Bauer's boyhood Tour dream ends 50m short and in tears

Sun Jul 20, 2014 2:31pm EDT
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By Julien Pretot

NIMES France (Reuters) - It all ended in tears for Garmin-Sharp domestique Jack Bauer after his chance of realizing a boyhood dream and winning a Tour de France stage was snatched away from him in the final 50 meters after a 222km breakaway.

With team leader Andrew Talansky injured and gone, the Garmin-Sharp domestiques have been given a free ride on the Tour and Bauer almost made the most of the opportunity on Sunday's 15th stage.

The New Zealander formed the breakaway of the day with Swiss Martin Elmiger of the IAM team and after a tense finale, he was caught as the line approached by the chasing bunch.

"It's just a bitter, bitter disappointment. It's a childhood dream to win a stage of the tour and for a domestique, like myself, I'm normally working for others," said Bauer, who broke down in tears after the finish of the stage won by Norway's Alexander Kristoff.

"This was my first chance to be up the road and with the change in the wind and the weather, me and Martin realized we had a chance for the win."

Swirling winds and tough weather, with heavy rain and storms, as well as multiple roundabouts in the final kilometers, made it hard for the chasing pack.

The duo had a 13-second lead with one kilometer left and had started the usual cat-and-mouse mind game to win a two-man sprint.

Bauer was fresher than Elmiger but he was missing a few drops of juice to go all the way.   Continued...

Garmin-Sharp team rider Jack Bauer of New Zealand reacts after crossing the finish line of the 222-km 15th stage of the Tour de France cycling race between Tallard and Nimes, July 20, 2014.   REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier