QLd’s Jay Vine wins first ever stage in Spain’s La Vuelta
Aussie cyclist Jay Vine dedicated his first stage win as a professional to his wife after overcoming horror conditions to take victory in the sixth stage of the Vuelta a Espana.
With rain and fog hampering the climb in the Cantabrian mountains, Vine, from Townsville, was an unexpected winner in the 181.2km run through the Picos de Europa and revealed his team had carefully planned the attack.
Visibility was so bad amid the fog that TV cameras got no footage of the Queenslander earning the first win of his pro career after which Vine said it was “time to get a Corvette”.
“With 70km to go, I missed the break, got a flat tyre, and even though it was the team plan for me to attack on the final climb, it’s unreal to be able to do that,” said the 26-year-old from Townsville.
“I’ve been working towards this all year. It’s a dream come true.
“I knew no- ne would care if I went and I was able to manage my effort and pace my climb.
“This is for my you, my wife, who has basically done everything for me for the last three or four years to get to this point.
“Now it’s time to get a Corvette.”
Belgian tyro Remco Evenepoel left his Vuelta a Espana title rivals in the stage and now leads the overall standings by 21sec from overnight leader Rudy Molard, while Movistar’s Spanish rider Enric Mas is third at 28sec.
Evenepoel’s teammate Julian Alaphilippe led the peloton both up and down the penultimate climb before unleashing his young charge Vine on the last one.
A sustained acceleration from Evenepoel on the foggy slopes of Pico Jano dropped Simon Yates, Richard Carapaz and Primoz Roglic, but with visibility limited to a few metres on the summit, he could not quite close the gap on Vine, who held on to win by 15sec.
Pre-race favourite Roglic of Jumbo finished the final 12.6km climb 1min 22sec adrift of the 22-year-old Evenepoel (Quick-Step), who also picked up bonus seconds.
“There’s still a long way but today we lost a bit. (The others) go strong but I didn’t need that proof. Quite difficult weather for the Vuelta.”
Three-time defending champion Roglic is fourth at 1min 01sec, while Ineos pair Pavel Sivakov and Tao Geoghegan Hart are at 1min 27sec.
Friday’s stage seven is a medium mountain run from Camargo to Cisternia, but Saturday and Sunday take the Vuelta into two crucial mountain stages.
– with AFP