Cameron Meyer sets the pace on the second ascent of Willunga Hill for Daryl Impey.
  • Cycle Sport

    Robert Millar once talked about riders dreaming, of such things as winning the Tour and being one of the absolute best. If you don’t dream you don’t get anywhere. He also realised during his own career, like Meyer is here, that there are other races to win, and that is not so bad after all. I do wonder though whether Jeff Bernard could’ve been the rider he was touted as being, without the injury and bad luck that plagued him after 87 until he went to Banesto in 91.

    • xponti

      Faboo once said, when asked about his dreams of a world championship or a yellow jersey, that there are dreams and goals. It is good to have dreams and he dreams of Yellow and Rainbow, but the goals are what are achievable and what he aims for. Some dreams are not achievable.
      This is probably the same for Meyer. He probably dreams of winning the Tour (hell doesn’t every cyclist), but his goals are clearly in the 1 week races.

      • Chris

        That’s really well put.

  • Paolo

    Maybe also a lesson for cycling experts and commentators. Don’t make a 22 year old a GT contender just because he won something on the track and a few U23 races. Bobridge is even better example. Still remember McGrory and McKenzie declaring Meyer and Bobridge to Tour Top ten riders every time they came on TV a few years ago, without them ever showing that they can climb with the best on a high mountain stage in any race

    • jules

      i remember reading that Cam was a GT contender in-the-making, due to his consistency, day-in, day-out. while Bobridge was touted (by someone influential, can’t remember precisely who) as a classics rider – due to his slightly less consistent form.

      i’ve never really understood this “can you climb in the high mountains?” talk, as if it requires some kind of je ne sais quois. it’s power-weight, over a sustained period of time. I’ve watched local riders like Brendan Canty bag motherlodes of KOMs on Strava in Melbourne. “but can he climb with the pros?” well, yes. a climb is a climb. the numbers don’t lie, he did really well in the Tour of Utah.

      i don’t know what Cam’s limitation is – maybe the competition on the track where he was winning wasn’t as high as in the World Tour? maybe he just doesn’t like the WT life and lacks that motivational edge to excel? mind you, his palmares is still pretty damn good.

      • Pete

        Power to weight is a necessity but so is being able to back up day after day… for 3 weeks. Not everybody can do that. Also, some people suffer more than others as the altitude goes up. Just because 2 riders have the same w/kg at sea level it doesn’t necessarily mean they have the same w/kg at 2000m.

        • Tom Wells

          This was something Wiggins struggled with even after the 2009 tour. Anything over 2000m and he was dropped which is why Sky sent him on so many altitude training camps. I’d still say he’s not the best climber (by a long shot) at higher altitudes but he was good enough to churn it out.

          And yes, I’m a Wiggins fan. I’m also fully aware he can be a real t**t as well!

    • Dave

      When you get Australian riders and Australian commentators together, there is also the Koala Park fallacy where it is assumed that being the best Australian means you’ll also be the best in the world. It sets our cyclists up for failure when they do venture out of the Koala Park and find that Cav sprints much faster than Goss, Porte can’t keep up on the climbs beyond a one week race, and it’s a good day when Martin’s dust cloud has not completely settled before Durbo even arrives.

      Keeno, Scooter and Macca are among the worst at it, and I’m astonished because all three should know better (unlike Tomo) but for some reason they keep doing it. I wonder if it all comes down to the need to pander to the non-cycling fans that SBS need to keep the broadcast sponsors on board – cycling fans are a terrible market for advertising because they take brand loyalty to irrational levels.

  • velocite

    Good piece, thanks Shane. Turns Cam Meyer from a disappointment into a human being. It is of course *the* fascinating question: just what is that sets the limit? Given the right power to weight and VO2max, what aspect of the metabolism struggles over three weeks?

    • Steel

      Agreed. This article and the one on Richie Porte are great insights into the people in the sport. Well done.

      We all kind of itch to see every Australian rider take on the TDF, but the reality is that freakshows like Cadel only come along once in a while. There are plenty of other goals in cycling that are still great achievements but without the global recognition of the tour.

      I’d love to see some of OGE’s big time trial riders start to put in better performances in some of the flatter classics like MSR, Paris Roubaix and the GT TTs. You’d think that TTs and flat one dayers are an area where Aussie riders should excel.

      • Shane Stokes

        Thanks folks – glad you liked it…

  • beaker

    I never thought Meyer was going to be a Grand Tour contender. To me he’s more like Geraint Thomas, a brilliant cyclist who excels at almost everything. But Thomas seems to have left Meyer behind in the last few years since they both wound things up on the track. A case of OGE once again trying to turn a rider into something they’re not? They tried to turn Goss into a flat sprinter, when he said himself on this website that’s not what he was. Thankfully they’ve learnt their lesson and haven’t done the same to Matthews. Would love to see Meyer have a crack at Liege Bastogne Liege.

    • Spikey Spokey

      Great piece about Cam Meyer. As a fellow West Aussie, he’s my favourite rider. I thought early on he could be a GC contender because of his build and have been wondering what has happened to him lately. I do notice that he often seems to be on the front of the peleton doing a lot of work so I guess that doesn’t leave much left for the finish. Good to hear from him and how he’s going.

  • Derek Maher

    Interesting discussion with Meyer.Getting to the top as a GC big tour contender throws in a few variables.
    Body build power to weight ratio.The ability to recover and hide on a semi poor day.Training to be an all rounder not a specialist.Plus being able to direct your team at the crucial moments.A balanced team that rides for you and is good enough to keep things together etc.
    Ignoring race comentators opinions also helps keep you mentally balanced.


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