Sunday, 22 January – 3:30pm
The extraordinary rise and rise of Jay Vine continues, the 27yo Australian winning his first WorldTour event – the 2023 Santos Tour Down Under.
Now riding for UAE Team Emirates, Vine’s rise to the top-level pro ranks has been far from ordinary. The ‘23 TDU is his first race for his new team having spent the past two years – his first taste of the WorldTour – with Alpecin Fenix / Alpecin–Deceuninck over 2021/22.
Just over two years ago Vine beat hundreds of other indoor trainer riders from around the world to win the Zwift Academy, an online talent search competition with the grand prize being the opportunity to ride with a top-tier team for a year.
From The Home Trainer To The WorldTour
After winning the 2020 Zwift Academy, Vine signed with Alpecin-Fenix. Together with his wife Bre, the pair moved from Canberra to the pro cycling Mecca of Girona in Catalonia, northern Spain.
In his first year he finished 2nd overall at the Presidential Tour of Turkey then scored a start in his maiden Grand Tour, the ’21 Vuelta.
On Friday January 20 he wore his first WorldTour leader’s jersey at Stage 3 of the 2023 Santos Tour Down Under. He held the lead on Stage 4, then finished 2nd to Simon Yates on the final Mt Lofty stage.
Clearly thrilled with his maiden WorldTour race win, he said it was a tough day in the saddle and thanked his new teammates at UAE Emirates.
In a new team, new colours and his first major victory, Vine said he was very pleased to deliver his new team their first Tour Down Under overall win.
Dave McKenzie: ‘If a few years ago we said you’d be standing here, you wouldn’t believe it world you?’
Jay Vine: ‘Absolutely not … the last guy to win this was Richie Porte, an idol of mine, and to be standing here two years after he stood here is pretty special. It’s something I’ll remember for the rest of my career.’
Simon Yates Scores Stage Win
The Schwalbe Tyres Stage 5 of the 2023 Tour Down Under was historic for several reasons, the main being the location – a race finish away from Willunga Hill.
Mount Lofty was new Race Director Stuy O’Grady’s dream location for the TDU finale, and the plan came together with absolute precision.
Simon Yates, second overall and Jay Vine’s most feared and revered rival, enjoyed and deserved the Stage 5 victory.
More To Come
Saturday, 21 January – 3pm
French rider Bryan Coquard of team Cofidis has won the fourth stage of the 2023 Santos Tour Down Under in Willunga. His first WorldTour victory away from home soil, Coquard was victorious after a long and strong sprint on the slightly uphill finish.
Well ahead of stage favourites Caleb Ewan and Michael Matthews, it was also Coquard’s first stage win in his 10-year WorldTour career.
Jay Vine of UAE Team Emirates continues to lead the General Classification ahead of final Mt Lofty stage on Sunday.
30-year-old Coquard claimed the victory ahead of Wednesday’s efex Prologue winner Alberto Bettiol (EF Education-EasyPost) and Hugo Page of Intermarche Circus Wanty.
“I have waited for 10 years for this first WorldTour win,’’ Coquard said. “I think I had a bad start to the race, I have won many races but no WorldTour races, I am very happy about this. It was nice to smell this team spirit with the guys who I can win.”
Jay Vine leads the race by 15 seconds over Pello Bilbao and Simon Yates. Vine, a cool-headed climber and reigning Australian time trial champion, is just 112.5km from claiming his first WorldTour GC when the Schwalbe stage 5 Unley to Mount Lofty starts at11.30am on Sunday.
Asked how safe his lead was on the eve on the final stage, Jay Vine had this to say.
“We should be okay. Obviously, anything can happened tomorrow, but the climb is three minutes at six watts per kilo, so that will be like 2 minutes 45 seconds. It’s not long enough really. You can’t do more than that to get away so I think it should be safe.”
Bicycling Australia will have full coverage from stage start to the stage finish. OurTour Down Under Coverage Is Presented By Hammerhead Cycling Computers.
Friday, 20 January
Jay Vine now wears the Tour Down Under Leader’s Jersey after a brilliant ride on the pivotal Stage 3 of the race.
It was Spaniard Pello Bilbao who enjoyed his debut Santos Tour Down Under stage win in Campbelltown on the warm Friday afternoon.
The Bahrain Victorious’ Giro D’Italia stage winner beat Australia’s hot GC favourite Jay Vine (UAE Emirates) and Vuelta a Espana champion Simon Yatas (Jayco AlULa) to the Maryvale Road, Athelstone finish line in the Stage 3 that started in Norwood some two and a half hours earlier.
“We really came in a good mood to this race,’’ Bilbao, 32, said. “Team sports director Neil Stephens was super enthusiastic about it – it’s been six months preparing for his home race.
With Bilbao claiming his first stage win at the Australian WorldTour race, Vine became the third ochre jersey leader after South Australia’s Rohan Dennis was forced to concede the GC. Bilbao 15 seconds behind Jay Vine, while Yates is sitting third, 16 seconds back.
Just before the stage start we spoke with Jay’s wife Bre, and as you’ll see in the video on the Bicycling Australia socials, today’s outcome was all part of the plan.
Bicycling Australia’s Tour Down Under Coverage Is Presented By Hammerhead Cycling Computers.