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"I learnt a lot from that day from two years ago and if you're in an opportunity to win then you lay it all on the line to win, coming second isn't an option in a situation like that. That's what I had in my mind today."

Photo: Cannondale-Garming Pro Cycling

TOUR OF BRITAIN

RACE PROFILE
|
NEWS
08.09.2016 @ 23:51 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

In a completely opposite scenario to his heartbreaking near-miss at the 2014 Tour de France, Jack Bauer (Cannondale) took the biggest win of his career when he narrowly held off the peloton and his escape companions to win stage 5 of the Tour of Britain. In a thrilling finale, the Kiwi gambled in the game of cat and mouse before he launched a strong sprint to beat Amael Moinard (BMC) and Erick Rowsell (Madison Genesis) while Caleb Ewan (Orica-BikeExchange) led the peloton across the line just fractions of a second later. Julien Vermote (Etixx-QuickStep) retained the lead on the eve of the queen stage.

 

We have gathered a several reactions.

 

Bauer: My Tour de France near-miss helped me win the stage

It was nearly a year ago that Jack Bauer first clipped back into the pedals after surgery and rehab to repair a broken femur, an injury sustained at the 2015 Tour de France.
 
“It was last September. I stepped on the bike on a nasty, raining wet day. I had one small leg, one good leg. I couldn’t really pedal to save myself. And also had a lot a fear about going into roundabouts, sliding out, crashing again,” Bauer said on Thursday. “I’m really pleased to be able to compete at this level again, and to be in good physical shape. To be able to win, it’s icing on the cake.

 

"I've had so much bad luck in the last year but I'm not a person that sits on my laurels, I like to pick myself up and try again and finally in September I've had some good luck. It's been a long time coming.

 

"When you can't move and you can't do your daily job for a good amount of time and then you start to get back into it then you begin to realise how much you take for granted. I really appreciate now after recovering from this injury, a broken left femur, I really appreciate what I have and the opportunity that I have. I've tried to make a real go of it this year but this really caps off a difficult season for me."

 
New Zealander Bauer won the Tour of Britain’s fifth stage into Bath on Thursday. The win marks the first European road stage victory of Bauer’s career and also signals the end of a long road back to top form.
 
“Jack has done a remarkable job of coming back from a really nasty injury,” Slipstream Sports CEO Jonathan Vaughters said. “His dedication is inspiring.”
 
The victory was a master class from Bauer, as it took the acumen to survive a breakaway that began attacking itself with six kilometers to go and the patience to wait to open up a sprint as the peloton bore down.
 
“At about seven kilometers to go, Moinard (BMC Racing), was the first person to lay his card and attack on the climb. I let him go, tried to hold him at a bridgeable gap, and then put the other two to work,” explained Bauer. “From three kilometers out, I was completely focused on the stage win. Wasn’t even considering how close the bunch was behind. I took one look around. I knew they were coming fast. I thought, ‘Ok, if the bunch comes no worries.’ But I wasn’t going to tow the other three to the line.”
 
With less than a kilometer to go, it appeared the break would be caught. Bauer, however, remained cool as the sprinters from the peloton began to close in. He took a leadout from breakaway companion Javier Moreno (Movistar) before kicking toward the line. Bauer said he never looked around inside the final kilometer to see where the peloton was.
 
“No, no, no,” he said. “It’s just watch the wheel in front, make sure you’re being led out, not leading out.”
 
In the end, Bauer bested Moinard and Erick Rowsell (Madison Genesis). Moreno was gobbled up by the peloton, as Caleb Ewan (Orica-BikeExchange) won the field sprint.

 
“The BMC rider was strong. He set off into the wind alone a couple of times. It was his undoing in the end,” said Bauer. “I just had a cool head. I didn’t plan on being in the break today… but when it came to crunch time I was in position. The group was motivated. So I thought why not have a crack?
 

"I learnt a lot from that day from two years ago [when he was caught close to the finish in the Tour] and if you're in an opportunity to win then you lay it all on the line to win, coming second isn't an option in a situation like that. That's what I had in my mind today.

 

"It's hard to see from the outside, when it's not really you that does a finale in a bike race, when you're working for a teammate or a team leader, which I normally do, you're not often put in a stressful situation where the result is up to you. I only get a couple of chances in a year to do that and from my experiences over the last year or two you learn to be a bit cooler in that situation and to just keep a clear mind and remember what is at stake.

 

"I'll be leaving the team after five years. It's the team that I turned professional with, I've learned a lot, had some great experiences and started some great races with them and it's time to move on.”

 
The return to the top step is perhaps never sweeter than after injury — for many people.
 
“Sarah, my fiancé, and my family kept supporting me and believing in me,” Bauer said. “It’s nice for them to see I’ve still got it.”
 
