Sepp rode all 3, helping teammates win the Giro d’Italia, and the Tour de France. He won La Vuelta with the 2 other GT winners coming in 2nd and 3rd. There was a bit of controversy within Sepp’s team about leadership because it looked at one point or another both of his teammates who took 2nd and 3rd seemingly attacked Sepp in the mountains. Kind of a dickish move by them because he was leading, and ultimately won.
I was reminded of LeMond’s 1986 Tour victory over Bernard Hinault, who kept attacking LeMond during the Tour. After agreeing to work for Greg at the 1986 Tour, because LeMond was Hinault’s helper during at least 2 of Hinault’s 5 Tour wins. Hinault was saying at the time that it was to help Greg out, although we all know Hinault wanted to win. His nickname wasn’t the Badger for nothing.
Sepp is the 1st American, since Chris Horner 10 years ago to win a GT. In both of their cases, la Vuelta. Officially only Greg LeMond has won the Tour. Andy Hampsten won the Giro back in the late 80s.