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“I love that sort of race. Twenty guys, sort of like it used to be on the track with the points race, trying to judge when to make that move and I made the right one."

Photo: Herald Sun Tour

CAMERON MEYER

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HERALD SUN TOUR

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MITCHELTON-SCOTT

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05.02.2015 @ 13:59 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Multiple track world champion Cameron Meyer has moved into the race lead after claiming stage one of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour in Bendigo this afternoon.

 

Meyer emerged from a lead group of 21 riders, who had a strangle hold on the entire day’s racing, in the final ten kilometres with Joe Cooper (Avanti Racing) on his wheel.

 

Despite little cooperation from his fellow escapee, Meyer timed the run in to the finish to perfection and courtesy of stage victory bonus seconds now holds the leader’s yellow jersey by four seconds.

 

“There was lots of attacks in the end and I just had to bide my time for the right move,” Meyer said.

 

“I love that sort of race. Twenty guys, sort of like it used to be on the track with the points race, trying to judge when to make that move and I made the right one.

 

“I brought an Avanti guy [with me] which was perfect and he didn’t want to give me a turn in the last 10km which I got a little bit angry with, but I still managed to have enough in the end to win so I’m really happy. I knew his situation, he had three teammates behind... But I was trying to encourage him to come through.

 

"I love Bendigo. I've been here for the Bendigo madison plenty of times and I knew the pressure was on us to get a results as we've had heaps of seconds. The team rode fantastic as well.

 

"I can do that big five-ten kilometre effort as I have a bit of time trial in me and it was perfect getting away with Joe Cooper but Simon was probably the one to take on Bevin and you could see Bevin was pretty quick at the finish. It worked out perfect for us in that scenario."

 

The victory ends a string of second places for ORICA-GreenEDGE this Australian summer.

 

“We know ourselves we kept running second,” Meyer said. “Beside the Bay Crits, winning that, we have had so many seconds and we were just looking for that elusive win.”

 

“I think it’ll start the ball rolling now and hopefully we should be in for a good week."

 

"It's not said from the team but we know ourselves," he said of the pressure to win. "Last year we had so many wins and Simon Gerrans put our name up on the board so many times. We had Simon Clarke win here … besides the Bay Crits, we've had so many seconds [last month] and we were just looking for that elusive win. I think it will just start the ball rolling now and hopefully we are going to have a good week.

 

"It's a hard week now. Simon Clarke did it last year and we've love to do it again. It's going to be a hard bike race and it's still very close in the overall standings. I went and checked out Arthurs Seat, I know that's a hard hill, but I am looking forward to the challenge.

 

"Probably, our two teams [Orica and Avanti] were the first four riders and the way we [GreenEdge] were all up there in the prologue yesterday so we were all up there in the standings. They are a strong team, one of the strongest in the NRS, and the those two New Zealand boys showed at the nationals recently they are up for the challenge this week so I think it will be a race between our two teams."

 

A threatening lead group of 21 riders got off the front in the first 20km of racing and from there, their advantage continued to extend.

Major general classification contenders Meyer and reigning champion Simon Clarkerepresented ORICA-GreenEDGE, along with the support of Damien Howson.

 

The gap was eight minutes by the king of the mountain and less than 20km later had extended to 12minutes 40seconds as the peloton sat up after 100km of racing.

 

Despite some nervous times, the race went according to plan a happy sport director Matt Wilson admitted.

 

“What we talked about in the team meeting played out today,” Wilson said. “But it certainly didn’t feel that way in the car.”

 

“The race was aggressive from the start, we made a big selection and got everyone working and really decided the GC group early.

 

“We thought it would break apart a bit more on Mount Alexander, but it didn’t and we were a little under the pump with Avanti having more numbers than us but the guys rode fantastic and they put a lot of pressure on the group and set Cam up for the big attack.”

 

Stage two will begin at Bendigo’s outdoor velodrome before making its way to Nagambie.  The 117.9km journey doesn’t include any serious climbing requirements and is expected to result in a bunch sprint.

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