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Points race silver driving Meyer's rainbow ambitions in Melbourne

By:
Jane Aubrey
Published:
October 19, 2011, 1:00 BST,
Updated:
October 19, 2011, 2:12 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, October 27, 2011
Race:
Santos Tour Down Under
Defending champion Cameron Meyer (Australia) would earn the silver medal.

Defending champion Cameron Meyer (Australia) would earn the silver medal.

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Decision time for multiple world champ ahead of 2012 track farewell

2012 looms as a busy year for Cameron Meyer. The West Australian will hopefully be a part of Australia's first UCI ProTour team when GreenEdge makes its debut at the Tour Down Under in January where he'll be defending champion, and then there's a home world championships on the track in April before his focus moves to London for the Olympic Games.

But if there's one moment that's driving him, it's the points race from this year's UCI Track World Championships in Apeldoorn where he walked away with a silver medal after heading into the race as dual world title holder and outright favourite.

Meyer, 23, is particularly passionate about the 160-lap battle of strength, speed and tactical ability, given it was the first event that he took on at a senior world championships. He does his homework on all of his rivals, possibly why the result in Apeldoorn leaves a slightly bitter taste.

"I still think it was a good performance to win a silver medal at the world championships and the Colombian [Edwin Ávila Alcibiades] fully deserved it – he made the right move he played the right tactic against me to beat me as the defending world champion," Meyer told Cyclingnews.

"I missed that one move and that was the one that I didn't tactically plan right when the Colombian went. I know how the Colombians race and I knew that tactic would come at some stage. I needed help from the rest of the peloton and I couldn't get it. The pressure was put on me to pull the move back and at the end of the day it was too late."

The other motivation for Meyer is that 2012 will be the last year he splits his concentration between the boards and the road where he's just closed out the current season at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour, racing for the final time for Garmin-Cervelo where he began riding as a neo pro in 2009.

"It's given me that extra little bit of hunger going into next year," he explained. "I don't want to leave the track after losing my points race world title. I'm going to miss having those rainbows this year and I'll be definitely going after them in Melbourne."

Big picture dilemma

Given it's an Olympic year, Meyer is also going to be juggling the choice between targeting those disciplines which will feature in London, or the events where he has traditionally been successful when it comes to the 2012 UCI Track Cycling World Championships which will be held at Melbourne's Hisense Arena.

For the London Games, the points race (world champion 2009, 2010), madison (world champion 2010, 2011 with Leigh Howard) and individual pursuit will be replaced by a women's keirin, as well as men's and women's omnium events by the UCI and International Olympic Committee with an eye to creating a gender equality of medals. However, the points race and madison still exist on the world championship schedule. Throw in the fact that Meyer is a part of the two-time gold medal-winning team pursuit squad and a heavy program could be in the offing in Melbourne.

Then again, it may be possible to do a mix of both, something Meyer and Ian McKenzie, Cycling Australia's national men's track endurance coach, are in the process of working through.

"I may have to drop an event, I don't know," Meyer admitted. "It's very tight, the team pursuit is on the first day, the omnium on the second and third the points race on the fourth and the madison on the fifth. It's like I can't ride for the five days.

"I think that will unfold as we get closer to the event and as we go through the selections of the team you get who's going to ride in what event and who's the best for those events."

With compatriot Michael Freiberg's gold medal-winning performance where he took out the scratch race in Apeldoorn to secure his position at the top of the omnium tree over New Zealand's heavily favoured Shane Archbold, it could just be that the six-discipline event is the one that has to go.

Meaning business in January

Following last year's overall win at the Tour Down Under, Meyer departed for the Berlin Six Day which he raced for the first time and teaming with Howard who was racing in his fourth attempt , finishing second behind German champions Robert Bartko and Roger Kluge.

"I think it was really good preparation," Meyer said. "It is a heavy workload in January but I think after having the experience of doing it this year I can really take the benefit of those races and use it towards preparation for world championships for next year."

Meyer will take a break from the bike now before beginning his preparation for the summer late November. Following the road nationals, Meyer will head to Adelaide for the Tour Down Under where along with Matt Goss who finished second overall in 2011, it is hoped the pair can deliver a one-two punch to get GreenEdge off to a dream start.

"Now with the Willunga hilltop finish, it will be an interesting to see who has enough time bonuses going into Willunga and how big the gap is," Meyer mused. "But I'll be going in with as good a form as I can and if I'm needed to help Matt Goss I will, and if I'm there to try and win the race, I will."

Tickets for the 2012 UCI Track World Championships go on sale to the general public from 9am AEDT Thursday, October 20. Click here for details!

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