Former New Zealand time trial and road race champion Jack Bauer is happily settling in with Aussie WorldTour team Mithcelton-Scott after giving thanks to Quick-Step for ‘getting career back on track’.
When the penultimate stage time trial commences today at the fourth annual Abu Dhabi Tour — the second WorldTour stage race of the season — 2017 New Zealand champion Jack Bauer is not expecting to contend against the likes of reigning world champion Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) or three-time Australian champion Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing).
Former New Zealand time trial and road race champion @JackBauerNZ talks to @Eurosport & @RoadCycling from the @Abu_Dhabi_Tour about settling in with his new team @MitcheltonSCOTT in 2018 & thanks the previous teams that helped pave the way | via @EurosportAUS #RideToAbuDhabi pic.twitter.com/7ml4qXloYt
— Aaron S. Lee (@aaronshanelee) February 23, 2018
Instead the 32-year-old first-year Mitchelton-Scott rider tells RoadCycling.co.nz any personal aspirations are set aside and his objective is clear. “I’m here to pull the sprint for Caleb Ewan, I don’t have any ambitions for the time trial,” he explained prior to the Stage 3 start on Friday. “That’s more than a year ago — that’s old news.”
The Tour of Britain stage winner, Commonwealth Games silver medallist and 2012 Olympian does not look behind. In fact, he rarely reflects on his past accomplishments including one of his breakout performances at the 2014 Tour de France in which he and Suisse Martin Elmiger led nearly an entire rain-soaked 222-kilometre stage before they were caught inside the closing 30 metres; finishing in 10th and 16th respectively.
“It was my biggest opportunity so far to grab a stage at the Tour de France, but it didn’t happen that day, so I’m waiting for my next chance,” said Bauer, who claims he is not necessarily holding his breath until another opportunity arises.
“We line up so many times during the year, you have to put the past behind you,” he said. “You have to move on, learn from your mistakes and hope to do better next time. That applies to all walks of life, not just cycling.
“That said, it’s not a mistake not winning a bike race,” Bauer continued. “We all line up to win, but we all lose more than we win aside form the lucky few in the sport.
“But I enjoy what I do and being in the Aussie culture with my new team — it’s a good fit.”
While the former Tour of Utah and Herald Sun Tour stage winner is happily settling in with the Australian WorldTour team, he does acknowledge and credit his previous teams for the role each played in his career.
“I turned pro with Garmin,” explained Bauer of his 2012 WorldTour debut. “They gave me my first shot and I learned a lot of things. Rode my first Giro, Tour de France and all the Classics — cut my teeth with the team —had a great time there.
“Had a significant injury in 2015,” he continued. “Broke my femur. It was the end of my days with Cannondale as it was at the time. [Patrick] Lefevere and Quick-Step were kind enough to give me a great opportunity last year to get my career back on track.
“I had a great time riding with [Marcel] Kittel, [Julian] Alaphilippe, [Philippe] Gilbert — they had a great lineup. This year I’ve changed colours to Mitchelton-Scott and so far really, real loving it.
“Working with the Yates boys, Caleb Ewan — obviously all young, hungry talented guys with many, many years of success ahead of them — which is great to be a part of it.
“It’s a bright future.”