The will he, won’t he saga surrounding Jay Vine’s move to UAE Team Emirates concluded last week with the annulment of the rider’s Alpecin-Deceuninck contract and his new team announcing that the Australian would ride them for the next two years.
The move came after a complicated period of time in which even Vine seemed unsure about his future, but with the ink dry and UAE confirming the addition of yet another major climber, the path is set for Vine to carry on his rapid rise through the professional ranks.
This year Vine finished second in both the Tour of Turkey and the Tour of Norway before having a breakthrough at the Vuelta a España where he won two stages. He was leading the mountains classification before eventually being forced to quit the race in the final week following a crash.
The 26-year-old has already linked up with his new teammates, and general manager Mauro Gianetti believes that his most recent acquisition can propel himself to the very top of the sport.
“We see that he’s a very good rider. He’s making great progress and the Vuelta results confirmed our vision from the start of the season,” Gianetti told VeloNews. “We saw in Norway, Turkey, and in France at the Etoile de Bessèges, when he was close to winning races. At times, he just wasn’t tactically perfect and that’s why he didn’t win but he can come to our team and be a very high-level rider on the climbs.”
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UAE Team Emirates already has a glut of GC riders with two-time Tour de France winner Tadej Pogačar leading a pack that also includes Juan Ayuso, João Almeida, Marc Soler, Adam Yates, and Brandon McNulty.
Gianetti believes that there’s still untapped potential in Vine’s ability, especially given the rider’s trajectory and limited experience at WorldTour racing. The Swiss team boss has identified key areas where improvements can be made and stressed that Vine could one day be relied upon as a force in GC stage racing.
“We think that he can also go for GC in the future. We need to work with him on his time trialing because with the numbers that he has he can for sure do a better time trial. We’ll invest time and energy helping him improve his position because he can be a complete rider,” Gianetti said.
Vine’s debut race in 2023 has yet to be decided. He could line up for the Australian nationals at the start of January, with his WorldTour debut coming during the same month at the returning Tour Down Under in Adelaide.
“Most likely he can race the Tour Down Under. He will have motivation for this and to race at home. He will be at our training camps too,” Gianetti said.
✍️ We're delighted to announce the signing of @JayVine3 🇦🇺 on a two-year deal.
— @UAE-TeamEmirates (@TeamEmiratesUAE) November 3, 2022