The Orica-Scott team has confirmed that Cameron Meyer will return to WorldTour level racing with the Australia team in 2018 as he prepares to target the Madison on the track at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Meyer was one of the original GreenEdge team signings back in 2012 and enjoying four successful seasons with the team. He left for Dimension-Data in 2016 and then opted to take time out from the highest level of road racing, preferring to mix his time on the track and the road with the Australian national team. He won his eighth world title on the track in the points race this spring after also being part of the team pursuit squad that won the world title.
The Orica-Scott team is now very different to the one Meyer rode with in 2015. The success of Esteban Chaves and Adam and Simon Yates has turned the team into Grand Tour contenders, with Ewan Caleb the protected sprinter. Experienced climber Mikel Nieve will also join Orica-Scott in 2018, while it is unclear if former team leader Simon Gerrans will be part of the team in 2018.
29 year-old Meyer has agreed a three-year contract that runs until the end of the 2020 season.
"I am really happy to be coming back to the team. I have a lot of friends here including riders and staff members and I'm excited to be returning to a familiar environment where I previously spent four successful years," Meyer said in a statement from Orica-Scott announcing his return.
"During my time away from the team racing for the Australian national squad, I found that striking a good balance between track and road commitments is what suits me best."
"I couldn't be happier to be going back to a team where I already have good relationships and that helps and allows me to achieve those goals on the track whilst maintaining a balance with my objectives on the road. Along with those ambitions on the track I am looking forward to pursuing success on the road and giving my experience to the team."
Aiming for the Madison in Tokyo
Meyer first stepped back from WorldTour road racing in June 2016, requesting the termination of his contract with the Dimension Data team for 'personal issues'. After watching the Rio Olympics from the sidelines, he announced his comeback in October and rode the London Six and a series of other track events. He lead the Australian national team at the Tour Down Under – a race he won in 2011 – and then finished third on the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and fourth overall in the Herald Sun Tour. He won the Dwars door de Vlaamse Ardennen race in Belgium in June and was buoyed by the news of the return of the Madison to the Olympic track programme for 2020.
"A big goal on the horizon for me is to win a gold medal in the Madison at the next Olympics in Tokyo and the Commonwealth Games before that," Meyer explained.
"When speaking to Matt White and Shayne Bannan I found that they were happy to help me find the perfect balance in terms of supporting me in chasing my dreams both on the track and on the road and I feel very fortunate to be coming back into this set up."
Orica-Scott directeur sportif suggested that Meyer's return will add versatility to the team. He will also mentor some of the talented young riders in the team.
"Cam has come back with a different focus," explained White. "And the primary focus is to be an Olympic champion in Tokyo in the Madison. We will always be a team with Australian DNA so we would like nothing more than to support Cam in that ambition."
"We know what we get with Cam. We know he is a very versatile rider and we have had a long relationship with him. He is coming back with a new focus and a new drive and I don't think there is another team that understands Cam better than us. Cam is back more motivated than ever to win, and we have seen that this year with his results with the national team. He is very keen to pass on his experience to our younger riders, while at the same time keeping the team in the winner's circle over the coming years."