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Travis Meyer (Garmin-Transitions) solos to an elite road title at just 20.
"Weaker link" talks about future after Australian title win
Travis Meyer spoke candidly about his relationship with brother Cameron after the former’s road race victory made them the first siblings to hold both the elite men’s road race and time trial titles in Australian cycling history. The West Australian riders will share a home in Girona, Spain this year, but it’s time in the French Alps Meyer hopes to share with his older brother in the coming years.
"The dream is that one day it would be nice to be something like the Schleck brothers or something like that, but there’s a lot of work to do and we’re not counting our chickens before they hatch," said Meyer. "It’s what I dream about all the time, but I realise how hard that step is. It’s not something you can just take for granted and just think you’re going to get there.
"There’s still a lot of hard work to do, but one day hopefully we’ll be climbing up there in the top of the Tour de France’s general classification," he added.
The 20-year-old Australian champion was jovial about the possible bragging rights that come with his win in Buninyong. Cameron Meyer claimed his first elite title on Wednesday in the time trial, with their father Ken on hand to see both victories.
"I heard only the best win the national road race title," joked Meyer. "I think out on training rides, I get to wear the national kit and he can only wear it at the time trial. So I get to wear the kit every day whereas he only gets to wear his on selected days, so I think that’s enough of a reminder.
"When he found out I won I imagine he would have been quite shocked, just as I was, because we never tipped me to win the race," he added. "I was meant to be the weaker link, I guess, out of our team, so that’s why I was meant to be a helper."
Joking aside, Meyer said neither he nor Cameron felt any jealousy towards one another’s successes. He believes their differences on the bike will steer them toward different forms of success in cycling as they develop over coming years.
"We’re both happy for what we achieve, there’s no real jealousy between us," he said. "Like I said, we’re best friends and therefore very happy for each other.
"I think we’re two different style of riders," he added. "I wear my heart on my sleeve and just go all out in my races, whereas I guess being World points race champion Cameron is very tactical, he really knows how to read a bike race. In the end, I just want to be the best I can, just like he does."
Meyer said his best road result prior to today’s event was probably finishing second to now under-23 World Time Trial Champion Jack Bobridge in last year’s under-23 national time trial race. Meyer recalled how he and Cameron originally found cycling a decade ago.
"My father Ken used to race domestically in Perth," said Meyer. "He was one of the better riders, winning the Northern to Perth Classic a couple of times, which was quite a big race back then. But we never knew that until we started the sport, to be honest. We got involved just through a free pass to the velodrome in Midlands, then we just kept going to sessions as 11 and 12-year-olds.
"We didn’t know about dad until after we started, when he told us and showed us some pictures," he added. "He never pushed us into it, we just kind of fell into it."
Meyer will now prepare for the Beijing Track World Cup (January 22-24), his last chance to qualify for the International Cycling Union (UCI) Track World Championships.
His efforts on the track will mean Meyer won’t contest Tour Down Under with his new Garmin-Transitions squad. It means he’ll miss the chance to make the ProTour debut of his national champion’s jersey on home soil, and alongside current UCI Road World Champion Cadel Evans, plus Tour de France winners Lance Armstrong and Oscar Pereiro.
"I’m not going to be doing Tour Down Under, which is at this moment, now, a bit of a disappointment," said Meyer. "It would have been nice to wear the national colours, but I’m already committed to the track program."