New Zealand cyclist Jack Bauer was angered and appalled by a bizarre crash during Stage 18 of the Tour de France in which BikeExchange-Jayco rider fell while he was chasing the group.
Bauer was caught in a bizarre combination of events with just over 95 kilometers left in the race. The sudden narrowing of the road and the decision of the race bike to stop abruptly together resulted in Dutch rider Nils Eeckhoff (Team DSM) falling to the ground.
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Bauer, who had been chasing him hard, then found himself wedged between the UAE’s support car and Media’s motorcycle as they slowed to keep up with the fallen rider and closed the gap that Bauer was looking at.
Bauer hit the rear window of the support car and collapsed to the ground. He quickly jumped to his feet and gesticulated angrily in the direction of the motorcycle, uttering several colorful curses.
He then walked down the road in shock, and a passer-by picked up his bike from the road. He then yelled at the perpetrators of the accident as they passed him.
“Oh my God, is this the first Tour de France you’ve been in?” he said.
Notably, this was the second time in a few days that the New Zealander had crashed into a car, and he said his experience influenced his decision to purposefully drive into the back of a car from the UAE.
During his seventh tour, Bauer explained Weekly cycling then: “We saw how it happens – cars and motorcycles stopped, there was not enough space.
“But it was such a steep ramp that the brakes didn’t help much, so he either veered left and crashed into a building, or kept his course and crashed into a UAE car.
“I ran into a Shimano car a couple of days ago and I know how soft the car panels are compared to the road or the building. This is actually not a joke.
“The rear light exploded, the rear panel of the car was also a little wrinkled.
“It was such a disaster. I tried to slow down a little, but then the rear wheel just skidded. When the descent is too steep, the brakes are useless. After all, we use road bike tires, there is not much rubber on the road, so I chose a car I have some skin from my elbow, that’s all.”
Bauer refused to blame the UAE motorcyclist or car for the incident, explaining that such accidents are rare.
“I don’t like giving away free speed,” he continued. “I like to shoot gaps when I take off, not because I have more engine, but because I can move at speed, I can follow the wheels, and what happened today was probably the result of that.
“You are always on the verge of being on a bike, on the road or in the back seat of a car. Usually everything goes well: the drivers and other cyclists are good and everything goes smoothly. We merge and it’s more or less like running water, but from time to time, as today for Niels and me, something clerical appears in our path.
Bauer admitted that he used some “unpleasant” language at the time, adding: “When someone parks their car or motorcycle right in front of you and you’re going downhill at 60 km/h, you prefer that they don’t.” . .
“But it’s the same as a couple of days ago: I understand that the Shimano car is trying to follow the yellow, and I understand that cars and motorcycles are trying to share the same stretch of road, and I understand that when there is a complication position moment, as today on a steep descent, the car also could not go anywhere. The car has to stop, I have to stop, but my tires are so small that I can’t.
“Perhaps a more experienced person would have refused. You are always right at the limit of being on or off the bike. I’m not happy with being on the ground twice in four days, but apparently it’s the Tour de France for me.”
The veteran Bauer, who will be part of the New Zealand men’s road cycling team at next week’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, was soon back on another bike but finished the stage more than 36 minutes behind Wingegaard.
Barring a crash, Jonas Wingegaard will likely be in the yellow jersey when the Tour de France concludes in Paris on Sunday.
This article originally appeared on New Zealand Herald and reproduced with permission
Originally published as Kiwi cyclist Jack Bauer walks away angry and shaken after Tour de France crash