Steve Bauer has confirmed to Canadian Cycling Magazine that he will be Astana-Premier Tech’s directeur sportif next season. This verification comes the same day that the team announced that it has taken on Quebec company Premier Tech as a co-title sponsor for 2021.
Starting in 2016, Bauer was director of VIP services with BMC. The team merged with CCC for the 2019 season, and Bauer became the Polish-registered outfit’s sporting manager this year. CCC has folded, with Circus-Wanty Gobert taking over CCC’s WorldTour licence.
“I must say that the years I spent with Continuum Sports (BMC Racing Team and CCC Team) were great years,” Bauer said. “Jim Ochowicz and Gavin Chilcott provided the opportunity for me to return to the WorldTour and work with an exceptional group of riders and staff. Now, it will be an exciting change to enter Astana-Premier Tech. Every WorldTour team is a considerably large group of people. It will be a welcome challenge to get to know this new organization, work collaboratively with them all and reach the sporting goals that will be set out. Every team has its particular strengths and I am looking forward to support my new team.”
Hugo Houle so far is the sole Canadian rider on Astana, which only has 10 athletes signed for next season. Houle and Bauer last worked together at Spidertech-C10 in 2012. Houle had his best ever Grand Tour this year, finishing 47th in the Tour de France.
“I am thankful to Hugo Houle, who was instrumental in this opportunity for me to join Astana Premier Tech,” Bauer said. “The Canadian influence of Hugo and the company Premier Tech was the key factor in my new direction. It will certainly be a pleasure to work with Hugo once again. Eight years have already passed since we had Hugo on contract with Cycle Sport Management. I was keeping a particularly keen eye on Hugo during the latest Tour de France where he rode exceptionally well. At the recent world championships in Imola, Italy, we had the chance to re-unite in the goal to help Michael Woods go for the podium.”
With Houle, Bauer and Primer Tech, the team has a significant amount of Canadian content. Will there be more Canadians joining the squad? “Good question,” Bauer said. “At the moment, I do not have a clear answer, however, this is a goal I obviously support.”