Jay Vine ahead of Sepp Kuss during Stage 3 of this year’s Vuelta. Image: Sirotti

Jay Vine Reflects On Vuelta-Ending Crash

2023 started solidly for Jay Vine, the newly-crowned Australian Time Trial champion winning the Santos Tour Down Under in sensational style.

But the ensuing months have not exactly gone to plan, with the 27yo experiencing first-hand the ups, downs, trials and tribulations of the pro cycling world.

Selected for the third and final Grand Tour of the year, the Vuelta Espana, Vine was in scintillating form going into the race and after 5 stages was the leading Australian in 13th overall.

But everything changed when a chaotic Stage 6 crash devastated numerous riders, including Vine.

Taking to social media in the days after abandoning his 4th Grand Tour (3 Vueltas and 1 Giro), Vine wrote that the crash ‘has been a bitter pill to swallow.’

‘From being in the winning move during Stage 6, and thinking the team & I could potentially take the red jersey; to all of a sudden being sent flying into the road at 70km/hr from a random mechanical. Once again I found myself on the side of the road & my La Vuelta ended,’ he wrote.

‘I had a whole 40/ 50 minutes on the side of the road thinking whilst waiting for the ambulance to come. After the initial anger, & the heat of the moment it dawned on me that what actually hurts the most is I finally sorted out my many mishaps throughout the season. This year has been challenging, I started questioning if I even belong in the pelo, but I got my various health issues finally sorted, I’ve worked with my technical skills, I’ve been working on minimising the risks, and I finally started to feel like I belong in the peloton again both mentally and physically, whilst having fun racing my bike.’

Vine on the side of the road after the unfortunate Stage 6 crash. Image: Team UAE Emirates

‘Typically when things go sideways, we walk away being like ‘xx lessons learnt’ depending on the situation. But this was totally random, I’ve had the team assure me there wasn’t anything I could do, however, this is going to play on my mind for a while.

‘The team was great & let Bre know I was okay ASAP, so she got in the car to meet me at the hospital relatively quickly. I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty sore. After a few hours at the hospital having them confirm no breaks, then cleaning & scrubbing the wounds within an inch of their life (which I’ve been assured is definitely a good thing). 7 hours after the accident they decided it would be a great idea to try & close the big gash in my elbow with 9 staples without any local anaesthetic & just a form of Panadol. That was by far the most painful few hours in the hospital I’ve ever had.

‘The team got me back to the hotel & we spent the night there with the team, before Bre & I drove back home yesterday. A few days in bed are in order.

‘I don’t know how long it will take for me to recover but this is a pretty big blow to morale, luckily I have a great support network around me. I appreciate all the support, I love racing my bike & it’s amazing & humbling that people support me.’

Bicycling Australia wish Jay all the best in recovery, and look forward seeing him back racing soon and indeed defending his TDU title in January 2024.


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