Dean: 'A gutsy and impressive ride' from Bauer

JULIAN DEAN
Last updated 11:37 22/07/2014
GUTTED: Kiwi cyclist Jack Bauer is consoled by team-mates after his superb effort to win stage 15 of the Tour de France came up agonisingly short.
Reuters

GUTTED: Kiwi cyclist Jack Bauer is consoled by team-mates after his superb effort to win stage 15 of the Tour de France came up agonisingly short.

Jack Bauer on Tour de France

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OPINION: It was a real heartbreaker for New Zealand's Jack Bauer at the Tour de France yesterday, but he should feel proud of his effort.

He spent all day out there in a break and did a fantastic ride, only to be pipped by Alexander Kristoff metres from the line.

On those sorts of stages you gamble on that happening, that there might be a miscalculation by the peloton at the end of the day and it almost paid off.

It was a gutsy and impressive ride and you might even say that's the best individual performance by a Kiwi at the Tour de France and definitely since I've been around anyway.

He was unlucky not to get the result, but he showed a lot of determination, which is what sport should be about.

Every couple of days I usually cross paths with Jack, either at the start or the finish of the stage and have a chat about how things are going.

He's a fantastic ambassador for the sport and I know how valued he is for his team.

There has been a lot of talk about how well the French riders are doing at this year's Tour, with four of them being in the top 10 going into yesterday's rest day.

Some are speculating that the drought since 1985 of a Frenchman winning the Tour might come to an end over the next few years, but I think we need to be a bit more realistic and look at the top riders that aren't here.

Of the five top riders in the world, Vincenzo Nibali is the only one of them here. Chris Froome and Contador are out, while Bradley Wiggins and Nairo Quintana didn't start.

So there are four people to put in front of those guys, but having said that it's good for cycling and it's been a long time the French have had something to cheer for in terms of GC riders and I'm sure their results will be well appreciated by the teams and sponsors.

On our team we've been delighted with how well Britain's Simon Yates has gone.

Could he be a contender to win the Tour in years to come? It's a bit early to make any statements about where he'll end up, but he's shown fantastic capabilities.

Last weekend when he was in the break in the Alps, I was in the car with him that day and was talking to him. For a guy of his age and in that environment, his demeanour was superb and he didn't get overawed by it.

He rode that day like a seasoned professional, apart from Rafal Majka the breakaway got caught that day but he was the next one to finish from that break.

So he's extraordinarily talented, he's got a good head on him and his reaction after the finish was one of disappointment, I thought that was a mark of someone who's going to be a true champion.

Whether that ends up in him one day winning the Tour de France or having some sort of other speciality, we'll have to wait to see.

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