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Grand tours another ball park according to Australian
It's been a tough couple of months for Cameron Meyer who, after recovering from a turbulent start to the season appears to be back on track after taking his second victory of the year at the recent Oceania road championships. The West Australian is filled with motivation for his proper start to 2013 with Orica GreenEdge at the upcoming Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey before aiming at some of his bigger season goals in the Tour of California and Tour de Suisse.
Meyer begun the year with a dominant solo win in the criterium at the Australian national championships but was overlooked for Orica GreenEdge's Tour Down Under squad. Meyer has only competed in domestic races so far this year but with the Tour of Turkey only a month away, the 25-year-old is using the ideal weather in Australia to train ahead of his real start to the season.
The 2011 Tour Down Under champion was not selected for his home race and instead decided to go under the knife to treat a saddle sore. He should have recovered in time for the Tour de Langkawi, where he would have been the team's hope for the general classification but a post-surgery infection meant delaying his first race of the year.
Meyer has since recovered from the injury and will start the eight-day race in Turkey with the idea of "getting back into the swing of it" before aiming at his season's biggest objectives; the Tour of California and Tour de Suisse.
"My program has changed a little bit from what we originally planned," Meyer told Cyclingnews. "I won't start racing until April. Tour of Turkey will probably be my first race. Plans do change a little bit but I think I'm ready to start training fully and begin my racing season.
"Tour of Turkey will be used to get back into the swing of it and get some really good intensity. I'm not looking to put too many runs on the board. It will be about helping any of my teammates that are there for some results.
After a solid but ultimately premature end to the Vuelta a España last year, Meyer says he will focus on the one-week stage races in 2012 and most likely into next season before even considering an attempt at the general classification in a three-week race.
"I want to focus on the one-week tours for now. I still have to prove to myself that I can ride with the top guys and get some results in the one-week stage races. I had a good few top-ten's in Tirreno and got 11th at California and that's given me some good motivation to try harder and move up the ladder in those races. I'll do that before looking at grand tours," Meyer told Cyclingnews.
Meyer rode last year's Vuelta with the initial idea of contesting for general classification but soon realised he was not ready for such an undertaking. He instead attacked relentlessly before finally succumbing to fatigue after 15 stages.
"Grand tours are a whole other ball park above that. The one-week stage races are what I'm really looking to for this year and probably next."
Stepping up to the Tour de France
Already a veteran of four grand tours Meyer says it's unlikely he would be given a ticket for the Tour de France this year. There's a slim chance he would be given a spot on the team but after missing so much of the season already, he is more likely to return to the Vuelta for his second attempt at the Spanish race.
"I think the Vuelta is more realistic. There's always a chance at the Tour de France if you show you've got really good form in May and June. It's hard for me coming off this injury to put my hand up for that with no races in the early part of the season.
"California and Tour de Suisse will be my big goals through May and June and then we will see from there. Realistically it will be the Vuelta which I'm looking forward to. I rode it last year and went pretty well so I'm looking forward to going back, knowing how it's done and hopefully achieve something there.
Returning to the boards at the Olympics
Speculation that Meyer would be returning to the track is not entirely correct despite the former track world champion racing the recent Bendigo madison. Meyer attended the event as a way to gain valuable intensity whilst not racing for his trade team but added he would certainly consider going back if the points race was added to the Olympic program for Rio in 2016.
"If the points race comes back I'm going to have to look into it and consider it. It's one of my favourite events and I've won world titles so it would definitely be something special to go to the Olympics. Bendigo was about getting some motivation back into me. There isn't much racing going on in Australia at the moment so it was more about getting some intensity and motivation back after such a tough couple of months. We'll see what happens. If the points race comes back it's definitely a possibility."