Jack Bauer was able to stand on the podium with his teammates at the end of Paris-Nice a proud man, with his Quick-Step Floors outfit a massive presence throughout the race. But now he has his eyes set on Milan-San Remo and nothing but the win with his team. We took the chance to chat to him.
RC: You’ve had a busy season already in 2017 with four World Tour events, and you’ve performed mixed roles throughout from being lead out man, breakaway rider, engine on the front mid-race etc. How were you feeling heading into Paris-Nice?
Jack: Tired! I actually came down ill after the one day race ‘Le Samyn’ in Hainaut, Belgium the Wednesday after Abu Dhabi had finished. I was on the start line trying to deal with a busy travel schedule getting from the Abu Dhabi to Europe, as well as dealing with a 30 degree temp difference. From mid 30s in the desert to 0 degrees rain and mud…fair to say the body got a bit of a shock. So I was struggling heading into Paris-Nice. Luckily I pulled through in the first few days in the rain and came good mid week.
RC: With Julian Alaphilippe, Daniel Martin and Marcel Kittel all on board would it be fair to say that your Paris-Nice has been busier than any of the other races you’ve been involved in this year so far?
Jack: For sure. We went into the week targeting jerseys/sprints/ the classification…it was always going to be a busy couple of days! Also due to the fact that we took the race by the horns on stage 1, splitting the bunch and riding the gap to the line. We set ourselves up for taking the jersey and a GC defense from the beginning of the race by putting 3 inside the GC hunt early on and distancing a lot of the favourites prior to the uphill TT. This meant that I had to be ready to do some time on the front from the get go, controlling the breaks and gaps, and riding position for Alaphilippe and Martin most days.
RC: How have you found adjusting to the Quick-Step Floors way of racing?
Jack: Easy. It suits me. Perfect fit.
RC: There are a lot of high points for the team from Paris-Nice but what will stick in your mind as a highlight for you over the last week?
Jack: Having 5 from the team hang on over a Cat 1 climb and be in position at the foot of the Col de la Coullole at the finale of stage 7 to defend the yellow.
RC: How satisfying is it for you to stand up on the podium with your teammates, having been part of an outfit that has been so strong throughout Paris-Nice?
Jack: Very, the guys deserved that. I think it was one of the first team classification wins ever for Quick-Step Floors also!
RC: Where do you head from here race-wise?
Jack: To Milan-San Remo on Saturday. We are there to win. With Alaphilippe, Boonen, Gilbert, Gaviria we definitely have the fire power.