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Australian track stars learn the hard way in Italy

By:
Jean-François Quénet
Published:
May 18, 2010, 19:57 BST,
Updated:
May 19, 2010, 2:40 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Race:
Giro d'Italia, Stage 10
Australia's Jack Bobridge, left, and Cameron Meyer of Garmin - Transitions before the start of stage 10.

Australia's Jack Bobridge, left, and Cameron Meyer of Garmin - Transitions before the start of stage 10.

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Meyer and Bobridge suffer at the Giro due to crashes and lack of racing

World track champions Cameron Meyer and Jack Bobridge are suffering at the Giro d’Italia but know that the three-week stage race is part of a long learning process and a fundamental beginning to their careers on the road. The two Garmin-Transition riders are already more than an hour and half down on Alexandre Vinokourov after ten stages but they enjoyed team-mate Tyler Farrar’s win in Bitonto.

“This gives you a very good feeling but I wasn’t feeling well during the whole stage”, Meyer told Cyclingnews on the finishing line in the south of Italy.

Meyer crashed the day before and hurt his left shoulder pretty badly but pulling out is not on his agenda. “I’ve done thirteen stages of the Giro last year, hopefully I’ll see Verona (the final stage) this year,” the Australian time trial champion said.

In February, Meyer came third overall at the Tour of Oman, after which he switched to the track and collected three medals at the world championships in Denmark: team pursuit, points race and Madison with Leigh Howard. All at the age of only 21. The western Australian started the Giro d’Italia with only two road races in his legs in April: the Brabantse Pijl and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

“The Giro is a big part of a learning process for both of them,” explained Garmin-Transitions directeur sportif Matt White. “Jack had never done a road race over 200 kilometres before. We brought them to the Giro for the team time trial and there’s no better place for them to learn their job than the Giro.”

Bobridge is not going to complete the three weeks of racing. He has probably two more days to go until he pulls out. “Jesus, this race is very hard!” the 20 year old from Gawler in South Australia said in Avellino at the start of stage 10. “It’s a lot different than other ProTour races. It’s very different from the Tour Down Under!”

Bobridge only rode the Tour Down Under and two days of the Tour of Romandie prior to lining up at the Giro d’Italia, with the track world championships in between. “I’m amazed by the way the Aussie guys are helping me out in the bunch”, he commented.

“My teammates are fantastic with me too, especially the experienced ones: David Millar, Tyler Farrar, Julian Dean, they always encourage me. I was off the back on the Strade Bianche stage, but I enjoyed it.” True Aussie spirit.

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