Travis Meyer has decided to abandon track racing to concentrate full time on the road. The 21 year-old will target stage races like the Eneco Tour in Belgium and the Netherlands, where the time trial stage and positioning is vital.
Meyer, who will ride with Garmin-Cervélo in 2011, told Sbs.com.au, “I first started (on the track) when I was 11, so I have a real passion for it. But now that I have a pro road career and a pro contract I really have to focus on my road career because, realistically, the track was probably not going to happen for London. I was probably going to be the reserve for the next two years."
Garmin-Cervélo sports director Matt White said that Meyer is “a real racer,” and that “Racing up in Holland and Belgium is not for everyone but I can definitely see that style is going to suit him in the future.”
Defending his national road championship title will be the young Australian's first priority, but he is also looking forward to the Eneco Tour of Benelux as a later highlight. He rode the race this year and called it a “turning point” in his career, where he learned a lot about positioning himself in the peloton.
“In Belgium and Holland it’s so important to know where to position in the bunch because if you’re too far back you get dropped before you even realise it,’’ Meyer said. “I really, really went well there and never really got caught out at all in the whole eight days of the tour."
The Eneco Tour will be followed by Meyer's grand tour debut at the Vuelta a España.
White said that Garmin-Cervélo liked to give its young riders experience of the grand tours. “It’s a great experience and it does make you a little bit stronger but you’ve got to be able to handle the rest of the season first,’’ White said.
"It’s just that balance of giving them enough load where they improve and develop and giving them enough races where they’re still competitive and don’t get their head kicked in or they get that chance for themselves.”