Following a surprise break from racing midway through last season, Cameron Meyer continued his run of form at the start of this year with third place at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. Meyer came close to victory after an attack inside the final kilometre but was brought back in by the chasing peloton.
The Australian still had the momentum to hang on for the final podium spot behind Nikias Arndt (Team Sunweb) and Simon Gerrans (Orica-Scott).
"The moment you think you might win a World Tour one day race. So happy with 3rd today and enjoying my summer of racing," wrote on Twitter soon after the stage, attaching a picture of him with the peloton looming in the background.
Meyer, who is riding in national colours as part of the UniSA-Australia team, elaborated on his tactics in a press release issued by Cycling Australia. The 29-year-old said he was inspired to make his move after seeing how BMC rider Miles Scotson secured the Australian national title a few weeks ago; if only the finish line had been a little closer for Meyer.
"I thought back to the Nationals how Miles Scotson won and I thought I'll try my luck at the same thing," explained Meyer. "I'm not a pure sprinter, so I knew there were quicker guys in the group, but unfortunately I needed 10 metres less to race."
Meyer’s success comes after a four-month break from elite racing, following his decision to cut short his contract with Dimension Data after only five months. He began with a bit of track before hitting the road for the Australian summer with the national championships at the start of January. A solid showing at the Tour Down Under followed, with a day in the break and a most aggressive award.
Meyer denied that his short break from racing had ever been intended to be anything else. He was sure that he would come back to the bike soon enough, but he needed time to himself to reassess things.
"It was just a break - everyone called it retirement and a comeback and everyone like that," he said, according to Australian broadcaster SBS. "I knew I had more cycling left in me. It just took time; it just took a bit of a break - I took a bit of time away, which I hadn't had since I was 12.
"That was probably a bit of my downfall, not managing outside, off the bike."
Meyer has certainly got the racing bug back, and he will continue to race for the UniSA-Australia squad for the rest of the Australian season, but he’s unsure what he’ll do when that ends in a few short weeks.
"That's the question everyone asks me actually at the moment, and I don't think I have an exact answer," said Meyer. "I'm just taking it as it comes now. It might be a bit of national team stuff, it might be signing with a team, at the moment I'm just really enjoying it, getting back out there and having a crack."
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