Bauer in final day break at BinckBank Tour

Sun 18 Aug 2019

New Zealand’s Jack Bauer spent the day in the breakaway as the general classification race was turned on its head on the final day of the BinckBank Tour.

Bauer as his companions were caught inside the final 25km before a winning move of three riders saw Oliver Naeson (AG2R La Mondiale) take the stage and Laurens De Plus (Team Jumbo-Visma) steal the overall victory. 

Mitchelton-SCOTT finished with a highlight of yesterday’s second place to Edoardo Affini in the time trial and a top overall placing of 14th for Dion Smith

Bauer in the breakaway:
After an aggressive start, two groups attacked and then later joined together to form the day’s 15-man breakaway.

Bauer represented Mitchelton-SCOTT and when the strongest went to the fore, the 34-year-old was there with five others. 

The group of six never held an advantage of more than one minute but their presence made for a tough day on the road.

Into pieces in the finale:
As their threat was eventually eliminated heading into the final 25km of racing, fresh attacks saw the remaining bunch shattered across the road. 

Naeson and Laurens De Plus were joined by Greg Van Avermaet (CCC Team) at the front of the race and an initial hesitation in the chase saw them quickly gain a 30-second advantage, which was enough to see them contest the stage.

Behind, the chase, which included Bauer and Smith for Mitchelton-SCOTT, started to get itself in order before small attacks began in attempt to make the difference in the top-10 standings. 

Jack Bauer:
“It was on from the gun today. We woke up to wet roads and bad weather. With three times over the Muur and when you throw in some of the other cobbled climbs we always knew it was going to be a tricky stage and it took a while for the break to go.

“We had discussed that it would be a better idea to put someone in the move to be of some support to Dion if the race kicked off. It’s nice to have someone at the front for the race to come to, so that was me today to try to anticipate the race coming from behind and support him in the closing stages.

“It was a tricky Tour, with technical and dangerous stages and bad weather always compounds that.  Personally it didn’t really go to plan, but we had Dion with a good result on stage four which set him up into the top 15 and gave us something to work towards there. 

“Yesterday was an incredible ride by Affini, I think we all knew he had it in him but it’s nice to see a young kid fulfil potential in their first year. It was definitely a highlight of the week and it was also great to see Dion in really good shape ahead of the Vuelta too.”

BinckBank Tour – Stage 7 Results:
1. Oliver Naeson (AG2R La Mondiale) 3:52:40
2. Greg Van Avermaet (CCC Team) ST
3. Laurens De Plus (Jumbo-Visma) +0:04
13. Dion Smith (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:38 

BinckBank Tour – FINAL General Classification:
1. Laurens De Plus (Team Jumbo-Visma) 21:29:55
2. Oliver Naeson (AG2R La Mondiale) +0:35
3. Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) +0:36
14. Dion Smith (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +1:30

Photos courtesy of Getty Images.