Jack Bauer's father sheds tears for his son
WAYNE MARTIN AND DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
Hans and Carolyn Bauer both shared their son's grief after Kiwi cyclist Jack Bauer was reduced to tears as he had a famous stage victory in the Tour de France snatched from him today in Nimes.
Bauer's father Hans admits he also shed tears for his son this morning as he and his wife Carolyn watched the latest stage finish at their home in Parapara.
Yes, I shed a few [tears], I was just so disappointed,'' Hans said. ''He put so much effort in, then to [lose] over the last 50 metres. But, you know, that's cycling and he'll get another chance.''
He said that Carolyn ''coped better'' than him emotionally and she was philosophical about her son's near miss.
''That's sport, isn't it,'' Carolyn said.
Bauer had put in an unbelievable ride for more than 200km but it all came to nothing with the finish line in sight as he was eventually swamped.
Bauer, of the Garmin-Sharp team, and Martin Elmiger, got a jump right from the start as the race finally rolled away from the alpine town of Tallard.
The pair stayed clear through Provence and the Midi, battling through a storm and entering the suburbs of the Roman city with almost a minute's advantage on the main field.
They still had their lead intact with a kilometre to go. But tiring legs and a clutch of sprinters led by Alexander Kristoff of Norway got past Bauer with 50 metres to go.
He was inconsolable.
''It's a childhood dream to try to win a stage of the Tour, especially for a Kiwi, because not many of us ever get the chance. I really gave it absolutely everything,'' Bauer said.
''I hadn't planned on it being a two-man move, because 222 kilometres, with just two of you in the breakaway, is a pretty big day.
''As you could see from my meltdown at the finish line I was pretty disappointed.
''That's Grand Tour racing for you. You have so many highs and so many lows. Today was a small chance for a high.''
Hans said that he rode the final sprint with his son.
''I was on the edge of my seat,'' Hans said. ''I wanted him to hang on. But he made me proud, it was just a pity the way it turned out. I was absolutely gutted for him.''
Hans and Carolyn spoke to him shortly after the stage finish.
''He's good again now,'' Hans said.
''He thought he had it, but he gave it everything and we could see that. It just wasn't meant to be today, but we're proud of him and he did so well - an awesome ride.''
- The Nelson Mail
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