High performance director Martin Barras is very pleased that Jack Bauer of Mitchelton-Scott has gone about from his original indications that he wouldn’t race the Commonwealth Games; and is now a member of the road race team for the Gold Coast. Bauer will join Shane Archbold, Alex Frame and James Oram in the road race with Hamish Bond taking on the time trial.
Originally the indications were that the World Tour contingent of Kiwis would be largely unavailable for the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast; and that contingent included Jack Bauer. Sam Bewley, George Bennett, Patrick Bevin and Tom Scully had all ruled themselves out for selection in the Gold Coast with the dates clashing with crucial team duties on the European circuit; which for George Bennett and Patrick Bevin include the Giro d’Italia.
Bauer had said that despite his desire to potentially better his silver medal winning performance in Glasgow, timing would also rule him out at a crucial stage in the classics season. But things have since changed for him. As reported by Stuff, Martin Barras had always hoped that Bauer would be available for selection and after negotiating with Bauer’s Mitchelton-Scott outfit, permission was given and selection made.
“I have to say that is a turnaround that we are extremely pleased with,” Barras said. “When I was talking with a lot of these guys earlier in the piece, the story is always the same; that the Commonwealth Games are programmed right in the middle of the Classics, which are some of the most important races for the big pro teams and that makes it very difficult to release their riders.
“But what was really interesting, he was very genuine in expressing how important it was for him to come and race for New Zealand. So to get his team, Mitchelton-Scott, to come to the party and make it possible is very rewarding because it means not only can we count on a very high quality rider but a very high quality individual, and there’s no doubt that that is very important in the makeup of the team.”
Also joining Bauer from the World Tour will be Trek-Segafredo’s Alex Frame, in his first year at World Tour level, while Shane Archbold will line up in black having transitioned to ProContinental outfit Aqua Blue Sport this year.
Bauer’s season so far has incorporated World Tour events the Abu Dhabi Tour, Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and Santos Tour Down Under; with the next phase set to take in the classics in Europe and potentially a start at Tirreno-Adriatico. At the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Bauer outsprinted Scott Thwaites to take the silver medal behind Welshman Geraint Thomas.