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Australian benefits from an early start to take the first leader's jersey in the Swiss national tour as heavy wind was a disadvantage for the late starters and race favourites

Photo: Unipublic/Graham Watson

CAMERON MEYER

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MITCHELTON-SCOTT

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TOUR DE SUISSE

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08.06.2013 @ 16:51 Posted by Philip Tarning-Andersen

Cameron Meyer (Orica-GreenEdge) was a surprise winner of today's short 8,1km opening time trial of the Tour de Suisse when the American used an early to start to his benefit. With increasing winds, the late starters not even came close to the time set by Meyer and not even big favourite Fabian Cancellara (Radioshack-Leopard) could overcome the changed climatic conditions to beat the Australian and had to settle for a disappointing 16th place.

 

Time trials are mostly determined by raw power and technical skills but sometimes a careful preparation can also be quite beneficial. When Cameron Meyer chose to start early in today's 8,1km opening stage of the Tour de Suisse it proved to be much more crucial than the strength of his legs.

 

When the Australian blasted across the finish line to finish in a time of 9.39 and thus improve the previous mark set by Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), few had expected that time to stand a chance when the big favourite Fabian Cancellara would roll down the ramp later in the move. That prediction proved, however, to be wrong as the Australian had made a clever choice by going off so early.

 

The wind became extremely strong later in the afternoon and on the first, flat part of the course, the riders faced a tough headwind on some very exposed roads. When riders kept passing the intermediate time check way off the mark set by Meyer, it was evident that the conditions was a clear disadvantage to the late starters.

 

Wilco Kelderman (Blanco) and Andreas Klöden (Radioshack) both had solid performances but lost 42 seconds to Meyer to signal just how difficult it was to beat the time set by Meyer. Last year's winner of the first time trial Peter Sagan (Cannondale) did even better and was by far the best of the late starters with only a few riders still to come.

 

One of those included Cancellara and by now the only question was if the Swiss powerhouse was so superior that he could still win in these conditions. When he passed the intermediate check in a time 9 seconds slower than Sagan's, it was, however, clear that Meyer would be the day's winner.

 

Cancellara improved much in the last part of the course and when he crossed the finish line, he was by far the best of the last starters, beating Sagan by 13 seconds. However, his time was still 22 seconds from the mark set by Meyer and so the former track star could celebrate his biggest ever win on the road.

 

Among the GC riders, Peter Velits (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) and Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) benefited from early starts to both finish in the top 10. Another winner was Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) who was expected to lose plenty of time today but due to an early start now finds himself ahead of a strong time triallists like Tejay Van Garderen (BMC).

 

The American had a disappointing performance, finishing 10 seconds off the mark set by Sagan despite his status as an outsider for the stage win. He was even beaten by defending champion Rui Costa who had a solid ride as the last rider down the ramp and only lost 40 seconds to Meyer.

 

Meyer will start tomorrow's 2nd stage as the first leader of the race and he will head directly into the mountains. Bad weather has forced organizers to skip the day's first climb, the Nufenenpass, but the stage will still finish atop the category 1 climb to Crans-Montana and so we should get an early indication of the strength of the best GC riders.

 

Starting at 16.05, you can follow the action on CyclingQuotes.com/live.

 

Result and general classification:

1. Cameron Meyer 9.39

2. Niki Terpstra +0.10

3. Heinrich Haussler +0.14

4. Alex Rasmussen +0.15

5. Gorka Verdudo +0.16

6. Reto Hollenstein +0.16

7. Michel Koch +0.18

8. Peter Velits +0.19

9. Ryder Hesjedal +0.19

10. Matteo Tosatto +0.19

 

Points classification:

1. Cameron Meyer 15

2. Niki Terpstra 12

3. Heinrich Haussler 10

4. Alex Rasmussen 9

5. Gorka Verdudo 8

 

Teams classification:

1. Omega Pharma-Quick Step 29.58

2. Orica-GreenEdge +0.06

3. IAM +0.08

4. BMC +0.09

5. Radioshack Leopard +0.13

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