After four seasons with Orica-GreenEdge, Cameron Meyer will begin a new chapter of his life when he races in the colours of Dimension Data in 2016. It's a big change for him but he sees the opportunity as a chance to once again show himself as a leader in week-long races.
As Esteban Chaves, and Adam and Simon Yates have been climbing the ranks at Orica-GreenEdge, Meyer was feeling left behind by the team's increasing focus on overall Grand Tour triumph. For that reason, he decided to move on and as a former world champion on the track, national time trial champion and winner of the Tour Down Under, Meyer had several options for 2016. In the end, he 27-year-old hopes plumped for Dimension Data, hoping that the up and coming team will give him his best chance at personal success.
"I wasn't quite done with having my own opportunities in one-week stage races. Coming to this team, I think I've got those opportunities. I can be a leader at the Tour Down Under or at the Tour of California and try for the general classification, which I think was going to be a bit more difficult with Orica," Meyer told Cyclingnews of his move to the South African team. "They're changing and they're going after a little bit more of the Grand Tour GCs with Esteban Chaves and the Yates brothers. And they already had their stage-winning riders with Michael Matthews and Simon Gerrans so they're a pretty stacked team."
Moving teams is not something that Meyer has done a lot in his career. He made the step up to WorldTour with Garmin in 2009 and spent the next three seasons on the American squad before his stint at Orica-GreenEdge. Dimension Data will be only his third professional team and, unlike Orica, there are a lot of new names and faces to get to know.
Meyer met his teammates for the first time in November when they travelled out to Cape Town for their pre-season training camp. He was one of six new riders on the squad, including fellow Australians Mark Renshaw and Nathan Haas, Mark Cavendish and Bernhard Eisel. Shy at first, he settled in quickly and he's looking forward to racing with them out on the road.
"It's got a really exciting feel about it and it is exciting having my first time in Africa, being part of a team where there are only a couple of Australians," said Meyer. "Being part of something that is new and fresh is great. I was part of Garmin when it was quite new and Orica when it was, and I really liked the vibe that the team gave when they spoke to me. Being here in Africa and being part of something that is going into the WorldTour stage, I find it exciting to be a part of it.
Meyer is coming off the back of a mixed year that, while it began well, ended with injury and disappointment. Fortunately, the broken collarbone that called a premature end to his season at the Vuelta a Espana didn't need any surgery and he's had a strong winter. He is hoping to hit the ground running in his native Australia next month with the Tour Down Under and potentially a defence of his Herald Sun Tour title.
"Joining this team it is a fresh start and it's something new, which is really good coming off a season where, for my level, I wasn't happy with the results that I achieved and not what I wanted now," he explained. "Being on a team with so few Australians we get a chance to represent well at the start of the season. I feel like I've got good form and, hopefully, I can put on a good showing to kick off the season."
The rest of his calendar is still not confirmed but he has also put his hand up for a spot at the Tour of California, which he last rode in 2013. A ride at one of the Grand Tours is also on his radar but which one is yet to be decided.
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