Jack Bauer Interview: Winning in Utah and planning ahead
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Monday, August 29, 2011

Jack Bauer Interview: Winning in Utah and planning ahead

by Ed Hood at 10:11 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Interviews
 
Endura Racing’s Kiwi going well

Jack BauerTwo years ago Kiwi Jack Bauer arrived on the Flanders scene as an up and coming ‘kermesse king;’ within six months he had signed a contract with UK pro squad Endura and had beaten ProTour stars Hayden Roulston and Julian Dean to the New Zealand elite road title.

Last year saw Bauer’s best results come from UK and New Zealand races, but in the recent Tour of Utah the 26 year-old pulled off his biggest win to date; outwitting flyers like Elia Viviani (Liquigas-Cannondale) and Robert Forster (United Healthcare) to take stage two to Provo. The merit of that triumph was underlined when Viviani went on to take two stage wins in last week's USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

VeloNation: Congratulations on the win Jack…can you talk us through it?

Jack Bauer: It was awesome – I wasn’t expecting it, we were really just there to get exposure and to build up for the Tour of Britain.

It was day three, stage two – we were going for the stage and had four of us lined out in the finale, I was second wheel and at around one kilometre to go there was a 90 degree left, we hit the corner very fast and when I looked back I saw that we’d gapped the other two.

I stepped on it, went out into the wind, gave it full gas and was a couple of lengths clear at the line.

VN: You were eighth in the prologue – that must be a tough effort at altitude?

JB:: It was a ball-buster – two kilometres straight up a mountain.It was up to where the ski jump was for the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics – 2,000 metre elevation and I hadn’t had much time to acclimatise.

We arrived in the middle of the night on the Friday and were racing on the Tuesday – the air definitely feels thin, you notice it right away.

You can’t make the same efforts you can at sea level; you can’t hold full gas, your efforts are cut in half, there’s nothing to feed your legs and the pain is in your lungs.

The Columbians were impressive, they had the whole team on the front until the selection was made and then they started to attack…that’s what I heard; I didn’t actually see it!

VN: To be climbing well in that prologue you must have lost weight since your Flanders days?

JB:: I’ve lost two or three kilos for this season, I noticed the weight coming off me gradually through last year.

It makes a big difference, you climb better but I think I’m maybe a little slower on my TT bike and maybe a little down in the sprints.

But I have realised that I’m a bike rider, not a professional eater!

VN: And you’ve forsaken Manchester for Girona?

JB:: I realised that the UK isn’t cut out for cycling; I thought about going back to Gent but I was chatting to a team mate on Facebook at the turn of the year and he was talking about getting an apartment in Gerona so we agreed to share.

Alex Sans Vega, our DS was very helpful in getting us sorted out. Girona is great, the weather is good, the training routes are excellent, the beaches are cool, it’s a nice place – and there are a plenty of Kiwis and Aussies to train with.

Jack BauerVN: Your other big result this year was second in the Olympia Tour in Holland…

JB:: Prior to Utah that was really my only result, I was disappointed not to win a stage but it was a tight race decided on sprints and time bonuses, and Rabobank had it under control.

VN: Endura has gone up a level this year…

JB:: Definitely, and it’s not just because we have a stronger line up. We’re older and wiser and have better direction…we’re focussed on getting results.

The team we had in Utah was a good line up, we all get along and when the form is there we can get the result.

VN: The London Olympics – how big a deal is it for you?

JB:: Definitely a big deal, I’ve been thinking about riding the Olympics since I was a kid and first started riding the bike. It’s something I would definitely like to be part of.

VN: You tried out for the Kiwi team pursuit squad…

JB:: I did that at the start of 2010 but it was a very steep learning curve for me and it was going to impact on my road career – that’s behind me now.

VN: Is the pro life ‘living the dream’ for you?

JB:: It’s more or less what I expected, you live the dream but there’s a lot of hard work and self sacrifice involved; you’re away from friends and family for long periods…January ‘til October.

My brother’s wife had their first child recently and I wasn’t around for that, for instance. But I love riding the bike and the scenery around Girona is amazing, along the coast and up in to the mountains – you have to make the most of it, don’t you?

VN: What does the rest of 2011 hold?

JB:: The Tour of Britain is very important to us; and I’d love to get the Worlds call – I think I’ll be flying by then!

I think that Julian Dean and Greg Henderson will go, and probably Hayden Roulston – but he’s had a lot of bad luck this year and I think I could do as good a job as Hayden in support of Julian and Greg.

That said that all three of them have good race programmes and focus going in to the Worlds.

If I ride the Worlds I’ll go home after that but I might be riding the Franco Belge and Chrono Des Nations…it’s not decided yet.

VN: Will you race during the New Zealand summer?

JB:: I’m going to take a break, I’ve not really thought about it - I’ll ride the nationals, but they’re not ‘til January and I’ll also ride a few races with my dad, for fun.

VN: What’s the plan for 2012?

JB:: I’m undecided but have had approaches since Utah…we’ll see what comes of them.

VN: Finally, do you miss your days in the Flanders kermesses with the Kingsnorth Wheelers?

JB:: Always! That was a chapter in my life I really enjoyed, I remember it fondly – it’s a great place and I still keep in touch with the folks who helped me back then…

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