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Cameron Meyer has returned to basics in an effort to re-establish and realise his potential as a general classification contender with new team Dimension Data.
Meyer took confidence from a silver medal performance at the Australia national road championships on Sunday in which he made his debut with the recently minted WorldTour squad.
The 28-year-old has already raised with management his desire to lead the rapidly transforming outfit at some week-long stage races this year, and has been supported.
“I’ve gone back to the basics of what I did three or four years ago,” Meyer said. “I had some really good results in 2012 and 2013 and I went back and tried to analyse what went right to get those; how did I run fifth at the Tour of California, how was I top 10 in Tour de Suisse and Tirreno-Adriatico, and what was the difference between the last couple of years where I didn’t ride GC.”
Meyer established that back then he focused on climbing and so specifically did again during the off-season. The former track world champion danced on the pedals at the national titles and while he could not catch contemporary Jack Bobridge (Trek-Segafredo) the performance did go towards verifying his training emphasis.
“In those years I really worked on my climbing because I had come from the track so I needed to lose weight, I needed to be able to climb a hill for 40 minutes, which you’ve got to do in the big mountains over in Europe,” he recalled.
“I’ve got to go back to that if I want to be top five in a one-week stage race so it’s definitely working on my climbing again, really extending how far I can go to hold that power up a climb. I think that’s where it’s going to be.”
Meyer said Dimension Data presents opportunities he would not have received at previous team Orica-GreenEdge, which is set to concentrate on Grand Tour title bids with burgeoning climbers Esteban Chaves and Adam and Simon Yates in years to come.
“I’m still looking for a couple of opportunities myself in one-week races as well as going to Grand Tours and seeking out my own stages, and Dimension Data will give me those opportunities,” he said.
“They’ve got the sprint side sorted but I’m one of those guys that can go to a race, say Tour of California, and have a go at the GC because they don’t have a GC rider.”
The change of scenery has already clearly provided Meyer with renewed motivation and an adjusted perspective.
“The last couple of years I haven’t put my hand up and said, ‘I want to lead this race,’” he added.
“It was, I don’t know, a stale couple of years in terms of my own results or what I wanted to do. I didn’t really progress the way I wanted to.
“Dimension Data were happy to put the faith in me. I said I want to start off really well with the Australian summer and I want to go to say a Tour of California and be the leader, and they’re really going to put a lot of support behind that. I’m looking forward to it.”
Meyer will race at the Tour Down Under starting in South Australia next week before returning to Victoria to compete alongside new team-mate Mark Cavendish at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.
Cavendish and rider entourage Mark Renshaw and Bernhard Eisel made an impression on the squad at an introductory training camp in South Africa late last year. The trio and other new international signings, including Meyer and compatriot Nathan Haas, there amalgamated with a core group of African riders, who have been with the outfit through its various inceptions.
“It’s been brought from a tiny little team to now in the WorldTour and it was interesting to see that gel together at the camp,” Meyer said.
“I think it’s going to be a learning process over the next couple of months but once it gets going and clicks in the season, hopefully, there should be some really good results.
“A lot of the existing riders I think are really excited about who they get to race with and what results we can produce. Some guys dream of being part of Mark Cavendish’s lead-out train,” Meyer said.
“You could really feel the excitement within the room.”