The Tour of Britain continues on Friday, with a stage from Sidmouth to Haytor. Dylan van Baarle is the best placed overall contender for Cannondale-Drapac in seventh place.

 

Amael Moinard: I couldn’t have done anything more

After a day in the breakaway, Amaël Moinard claimed second place for BMC Racing Team on Tour of Britain Stage 5 behind Jack Bauer (Canondale - Drapac) after an exciting battle for the line.

 

With 5km Moinard attacked off the front of the group but the race eventually came down to a thrilling final showdown on the finishing straight with Moinard, Bauer and Erick Rowsell (Madison Genesis) able to narrowly hold off the charging peloton to claim the top three spots on the stage after a day out at the front of the race.

 

Amaël Moinard said:

 

“It was a good breakaway group with five strong riders and we went at the top of the climb after a really hard and fast start. I think we were working really well as a bunch and at the end when the peloton was coming really close I knew I didn’t want to have any regrets on the line. I wanted to give everything today to get the win and I thought even if I don’t win I want to leave it all out there on the road

 

“Of course I would have preferred to win but I am happy with second as I gave it my all and I couldn’t have done anymore. I was feeling good but Bauer also looked strong and he is fast on the line so I knew my best chance would be to gamble a little bit and attack earlier. I tried and in that way I’m pretty happy.”

 

Orica-BikeExchange explain why they didn’t chase the break in Tour of Britain

Stage five of the Tour of Britain concluded with a nail biting finale as the remaining breakaway riders just survived with sprint star Caleb Ewan closing in on them to claim a very close fourth place.

 

With four of the five origional breakaway riders playing cat and mouse inside the last five kilometres, the fierce chasing peloton began to rapidly close in. 

 

Ewan launched out of the wheels in the final moments with just one metre separating the winner Jack Bauer (Cannonade-Drapac) and the rest, leaving Ewan agonisingly close to a stage victory. 

 

“It was a frustrating finish for us,” explained sport director Matt Wilson. “We weren’t sure how Caleb was going to feel, he struggled a bit yesterday and it was another hard day today.

 

“We thought we would therefore sit back a little bit today. We lost two riders with around 50kilometres to go and then Rob Power had a crash which we are waiting to see if he has broken anything as he had some pain afterwards in his hand.

 

“So we basically didn’t have the numbers in the final to do anything. We had to roll the dice and hope that it would come back but it didn’t.

 

“It was devastatingly close for Ewan but congratulations to Bauer, he had an amazing ride today.”

 

LottoNL-Jumbo frustrated not to get any help in Tour of Britain

Team LottoNL-Jumbo rider Dylan Groenewegen sprinted to fifth in the Tour of Britain’s fifth stage. Jack Bauer (Cannondale) finished just before the bunch kick, Caleb Ewan (Orica) placed fourth leading the sprint. Belgian Julien Vermote remains in the overall lead.  

 

"It was a tough day. The peloton neared the leaders, but not close enough, and Dylan sprinted to second place in the group,” Sports Director Merijn Zeeman said.

 

"We put our faith in Dylan. This morning, we decided to give everything for the sprint. We did everything, but were unable to lead out for the win – just fourth place."

 

There was a lack of cooperation in the group.

 

“Just our team and Lotto-Soudal were putting muscle into the chase. We only have six-man teams here, so you need more teams to close the gap with such a strong leading group. “

 

Paul Martens helped give chase and said he was “disappointed” not to bring a win home for LottoNL-Jumbo like earlier in the race.

 

“We know that if we can put Dylan in a good position, he can win, it did not work today,” explained Martens.

 

"You're constantly talking with other teams about whether or not to pull. It's a daily battle between the teams who do and do not want to chase. This time, we were unlucky that there were only two teams in the chase. This meant that it was even harder for us. 

 

“I gave everything I had, but I’m recovering well now. I'm sure that we’ll be able to do it again in the next days."

 

Near-miss for Javier Moreni in the Tour of Britain

The Movistar Team led by José Luis Jaimerena was close to the victory in the fifth stage of the Tour of Britain, over 194.5 km between Aberdare and Bath with numerous steep slopes throughout thestage.  Javi Moreno was aggressive in the break with Moinard (BMC), Bauer (CDT), Rowsell (MGS) and McEvoy (NFT) as already on many occasions in this race and got a huge advantage of almost six minutes with 50km to.

 

The effort of the five escapees took its toll and with seven kilometers and 50 "lead, Moinard and Rowsell attacked. The stubborn Moreno rejoined the group, but the effort cost him power. He even managed to launch the sprint which prevented him from eventually contesingt the victory, which went to Bauer while the Andalusian had to settle for the 11th place of the day.

 

No success for ONE at Tour of Britain

. As the peloton surged into Bath, ONE Pro Cycling looked to deliver Steele Von Hoff and Dion Smith into the finish. Heading into the final kilometre the break was hanging just 10 seconds ahead of the sprinting group. Into the final left hand corner the team had done a fantastic job to deliver Von Hoff and Smith into the final tricky section.

