Etixx-Quickstep confirm signing Bauer

New Zealander signed after winning Tour of Britain stage

The Etixx-Quickstep team has confirmed the signing of Jack Bauer from the Cannondale-Drapac team. Bauer told Cyclingnews on Friday that he was close to joining the Belgian team.

Bauer said after taking an impressive win from the breakaway on stage 5 of the Tour of Britain that he planned to leave Cannondale-Drapac, and revealed today that the offer was made prior to the race.

"I'm excited to join Etixx – Quick-Step, and I'm very grateful to be given this fantastic opportunity by Patrick and the team," Bauer said in a team statement today. "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."

Bauer fractured his femur in the Tour de France last year, but after rehabilitating he came into the season with high hopes, only to crash and break his wrist in February.

"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," Bauer said.

With Etixx-Quickstep, the 31-year-old will focus on the Classics, which he found an affection for while racing early on in his career.

"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," Bauer said. His best result was a top 10 in the E3 Harelbeke last year.

"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," Lefevere said. "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."

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