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‘I like doing my own thing and getting the job done’ – The tale of Jay Vine’s singular rise

‘I like doing my own thing and getting the job done’ – The tale of Jay Vine’s singular rise

“The watts are the watts,” Jay Vine says with the weary air of a man who knows that not everybody sees it in quite the same way. His talent as a climber was already evident in his first professional race at the Tour of Turkey in 2021, but his unorthodox route to the professional peloton created preconceptions that weren’t easily shaken off.

As a graduate of the Zwift Academy e-racing series, Vine was blessed with a professional contract at Alpecin-Deceuninck but cursed to have to replicate his power from the virtual format over and again in real conditions until everyone was fully convinced. Even when he fended off Remco Evenepoel to win atop Pico Jano on a sodden afternoon at last year’s Vuelta a España – cycling’s answer to producing the goods on football’s proverbial cold, wet night in Stoke – the last of the doubts weren’t quite allayed.

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