Return to altitude in Colorado proves a struggle
Earlier this week as part of the announcement that Brixia Sport would be taking the reins at Liquigas-Cannondale for next season, it was revealed that Cameron Wurf would be making a return to the team after a one-year absence.
"They certainly made it very clear to me last year when there was that problem that I would always be welcomed back, so when the opportunity opened for the transfer period they made contact with me and said they'd like to have me back," Wurf explained.
"I'm really excited to go back there and race with all the guys that I because such good friends with a couple of years ago."
Wurf found himself riding for Champion System in their debut Pro Continental year following a breakdown in communication between the Australian's agent and the Italian outfit. It's a situation that the former Olympic rowing representative made the most of but as his hastily pulled together year winds up, Wurf is ready to take the tools and experience that he has gained with Champion System and use them to his advantage in his second stint with the ProTour team.
"I've had a little bit more freedom within races to chase my own goals, and also the responsibility to perform particularly in Qinghai Lake," the 29-year-old runner-up of the Chinese event told Cyclingnews. "Ed Beamon made it pretty clear that it was expected that I perform there because that's why he had me on the team. So I went there with a bit of extra motivation and determination, that's the main thing. In the end it was a great opportunity to be able to perform under those conditions and hopefully next time I'm called upon to perform, the skills that I learnt there with Ed's little bit of driving behind me will hold me in good stead."
Coming out of Qinghai Lake, Wurf has come to the realisation that maybe he is more diversified in his abilities than what previously thought so he's optimistic when it comes to his future performances.
Wurf rode the Tour of Tour of Utah and then last week, the USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado. He had hoped that the return to altitude after his stint in July would result in some joy however the experience proved a real struggle. He had in fact become comparatively weak.
"Losing that power meant that when I rocked up in America and racing at that higher level and with guys coming straight from Europe who still had the horsepower in them, I was instantly in difficulty," Wurf explained. "I could grind away all day and often make the initial selections but once the big hitters hit the turbo I was instantly in difficulty. It was an interesting experience because I would be one of the first riders dropped but by the finish climbs I was often making the selections.
"It will come back," he continued. "Altitude's a funny thing and that's the beauty of those races - no one knows how anyone will react. Look at Christian Vande Velde and the way he stole the show on the last day. It makes it more exciting. I was pleased to have one good race this year at altitude and next year it might be the USA Pro Cycling Challenge with the Brixia jersey on."
Wurf will probably wrap up his season with next week's Tour of China before once against returning to his Tasmanian base, and eying a more complete season of racing starting January with the national championships.
"I'm already thinking about that," he admitted. "I'm pretty excited. If I do finish up the year a little bit earlier it will give me a bit more time to prepare for it."
With the change to the format to the 2013 Australian Road Nationals where the individual time trial will now take place before the road race, Wurf is confident of posting a result that would improve on his 6th place in the individual time trial behind winner, Luke Durbridge.
"It makes it easier," Wurf said. "Focus on that and have a couple of days off and then do the road race. The time trial doesn't affect your road race but the road race certainly affects your time trial."