Ryder on Meyer leaving Dimension Data: ‘It’s sad for all of us’

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Responding to the announcement that Cameron Meyer is leaving Team Dimension Data after just over six months, Team Principal Douglas Ryder has said that Meyer alone knows the reason and that he will be missed.

“Other than what is in the release, there is nothing else to say, really. It is something that he came to us with, unfortunately. We respect what is going on in his mind and his situation,” he told CyclingTips.

“It was a shock to us. He did withdraw from the team for the Tour of California because he needed some time, which we gave him. He then came back and said he didn’t want to be a burden on the team, feels bad that he is not competing and that this [walking away – ed.] is the best thing.

“That is basically it. There is basically nothing more to say than that. We don’t know more in terms of what is going on with him, because it is a private matter and we respect that. But there is nothing more that I know of.”

Meyer joined the team prior to the start of the year, moving across after four years with Orica GreenEdge. He got things off to a good start with second in the Australian road race championships and 12th in the Santos Tour Down Under, as well as 27th in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road race, but his results have been quieter since then.

After returning to Europe he was a non-finisher in the Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta del Sol, and then placed 106th overall in the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya.

Meyer last competed in the Tour de Romandie, which concluded on May 1, and finished 117th overall.

As Ryder mentioned, he was due to compete in the Tour of California but then requested not to. As a result Romandie was his last race with the African WorldTour squad.

“We have got a few team doctors who focus on certain athletes. We talked to his manager, his coach, and none are the wiser as to the extent and the reasons for this. So we have just let it be a private matter,” said Ryder.

“He is a great guy. We were proud to have him on the team and to have him carry our brand and be part of the team. It is sad for all of us. I know he will come in time and potentially talk to us about it, I guess, but right now we are not prying into his personal life. But it is a big loss to the team, that is for sure.”

Meyer was originally regarded by some as a rider who could potentially go on to challenge for top ten finishes in Grand Tours. In 2011, days after he turned 23, he won a stage plus the overall in the Santos Tour Down Under. Two years later he was fifth overall in both the Presidential Tour of Turkey and the Amgen Tour of California and picked up a time trial win in the Tour de Suisse.

He returned a year later to scoop another stage win in Switzerland. Meyer’s highlight of last season was a stage win plus the overall and points classifications in the Herald Sun Tour.

It remains to be seen if Wednesday’s announcement means his pro career is at an end. Ryder said it is unclear if he is taking a temporary break or walking away from the sport altogether.

“We asked him if he wants to go to another team, if he is going to race some more, or does he want to focus on another discipline in cycling. But nothing at the moment…he is a bit cooked and he needs to focus on himself.

“So, based on our conversations with him, we don’t know if he is going to do something else. He is not ruling out being back in cycling, but not now. So we said okay, fine.”

The South African reiterated that he doesn’t know the reason for Meyer’s decision. “Honestly we are none the wiser for it. We left it as a private matter for him. We tried to cover some of the reasons, asking if it was the case that the team could have done any different, but you saw what he said in the release…

“He is super happy with this team and said it was nice to be part of it, but this is just something that he needs to deal with. We said, okay, that is fine.”

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