Cameron Meyer is one of seven former Santos Tour Down Under winners to line out at the 20th edition of the WorldTour race this week. Although Mitchelton-Scott's squad is built around stage wins with Caleb Ewan, Meyer is a joker in the deck for the Australian team.
"It is special to be here for the 20th anniversary and for them to acknowledge the past winners, and me to be amongst those great champions who have won the race is pretty special," Meyer told Cyclingnews. "Lining up on the front grid for the People's Choice Classic was something special and I am excited to be here."
Meyer is reminded of his win every time he walks into the Hilton and sees his name on the front steps. There is a picture of him in 2011 inside the lobby, another reminder of the overall victory. Stories in the riders' dining hall are yet another reminder of his craftily taken win with current sports director Matt White in the team car, as he is in 2018.
Last year, Meyer made his seventh appearance at the race and first with the UniSA-Australia team on his 'comeback' to cycling having ended his Dimension Data contract early and taken leave from the sport. The circumstances for 2018 could hardly be further removed for Meyer. He lines out in Adelaide as the only Mitchelton-Scott rider, bar Lucas Hamilton, to hold a contract through to 2020, and is midway through his bid for World Championships and Commonwealth Games gold on the track. Gold on the track at the Tokyo Olympics in the Madison is Meyer's long-term ambition but road racing remains an equally important venture.
"I am really thriving on it. I love the Aussie summer and it is part of my preparation for the goals on the track with the World Championships and Commonwealth Games. I am excited to be here with a WorldTour team again."
With Ewan, the team has a clear goal to chase stage wins and have so far succeeded on stage 2 into Stirling. On Wednesday afternoon in the Adelaide hills, Daryl Impey also impressed as he took second and got the better of world champion Peter Sagan, Jay McCarthy and Nathan Haas, three riders seen as overall contenders for the ochre jersey.
Considered a 'dark horse' for the ochre, the Stirling finish confirmed Impey to be Mitchelton-Scott's GC option for the week. For Meyer, the new stage 4 finish will be a day of looking after his teammate but with several races still to come on Australian soil, Meyer is happy to play the team role before perusing his personal interests. However, a starring role in Uraidla and on Willunga Hill isn't out of the question for the 30-year-old.
"The Tour Down Under, Herald Sun Tour, the Cadel Evans race... They are big races for exposure for our team and we take a lot of pressure. I am hoping to use my good form for them," added Meyer.