The 107th edition of the Tour de France began on August 29th 2020 with Steve Bauer as lead Director Sportif of the CCC Team of Continuum Sports.
His Sporting Manager role for the CCC Team isn’t just a great personal accomplishment, it’s a historic one as Bauer becomes the first Canadian Director Sportif for a men’s professional team at the Tour de France. It is a continuation of his legacy in the sport of cycling.
“I did not write the script entirely,” Steve said via email to the Ontario Cycling Association, “but it has been an evolution. Since my professional racing career, I built a bike touring business which required a lot of organization and business skills. After that Josee Larocque and I built a Canadian professional racing team which began as ‘Planet Energy’ and ended up as ‘Team Spidertech powered by C10’.”
In addition to his experience as a cyclist, he credits the experiences of building the professional racing team with helping him get to where he is now.
“This period (of building the professional racing team) required attention to everything involved in running a cycling team; sport management, business management, sport direction, coaching and all of its facets. This experience prepared me very well for my current role at Continuum Sports with BCM Racing Team and CCC Team.”
It’s a role that will require him to lean on his years of experience competing in the Tour where he wore the coveted leader’s Yellow Jersey during 14 stages.
“The experience as a bike racer in the tour certainly provides the inside tactical savvy you need to have as a sport director. However, the Director Sportif needs to have more skills than bike racing tactics. Directors need to be sensitive to and understand the physical and mental pressures the athlete will be experiencing daily. I believe you really need to have been in the race to really understand this.”
As the lead Director Sportif for a World Tour cycling team, Bauer is responsible to lead and direct the team at the race.
“My role is to be the leading organizer and race tactician. However, as much as that sounds hierarchal, the actual working model and approach is very collaborative.”
He added that he will rely on the entire 19-person support team to ensure that CCC Team finds success. Even with all his experience and the assistance of the support team, Bauer said that he will have to be on top of his game to find success at the Tour de France.
“The biggest difference with taking the lead as director at the Tour de France vs another race is that the stakes to succeed are at the highest level in the sport. There is no space not to be on your best game, success or non-success is on a knife edge.”
While this will be Steve Bauer’s first Tour de France as lead Director Sportif, the ongoing pandemic means that even the most experienced Director Sportifs will be facing new challenges. As with other sports, the Tour has been forced to make many adjustments to attempt to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Bauer said that Amaury Sport Organisation, the organizers, are doing their best to ensure the safety of the riders, team members and other personnel involved in the Tour de France.
“The race has placed security measures to separate teams (parking) and the internal race venue from the public. The Tour de France is doing its best to stay within its own bubble. Masks, 100% of the time. COVID-19 testing protocols were mandatory before the race start and will be in place and mandatory on both rest days. Before the start of the Tour, two negative PCR tests were required for each and every person in our Tour de France team.”
The Tour de France is set to conclude on September 20th with Stage 21 on Mantes-La-Jolie to Paris Champs-Élysées.
Congratulations Steve, best of luck to you and the entire CCC Team!
To follow along with the Tour De France, visit the official homepage HERE