On July 4, 1988, Steve Bauer won Stage 1a of the Tour de France. The win put the rider from Fenwick, Ont., in the yellow jersey. Later that day, Bauer and his Weinmann – La Suisse team, which had just formed in ’88, had to defend the jersey in a 48-km team time trial. His team came second, 24 seconds behind Team Panasonic. Bauer was out of the overall lead, but he had a plan to get the yellow jersey back.
After days of racing well and staying within the top-10, Bauer was back in the lead following the Stage 8 finish in Nancy. Next came the mountains. While Bauer wasn’t a climber, he and his team still rode well in hilly stages. On Stage 12, the Tour headed up the Alpe d’Huez after ascents of the Col de la Madeleine and Col du Glandon. Bauer put on a great performance that day. He finished 2:34 behind the stage winner, which put him 25 seconds off the lead overall. The new leader was Pedro Delgado, who would go on to win the ’88 Tour. Bauer would finish fourth. It remains the best overall finish by a Canadian at the Tour de France, a result made 30 years ago.