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“That was nearly a WorldTour bike race - that was unbelievable. I’ve never experienced something like that in a Herald Sun Tour. That was just ridiculously fast so I’m glad that’s over and I’m happy to get seco...

Photo: Herald Sun Tour

CAMERON MEYER

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HERALD SUN TOUR

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08.02.2015 @ 12:10 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Six-time track world champion Cameron Meyer has secured overall victory at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour with a second place finish atop Arthur’s Seat on the final day of racing.

 

Meyer began the stage with four seconds advantage to his nearest rival.  Bonus seconds from the minor placing saw him extend his lead to 11seconds from final stage winner Patrick Bevin (Avanti Racing).

 

The battle on the Mornington Peninsula brewed as a fierce one with three ascents of the grueling Arthurs Seat climb. Well supported by teammates, Meyer was spared of work until the closing metres.

 

“I was challenged alright,” he said. “That was nearly a WorldTour bike race – that was unbelievable. I’ve never experienced something like that in a Herald Sun Tour. That was just ridiculously fast so I’m glad that’s over and I’m happy to get second. That’s a good effort on this hill.

 

“Hats off to Pat Bevin, he rode a great race and so did Avanti but my boys were really good,” Meyer continued. “I only had to do 200 metres of the whole race so it was fantastic.”

 

Teammate Simon Clarke finished behind Meyer in third on the stage whilst the ORICA-GreenEDGE outfit were too strong across the week winning the team’s classification.

 

Meyer, a member of the team time trial win at the 2013 Tour de France, last won a stage race at the 2011 Tour Down Under in Adelaide.  The 27-year-old joins teammate Simon Gerrans and Stuart O’Grady as the only three riders to have won both Australian races.

I find a lot of satisfaction in this (win),” Meyer said.

 

“When I won Tour Down Under in 2011 it was out of my control. It came down to that last stage and Matt Goss was sprinting for seconds and if he had run top two I would have lost and there was nothing I could to.

 

“Where as this (race), it was an actual hill top finish and it was something that I could control… I really get a good satisfaction that I was able to be the strongest on the Bendigo stage and then second on Arthurs Seat to secure the win."

 

“It’s huge,” he said of the significance of today’s win. “This is the oldest stage race in Australia and one of the most prestigious.

 

“To join that honour roll of having the Tour Down Under and the Herald Sun Tour makes me really happy and I know my dad will want that trophy home tonight.

 

"There was a little bit of pressure coming from us riders knowing that the last few seasons we’d had so many wins. We are so close on so many occasions and this has really got the ball rolling. When I won the stage into Bendigo, Daryl Impey win the South African national time trial time that day. Caleb Ewan continued it with two stage wins and I think this will get the season started for our team and it does take a lot of pressure of our shoulders."

 

The race was on from the moment the flag dropped with a group of 13 riders immediately breaking away. 

 

The situation was ideal for ORICA-GreenEDGE, the break not containing any riders within 20minutes of general classification, nor their much talked about overall challengers Avanti Racing who would be forced to chase.

 

The lead group split to pieces up the first ascent of Arthurs Seat, but six re-gathered over the top and survived over the second time up Arthurs Seat with a chasing peloton closing in.

 

All was left to the final climb but Meyer was well supported, much to the delight of sport director Matt Wilson.

 

“We spoke about the fact the first most important part for the day was going to be the beginning,” Wilson said.

 

“As soon as we got that right breakaway gone, the rest of the day was going to be easy.   We were on the front foot and the guys were in the box seat because the other teams had to work to control and in the end we had five guys going into the final climb when we were planning for scenarios where we were expecting one or two.

 

“It’s been a great end to our summer of cycling in Australia. We have been able to come here and get three stages and the overall so we are very very happy.”

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