Tour de France: Jack Bauer inconsolable after missing out on 'childhood dream' stage win
By Matt Westby
Last Updated: 21/07/14 10:02am
Jack Bauer has spoken of his "bitter disappointment" after narrowly missing out on a "childhood dream" Tour de France stage win on Sunday.
The Garmin-Sharp rider formed part of a two-man breakaway early on stage 15 alongside IAM Cycling’s Martin Elmiger, and although the odds were heavily stacked against them on a largely flat 222km route, they managed to take a 13-second lead into the final 1km.
Elmiger succumbed to the chasing sprinters with around 400m to go, but Bauer put up a braver fight and was only denied victory inside the last 100m, eventually finishing tenth.
The 29-year-old New Zealander, who normally works as a support rider, was so devastated by the outcome that he slumped to the ground with his head in his hands and had to be consoled by team-mates.
'Thought I had it'
"It's just bitter, bitter disappointment," he said. "It's a childhood dream to win a stage of the Tour. For a domestique like myself, I'm normally working for others.
"This was my first chance to be up the road, and me and Martin realised we had a chance for the win. I faked to be tired, but felt I had more punch left. I left it until 400m to go. I thought I had it, but then I realised in the last 50m that I had nothing."
While Bauer was left distraught, Norway’s Alexander Kristoff celebrated a second stage win of this year’s race after beating Heinrich Haussler into second and Peter Sagan into third. However, the Katusha rider was quick to pay tribute to the efforts of both Bauer and Elmiger.
Normally I'm not the fastest sprinter on the flat against André Greipel and Marcel Kittel, but I'm lighter than them. Possibly that turned to my advantage today.
"I was just happy to see the two breakaway riders caught," Kristoff said. "They made a huge effort. I feel sorry for them. What they did was impressive."
Kristoff eyes Paris win
Kristoff is enjoying the most successful season of his career so far, with his two Tour wins coming on the back of a marquee victory in the one-day Monument Milan-San Remo in March.
He has ten wins to his name already in 2014, and having beaten some of the best sprinters in the world twice at the Tour already, he is now eyeing glory on the Champs-Elysees on the race’s final stage into Paris.
"It would be great to win in Paris as well," he added. "Normally I'm not the fastest sprinter on the flat against Andre Greipel and Marcel Kittel, but I'm lighter than them. Possibly that turned to my advantage today.
"I didn't see them being tired during the stage, but the fact that I beat them make me think that they are tired after climbing in the Alps. Should I win in Paris too, it would make it a perfect Tour."