Australian Jay Fine wins Round Down Under


Adelaide, Australia (AP) — Australian Jay Vine defended his overnight lead to win the Tour Down Under cycling race, the premiere event of the 2023 World Tour.

Britain’s Simon Yates won Sunday’s final stage and moved from third to second overall. Fine came second on the stage for the biggest win of his career in a stage race.

The Team UAE rider took the overall lead of the Tour when he finished second on the second stage and third on the third of the five stages. He reached the final stage by 15 seconds in the general classification.

The 112.5-kilometre (70 mi) stage included four laps of a 25-kilometre (15.5 mi) circuit through the Adelaide Hills before finishing just past the summit of Mount Lofty.

Yeats led the decisive attack on the climb less than 2 kilometers (1.2 mi) from the finish, but Fine hopped on his wheel and Australian Ben O’Connor was also joined.

O’Connor took the lead near the finish line, Fane briefly passed him but Yates came over the top to take his stage win. Vine retained his overall advantage and captured the title in his Tour Down Under debut.

The 27-year-old made his name in esports before being signed by UAE Team Emirates after winning the Academy program on Zwift’s online platform. He won two stages of last year’s Vuelta a Espana and the Australian time trial title.

“It’s unbelievable to be standing here in this jersey,” said Fine. “The way he led us was top notch. My guys were great.”

The final stage featured a 13-rider breakaway, but Fine’s UAE teammates led the chase in the peloton and put their rider in position to battle for victory.

Yates again rode an aggressive race but had to be happy with the stage win.

“We went down with a lot of ambition. We put a lot into it and didn’t come out all together but we can walk away very happily,” said Yates.

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