While Orica-GreenEdge were celebrating Caleb Ewan's second straight stage win, Cam Meyer was finishing safely in the bunch after a nervous day on the bike to retain his overall lead ahead of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour's queen stage to Arthurs Seat.
A nervy peloton resulted in several crashes during the 146km third stage of the race with defending champion and key teammate for Meyer, Simon Clarke one of the riders to hit the deck.
"There was a lot of nervous guys out there," Meyer said of the stage. "I don't know what it was but it was quiet fast all day as the peloton wanted to keep the break in check for a sprint finish and a lot of teams were very eager which caused a few crashes out there. Hopefully Simon Clarke pulls up alright tomorrow because he's an important factor to our race and tactics tomorrow.
Meyer explained that when he heard Clarke had crashed, he was thinking "hopefully he hadn't done a collarbone or broken a bone."
"I think he'll be alight [Clarke], he's a very professional rider. It's only a 120km stage and I think you'll see him dig in deep tomorrow so we'll still have two cards to play. Even Simon Clarke with no skin, I still wouldn't be letting him go up the road. I think, ok they will be putting more emphasis on me but with Clarke, I think you'll see him tomorrow.
Meyer will start the final stage of the race with a four second advantage over Avanti's Joe Cooper, 15 seconds over Paddy Bevin (Avanti) and 19 seconds over Clarke. Meyer's characteristics suit the climb up Arthurs Seat and with the yellow jersey on his back, is in prime position to claim the victory but the 27-year-old is anticipating a tactical day in the saddle, including a tête-à-tête with Avanti.
"The stage win on Arthurs Seat would be great but definitely first I want to keep this [yellow jersey]," Meyer said. "I think it will be a tactical race tomorrow as there are still 21 guys within 30 seconds [of me] and if anyone of them goes up the road there will be a bit of cat and mouse. If those guys at 30 seconds start going, do I respond straight away or do I wait and defend yellow to win by ten seconds and still keep yellow?
"Yellow is first priority and if the stage is there for taking I'll definitely sprint for it."
With a smaller team size than the WorldTour which Meyer is accustomed to, he added that his team will need to be at its best to combat the endless attacks on the slopes of the three kilometre climb.
"With six man teams it's very hard to control," he said. "We have Caleb Ewan and a couple of lead out man so hopefully they have their climbing legs on tomorrow because I'm going to need them deep into the race as possible. You then have Avanti who have four guys within 30 seconds and they aren't going to wait until the final climb. They are going to put us under pressure to chase them so that's where I think it will be quite tactical.
"I think it will be a hard race from a long way out and will definitely be selective. I think you'll see guys dropped every lap on Arthurs Seat because the pressure being put on our team from the likes of Avanti."
When asked who he sees as his toughest adversary on the climb, Meyer responded; "Joe Cooper is the closet but I would actually put Paddy Bevin as the biggest threat only due to his sprinting prowess. If he gets to the last 300 metres and really opens up, I really have to get onto that quite quickly. If he opens the gap and gets the stage win, that's all it's going to take [to claim the overall.]
"Joe Cooper is more of a diesel and he will go from a long way out. They have a few cards and can really draw me out and that's where I hope Simon Clarke and Damien Howson are able to nullify those attacks."
Should Meyer succeed in his ambitions, he would become the third rider after Simon Gerrans and Stuart O'Grady to claim both of Australia's top stage races having won the Tour Down Under in 2011.
"It's the oldest stage race in Australia and it's very prestigious so to add my name to this, along with Tour Down Under, would be special. I don't think there are too many guys on both honour rolls," he said.
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