We're delighted to announce that the 31-year-old Kiwi rider has penned a deal with the team.
Jack Bauer will ride in the colors of Etixx – Quick-Step next season, thus becoming the first New Zealander to join the squad since its inception, more than a decade ago. An aggressive rider by definition, capable of putting in strong and impressive efforts on every type of terrain, the 31-year-old can be seen many times up the road, be it a Classic or a stage race, his spectacular way of riding, tactical acumen and versatility earning him many plaudits over time.
Since turning pro, Jack has become National Champion in the road race, won the Japan Cup, the Herald Sun Tour prologue, and most recently, a stage at the Tour of Britain, after a thrilling finish at the end of a day which he spent in a trademark break. But maybe the most remarkable feat of them all was returning to action following a femur injury sustained at the 2015 Tour de France, which initially kept him off the bike for several months.
"I'm excited to join Etixx – Quick-Step, and I'm very grateful to be given this fantastic opportunity by Patrick and the team. I want to thank Lefevere and Yvan Vanmol especially for the faith they have shown in me over the last month, by signing me during my return from serious injury. I've always admired this outfit, because I love the Northern Classics and the aggressive style of racing that the team bring. When I started my career, in 2009, I moved to Gent and raced for a small amateur team from the area, learning how to ride in the wind and on the narrow and twisty roads so famous in Belgium. Then, when I turned pro in 2012, I discovered my passion for the classic one-day races in the North", said Bauer, who finished in the top 10 at E3 Harelbeke last year.
The Kiwi rider talked also of his expectations and role within the team next season: "I'm really looking forward to rejoining Dan Martin, a good mate and former teammate, as well as the other guys within the team. I look forward to meeting and working with the group. I am eager to help out and do my best to contribute to the squad's stellar reputation and results record next season, and also to take any personal chances I am given. I'm the kind of rider who likes to attack, to be aggressive, to seize any opportunity and to make the race. I feel Etixx – Quick-Step are a team of the same style and will be the perfect match for me. The last season has been a tough one, but I have made it back to full fitness, to a competitive level, and I'm really grateful for the opportunity to ride in the colors of Etixx – Quick-Step going forward."
"Jack Bauer is not only the first New Zealander to join Etixx – Quick-Step, but also a rider who we are sure can bring an important contribution next season. He's a really strong addition to our squad, has experience and fits perfectly in our team. Jack's also a good time trialist, gives it his all in every race and can help us in both Classics and stage races. We are more than happy to welcome him here at Etixx – Quick-Step", said Patrick Lefevere, the team's CEO, of the eighth rider to join the team for 2017.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele