PEZ: What’s your favourite Belgian beer, Jack?
Jack: Augustijn, I’ve drunk very little beer since I’ve been here but Augustijn is my favourite – I even have it written on my shorts! (that boy will make a good pro!)
Jack Bauer is serious: Augustijn Beer is good.
PEZ: Your most satisfying win?
Jack: Last Thursday at Tielt was one of the biggest fields I’ve raced in – 96, and some of the ‘guns’ were there, like Nico Kuyper. The plan was for me to help Mario Willems then drop back – but I ended up winning! With the big field and big crowd, that was definitely a very satisfying win.
If you go to the Kingsnorth Wheelers site, you see a lot of Jack Bauer winning.
PEZ: How has the Belgian summer been?
Jack: From what people tell me – uncommonly good! It’s pretty bad just now, though – yesterday it was raining like I’ve never seen in my life before! But overall it’s been all right and I’ve got a good tan going on!
Jack: Pretty good; the last crash I had in a race was back just before you interviewed me, in July. I’ve come off a few times when I’m out training but in the races I’ve steered clear of the carnage. I’m impatient in races, I want to get in the breaks and once you’re clear it’s a lot steadier and safer.
PEZ: Has the equipment taken a hit?
Jack: I’d never broken a frame in my life before – but I’ve done it here! And both wheels and STI shifters; I’ve had to fork out my fair share on equipment.
PEZ: Have you changed your training and diet, since coming to Belgium?
Jack: I train a lot differently, now. If you’re going to do well in the kermesses than you have treat them like a big time trial – once you’re in the break. I go out along the canal, on my own for two hours, balls out, in the red zone – I train specifically for them. As far as diet goes, I’ve not changed, I’m a creature of habit – I learned a lot about nutrition in my education and always eat sensibly. ‘You get out what you put in!’
PEZ: Have you got a different perspective on the sport, now?
Jack: It’s been an eye opener to see a culture so entrenched in cycling; crowds of middle aged and older people standing beside the road – you’d only get that for rugby in NewZealand. Back home it’s only friends and family at races. The fact that cafes and businesses put so much cash into the sport is awesome.
PEZ: Are you spending the winter in Belgium – indoor track racing or cross?
Jack: I don’t have enough experience on the track; I only rode big concrete tracks, back home. Besides, I’m very motivated to do well in the Southland stage race, back home and also the New Zealand Elite Champs. The Southland is an event I’ve dreamed of winning a stage in, for years.
PEZ: Advice for fellow pilgrims?
Jack: If I can do it, then anyone can! They should seize the opportunity and come over to race for a team like Kingsnorth; learn a different language, a different culture, bring some form and have a stab. It’s a great place to build form because there’s so much quality racing.
PEZ: Word is that Columbia are impressed?
Jack: I don’t want to build it up to something that it’s not, but I spoke to Allan Peiper in August. Staf Boone from my club – Kingsnorth, was a big help to Allan when he was a young rider in Belgium; they’re good friends. Allan had me tested in Belgium, apparently the numbers were good, but they needed someone with more experience. Allan is very well connected, though and he’s been talking to people – Lotto and Skil-Shimano. I don’t want to count my chickens but it’s possible I could be with Skil, next year.
PEZ: Goals for 2010?
Jack: My early goal is to do a good ride in the New Zealand Elite Championships in January. I’d like to become better known to the New Zealand Federation – I’d really like to ride the Worlds for my country. Then I’m looking forward to coming back to Belgium – to some sort of contract and upping my game.
PEZ: What are you looking forward to most about going home?
Jack: My third summer on the trot – and maybe some decent sunshine! Seeing friends and family; and improving my standing in New Zealand cycling.
PEZ: Finally, would you like to rant about anything.
Jack: I’m not good at this sort of thing – if I think about anything, I’ll send you an SMS!
I guess with nine wins and Allan Peiper on his team – there’s not much to rant about! We’ll be keeping an eye out for him in those NZ races over the winter.