 

With the nature of the day taking its toll on Von Hoff it was left to Smith to sprint in. The peloton caught the breakaway on the finishing line however it was Jack Bauer of Cannondale Drapac from the break that hung on by less than a second to claim the victory with Smith sprinting home in 14th position.

 

Julien Vermote: I will give it everything in the queen stage

Julien Vermote in the yellow jersey is becoming a familiar sight at the Tour of Britain, where the 27-year-old won a stage after a demonstration of raw power and impressive stamina, which took him to the top of the overall standings. Three days later, a strong Vermote – supported by a solid and united Etixx – Quick-Step team – is still in control of the GC and looks to the crucial stages of the race, where everything will be played out between the contenders.

 

Until then, Vermote passed another fast and hard test in stage 5 of the race (Aberdare – Bath, 194.5 kilometers), which was won by Jack Bauer (Cannondale-Drapac) from a day-long breakaway, after the Kiwi rider out-gunned his fellow escapees Amael Moinard (BMC) and Erick Roswell (Madison Genesis). The peloton arrived in the same time, following a great amount of work put in by Etixx – Quick-Step, who lined up at the front of the pack in the closing kilometers, guiding Julien to the finish, where he came in the top 15.

 

"I am happy to be again on the podium and don the yellow jersey for the fourth time in a row. I couldn't have done it without the team's help, who kept me safe at the front and controlled the break's gap", said Vermote, who is aware that Friday's final climb to Haytor (5.7 km, 6% average gradient) is going to be a tough nut to crack. "It's great to spend another day in yellow at this beautiful race. Tomorrow, a very hard stage awaits with a difficult final ascent, but we are determined to make the most out of it and leave everything on the road."

 

Cummings: I think I can limit my losses in the queen stage

It was another long and lumpy day in Britain as riders left Aberdare to Bath on a 195km journey. For Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka the plan remained the same, to keep Steve Cummings position on GC protected. A 5 rider break was able to go clear and as the break hit the 6-minute mark, the African Team once again took responsibility for the race.

 

Riding to keep the break in check, the peloton was put under pressure by the African Team with a number of riders not able to sustain the pace in the main group. The gap started to decrease but it was not the main concern as to whether they would be caught in the end or not, just protecting the GC aspirations was the priority.

 

Steve Cummings was again the best placed rider on the day, crossing the line in 17th after just trying to stay out of trouble by riding at the front of the race and therefore kept his 2nd place on GC. Tomorrow will be a big day in the GC race as the summit finish during tomorrow’s 6th stage should definitely give the overall placing’s a shake.

Steve Cummings said:

 

”Once again we just had to be attentive today, it was a hard stage where anything could happen, like all the stages so far. Tomorrow will be another hard stage with the hilltop finish, I’ve ridden well on these hilltop finishes in the past but there are some good climbers here. I will give it my best and then have a look at the GC afterwards to see how we going.”

 

"I'll have to be smart and ride off other people a lot. I've ridden well on a hilltop finishes before so we'll just see how it goes. If I feel good then I think I can limit my loses. There are better climbers than me but if I can limit my losses on the climb and then hold my own in the time trial then I have a chance,” he told Cyclingnews.

 

Tired Sinkeldam abandons the Tour of Britain

Martijn Tusveld finished first for Giant-Alpecin in 18th, while Tom Dumoulin also came home safely in the bunch and remains in 8th place in the overall classification.

 

Unfortunately, due to fatigue and in relation to the races to come, Ramon Sinkeldam didn’t take the start of today’s stage.

 

Ben Swift retains third place in Tour of Britain

Ben Swift retained his podium position at the Tour of Britain after the breakaway stayed clear on stage five.

 

The general classification went unchanged following a thrilling finale in Bath which saw the day's breakaway grind out a narrow victory over the chasing peloton.

 

Team Sky pushed hard in the closing kilometres but it was Jack Bauer (Cannondale-Drapac) who held on, out-dragging his rivals to win the stage in thrilling fashion.

 

Swift finished moments later in the chasing pack, allowing him to remain one minute and three seconds back on the yellow jersey of Julien Vermote (Etixx - Quick-Step).

 

Nicolas Roche also retains his GC foothold of 10th place overall (1:16 back) ahead of Friday's Haytor summit finish.

 

Ian Stannard spent a spell on the front helping the chase as a number of sprinters' teams chipped in alongside Dimension Data.

 

On the run out of Gloucester both Danny van Poppel and Wout Poels were caught up in a multi-rider pileup. Both riders made their way back to the peloton, which found itself in an intriguing battle with the break.

 

Team Sky arrived in the closing kilometres to up the tempo but the break had just enough in hand to hold off the pack.

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