Hall of Famer rides from Tour to tours

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:04 AM ET

Canadian cycling legend Steve Bauer has one of the best jobs in the world.

After retiring from the ultra-competitive world of professional cycling in 1996, Bauer set up his own touring company (Steve Bauer Bike Tours) and now travels to some of the most beautiful spots in Europe and North America.

In fact, Bauer was in the picturesque Umbria region of Italy with a tour group yesterday when reached by the Sun for a comment on his induction into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. The induction gala will be held on Nov. 2 in Toronto.

"This is tremendous," Bauer said. "Earlier this year, I was named to the Canadian Olympic Sports Hall of Fame and to receive this in the same year is fantastic."

Bauer actually is better known in Europe than he is at home for his feats at such prestigious events as the Tour de France - of which he is the only Canadian ever to wear the yellow jersey as the race leader.

A native of Fenwick, Ont., Bauer roared on to the international scene by winning a silver medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, losing by a nose to American Alexi Grewal after a mad dash to the finish line. He established himself as one of the greatest cyclists from Canada by going on to win medals at world championships and finishing on the podium at many of the top tour events in Europe.

These days, his bike tour, which he operates out of Beamsville, is doing well and Bauer is a content man.

"I'm involved in every aspect of the business, such as developing the routes. But the most fun is riding with the groups," he said.

Joining Bauer into the Hall are former baseball executive Paul Beeston; speed-skater Catriona Le May Doan; fellow cyclist Curt Harnett; former Montreal Expos pitcher Claude Raymond; the Sun's corporate sports editor, George Gross; and the 1972 Team Canada that defeated the Soviet Union in the eight-game Summit Series.

"I don't think anyone knew at that time the significance it had on the country and continues to have," Rod Seiling, a defenceman on the team, told The Canadian Press yesterday.

"What amazes us is that people who weren't even born at that time know about the team, know about what it accomplished. They can tell you the things that went on and ask you questions like they watched the games themselves."

Gross covered the 1972 series and rates it as a highlight of his long career.

"That is probably the highlight of any Canadian who had any connection with sport," he said yesterday.

- Beeston was the first employee hired by the Blue Jays when the club was formed in 1976. He went on to become president and CEO before taking on the same role with Major League Baseball, a position he held until March 2002.

- Le May Doan won the 500-metres gold at the 2002 Winter Games, a year in which she held the world, Olympic and World Cup titles at that distance and became the first Canadian individual to successfully defend a gold medal at any Olympics.

- Harnett competed in four Olympic Games, winning a silver and two bronze medals. He also competed in three Commonwealth Games and three Pan American Games, collecting four medals.

- Drafted by the Chicago White Sox in 1958 before moving to Houston, Raymond enjoyed his finest season as a professional in 1970, saving 23 games and winning seven.

---

SELECT FEW

- This year's inductees into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame on Nov. 2:

HOCKEY

Team Canada 1972

CYCLING

Steve Bauer

Curt Harnett

SPEED-SKATING

Catriona Le May Doan

BASEBALL

Paul Beeston

Claude Raymond

MEDIA

George Gross


Videos

Photos