By Les Clarke
After only one training session together on the boards at Melbourne's Hisense Arena, 2009 Garmin-Chipotle riders Chris Sutton and Cameron Meyer took silver in the men's 40km Madison at the UCI Track World Cup last weekend. The significance of their achievement is that the Australian pair should combine well on the road next season when they both compete as part of Jonathan Vaughters' squad.
Sutton has enjoyed his first year riding for the American team in 2008 after making the move from French squad Cofidis, while Meyer will be joining Garmin-Chipotle next season. The respect the elder of the two riders has for the younger was obvious after the Madison event in Melbourne, with Sutton praising Meyer's explosive speed. Meyer's speed should be harnessed by Vaughters when he unleashes the 20-year-old West Australian on the European and United States of America road scenes.
Meyer told Cyclingnews that he'll be meeting with Garmin-Chipotle directeur sportif Matt White this week to make arrangements for his move to Girona and his programme for next season. "I'll be finding out a few things you need to know before heading into a pro team," said Meyer. "Things like residency, bank accounts... all those personal details that are important as you become an adult and you start to live in another country."
The multiple junior world champion explained how the offer to ride for Garmin-Chipotle came about. "I went to Spain for five days before the Tour de France and after the Tour of Japan, just to ride with some of the boys and meet Jonathan Vaughters," he said. "It was good hanging with him and he seems like a good guy.
"Jonathan e-mailed me directly and was very interested in my achievements during the season," added Meyer. "After talking to him my results kept coming. There was the Tour of Japan win, then my bronze at the world championships really nailed it. Dealing directly with Jonathan was a big factor – I didn't have to go out and look for it [a ride]."
There's a reason Meyer had team directors contacting him directly – he's one of Australia's best future road prospects. The rise has been meteoric for Meyer, going from institute rider to professional in the space of some two years. Despite this huge leap, he's understandably excited at the prospect of riding some of the season's big races.
"I've been given a few races that I might be doing; things like Philly week plus the new ProTour race in Russia," he explained. "There could be a big one like Romandie in there, which would be a major one for my first season. It's exciting times, and I'm looking forward to seeing what my actual programme is."