Jay Vine has won the Australian Time Trial Championship. The new UAE Emirates addition was three seconds faster than time trial specialist Luke Durbridge (Jayco AlUla) on the 37.5-kilometer course. It’s a spectacular development from the guy who earned a pro contract via Zwift two years ago. The final podium spot went to Durbridge’s teammate Kelland O’Brien. Grace Brown succeeded herself in the women’s race.
After becoming Australian road champion on Sunday, Luke Plapp looked the top favorite for the time trial title on Tuesday. However, the 22-year-old INEOS Grenadiers talent suffered a chain problem during his time trial which saw him lose a lot of time. He would eventually finish fourth, 27 seconds behind the winner. That initially seemed to be Durbridge, because the 31-year-old rider of Jayco AlUla clocked the best time at the intermediate point. At the finish, however, he appeared to have to admit three seconds to Vine, who took the win. Something that shocked loads of people who didn’t put their free bets on Vine.
Jay Vine earned a 2021 contract with ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast, a continental team. But in the end, Vine didn’t cycle for that team. After all, in 2020, in the midst of the corona pandemic, the Australian became acquainted with the Zwift platform. He took part in the Zwift Academy competition and actually made it to the final, where he beat a number of top e-bike riders, including the Belgian Lionel Vujasin and the Dutchman Jochem Kerckaert. The rules of the competition stipulate that the winner of the men’s version receives a professional contract for one year with (then still) Alpecin-Fenix. After all, the Roodhooft brothers have a deal with the training platform, just like Canyon-SRAM has with the women. During the competition, Vine had particularly impressed during the climb of the ‘Alpe du Zwift’, one of the parts in addition to a points race and a time trial. Vine’s wattage per kilogram of body weight was quite impressive, according to the judges he had a real climber profile. A dream came true for the Australian lightweight: suddenly he became a teammate of Mathieu van der Poel.