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“Cam rode a smart and aggressive race tonight, and he almost medalled but it just wasn’t to be. He did everything he could to get a result so he’s happy with fourth. With only one rider in a crit like that, it’s hard...

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CAMERON MEYER

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09.01.2014 @ 17:24 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Cameron Meyer lined up at the Australian Criterium Championships as the defending champion but as a lonely Orica-GreenEDGE rider against the mighty Drapac team, he had little chance of success. After riding an aggressive race, he sprinted to 4th place and was happy with the performance that sets him up for Sunday's road race.

 

Last year Cameron Meyer defied expectations when he beat all the big sprinter to take the title of Australian criterium champion. This year he was back in an attempt to repeat the performance but it wasn't to be for the stage race specialist.

 

Orica-GreenEDGE may be the leading Australian team but with all eyes Sunday's road race that offers the honour of taking the green and gold jersey back to Europe, the team decided to line up Meyer on his own in today's race. As a non-sprinter, Meyer was forced to prevent the expected bunch sprint and launched repeated attempts in his quest to deny the fast finishers.

 

However, Drapac Professional Cycling had the numbers and the team was intent on setting up a sprint finish for Jonathan Cantwell. This derailed Meyer's plans and he couldn't prevent a sprint outcome.

 

“Cam’s plan today was to try and get away in a break,” sports director Matt Wilson saud.. “He gave it a good go, but the breaks just never really established. Drapac had too many guys in the field and just didn’t seem happy with the makeup of any of the breaks to really let any get away.

 

“Drapac had a lot of numbers in the race and they really controlled it,” he added. “Cam tried to capitalise on that, but they [Drapac] never really committed to the break, so it just didn’t happen. I think they were resigned to the sprint in the end.”

 

Unfortunately for Drapac, its train crashed on the final lap, crushing all hopes of a Cantwell win. Meyer avoided the carnage and decided to give it a go in the sprint, impressing several observers by taking 4th behind fast finishers Steele Von Hoff, Anthony Giacoppo and Brenton Jones.

 

“It was really bad luck for the Drapac guys that they all crashed going into the final, and that ended the race for them,” Wilson said. “We’re happy Cam wasn’t caught up in that- he’s looking good for the road race on Sunday and that’s really our big objective.

 

“Cam rode a smart and aggressive race tonight, and he almost medalled but it just wasn’t to be," he added. "He did everything he could to get a result so he’s happy with fourth. With only one rider in a crit like that, it’s hard to expect a result. Last year was a totally different story- he had four teammates and without that support it just wasn’t possible this time.”

 

On Sunday, Meyer will line up as part of a very strong Orica-GreenEDGE team in the road race where the team hopes to take the title for the third year in a row.

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