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Steve Bauer auctions maillot jaune at Canadian team launch

SpiderTech presented by Planet Energy is Canada's pride of professional cycling and it launched its new look in one of that nation's historical landmarks, the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada last Thursday.

High profile industry sponsors and guests mingled and dined at a VIP dinner for 165 guests. During dinner, the hot ticket exhibit was presented at a team-fundraiser auction: Steve Bauer's last yellow jersey earned as the leader of the 1990 Tour de France.

"The purpose of the yellow jersey auctioned was two things," Bauer said. "To indicate publicly that our vision with the team is to reach the highest level so another Canadian should have the opportunity to win that jersey, and to raise money for team projects which is never ending. The yellow jersey expectations were met for the goals."

Bauer is one of Canada's most decorated cyclists with a collection of yellow jerseys that totaled fourteen. He captured them while leading the 1988 Tour for five stages and again in 1990 where he led the race for nine consecutive stages. The jersey went for $23,500.

Other items on the auction list included 2010 SpiderTech presented by Planet Energy team kit, a complete team issued Argon 18 Gallium Pro equipped with Shimano Dura-Ace and PRO components, two individual trips to the 2010 Giro d'Italia with the Steve Bauer Bike Tours.

"The other items auctioned well for their just value," Bauer said.

The team will starts its racing season at the Vuelta a Cuba and Vuelta Ciclista Independencia in the Dominican Republic before returning to North America for the Redlands Bicycle Classic, Tour of the Gila and Joe Martin Stage Race. It is currently working on getting approved for a starting-spot in the two Canadian ProTour races set to take place in Montreal and Quebec City in September.

American Lucas Euser will lead the team that includes the newest signing from Mexico, Flavio De Luna. The core group of Canadian riders include Tour of Missouri stage seven winner Martin Gilbert along with Mark Batty, Eric Boily, Keven Lacombe, Bruno Langlois, Francois Parisien, Andrew Randell, Ryan Roth, Charly Vives, Guilluame Boivin, Simon Lambert-Lemay and David Boily .

SpiderTech founder Ray Arbesman and wife Karen scouted for a suitable stage to host the team launch and came up with the nation's most prominent building at the Royal Ontario Museum located in the heart of Toronto. The evening's stage was set up from scratch with furnishings, lighting, audio-visual and catering, all in the Peter F. Bronfman Hall.

"The overall event was just wow!" said Directeur Sportif Steve Bauer. "The Arbesman couple put together an event that was unprecedented for cycling in Canada. It was high-end VIP the whole way."

The night opened with a press conference before the team unveiled its collection of top Canadian athletes wearing green and white racing kits and sponsored by the nation's top bike brand Argon 18.

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Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in cycling from the community and grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all men's and women's races including Spring Classics, Grand Tours, World Championships and Olympic Games, and writes and edits news and features. As the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten also coordinates and oversees the global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.