Cameron Meyer (Orica GreenEdge) put in the performance of the day when he won in the Australian national criterium title in a brilliant solo effort. Meyer attacked the peloton early in the 40-lap race and never looked back, spinning a furious tempo at the front of the race that was simply too much for the chasing field to bring back.
A reduced bunch sprint would decide the lower spots on the podium as Steele Von Hoff (Garmin-Sharp) edged Leigh Howard (Orica GreenEdge) to the line for second and third-place respectively.
"It's another special win," said Meyer. "Obviously to win any Australian championship is special. I'm a little surprised as the criterium is not my forte. I'm definitely thought of more as a time trialist or road racer, but I went out there today and showed I have good form. We had some good tactics from the start, but we didn't have to use them today."
Despite the efforts of a number of teams Meyer simply could not be brought into striking distance. His gap was reduced briefly before extending his lead out again throughout the race.
"That wasn't exactly my tactic," said Meyer about his race-long breakaway. "It was to open up the legs and attack off the front. Travis did the first one and I did the second but no one wanted to come with me so I just kept going."
Meyer put in a valiant performance on the streets of Ballarat in an attempt to win the title. Meyer took off on a solo attack almost from the gun and steadily built his lead out to over 20 seconds. At the finish Von Hoff and Howard sprinted for the final spots on the podium with Howard excited for his teammate to take the win while he picked up a bronze.
"We had a team that wasn't a pure lead-out team so we had to go on the offensive," said Howard. "We made sure we were on the front foot from the start and Travis Meyer was the first followed by Cam. He was by far the strongest rider out there today and it made out job so much easier.
"I've been doing a lot of sprint training this year, meaning that Sunday is going to be a lot harder for me because I haven't focused much on my climbing. I'll be there as a helper and domestique role," he added.
The Huon-Genesys Wealth Adviser's team of reigning champion Anthony Giacoppo took the initiative to bring the West Australian back into the fold and worked hard to contain the former Australian road champion. It was however, one of the team's former riders Von Hoff who positioned himself perfectly for the bunch kick.
"There were two teams trying to bring it back," noted Von Hoff. "I just had to sit in and wait for the sprint. The GreenEdge guys had a pretty good lead-out so I sat on that and finished it off."
With less than 13 laps to go Meyer was trying to edge his lead out further as the Drapac Professional Cycling team also began to contribute to the chase.
Meyer skipped the time trial but showed that he's clearly on-song for Sunday's road race as he managed to hold off the field lap after lap.
"It [the time trial] didn't really suit my characteristics and I'm really hungry for the road title," said Meyer. "I've got good form and I think I showed that tonight. Hopefully I can show that again on Sunday."
The gap began to slowly drop as the National Road Series teams of Drapac and Huon-Genesys continued to swap turns on the hot-dog course while Orica GreenEdge weren't making it easy for the chase to get organised. They lined up behind the red jerseys of the Drapac team to discourage the reduced field's effort.
Meyer had 18 seconds with less than 10 laps to go and was on a mission along the streets of Ballarat. It would be up the remaining riders to bring back Meyer who refused to ease his pace.
With only a few laps remaining Meyer had done enough to extend his lead to nearly 30 seconds. Riders continued to fall out of the race as they attempted to chase. Coming into the final lap, his victory was all but sealed. At the finish Meyer had plenty of time to salute the crowd that had just watched him take a fantastic victory.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Cameron Meyer (WA)||0:59:49|
|2||Steele Von Hoff (VIC)||0:00:16|
|3||Leigh Howard (VIC)|
|4||Ben Grenda (TAS)|
|5||Jonathan Cantwell (Qld)|
|6||Chris Jory (NSW)|
|7||Neil Van Der Ploeg (VIC)|
|8||James Mowatt (VIC)|
|9||Anthony Giacoppo (WA)|
|10||Shaun Mccarthy (VIC)|
|11||Stuart Shaw (ACT)|
|12||Samuel Witmitz (VIC)|
|13||Malcolm Rudolph (Qld)|
|14||Luke Davison (NSW)|
|15||Dominik Dudkiewicz (VIC)|
|16||Richard Lang (NSW)|
|17||Lachlan Norris (VIC)|
|18||Rico Rogers (VIC)|
|19||Peter Thompson (Qld)|
|20||Nathan Elliott (VIC)|
|21||Fabio Calabria (ACT)|
|22||Jai Crawford (TAS)|
|23||Christopher Tymms (VIC)|
|24||Jayden Copp (Qld)|
|25||Jason Spencer (VIC)|
|26||Shannon Johnson (VIC)|
|27||Travis Meyer (WA)|
|28||Nathan Earle (TAS)|
|29||Jacob Kauffmann (NSW)|
|30||Edmund Hollands (WA)|
|31||Cal Britten (VIC)|
|32||Karl Evans (Sa)|
|33||Jay McCarthy (Qld)||0:00:25|
|34||Wesley Sulzberger (TAS)|
|35||Steven Waite (VIC)|
|36||Joseph Lewis (NSW)|
|37||William Clarke (TAS)||0:00:33|
|38||Kenneth Ballhause (VIC)||0:00:37|
|39||Peter Herzig (Qld)||0:01:07|
|40||Alastair Loutit (ACT)||0:01:29|
|41||Bernard Sulzberger (TAS)||0:01:56|
|42||Blair Windsor (NSW)||0:03:26|
|DNF||David Woolsey (VIC)|
|DNF||Nicholas Woods (NSW)|
|DNF||Edward White (NSW)|
|DNF||Andrew Ward (VIC)|
|DNF||Kane Walker (VIC)|
|DNF||John Walker (VIC)|
|DNF||Adam Trewin (VIC)|
|DNF||Tomas Szollosi (Qld)|
|DNF||Patrick Shaw (VIC)|
|DNF||Dean Sanfilippo (VIC)|
|DNF||Tom Robinson (TAS)|
|DNF||Thomas Palmer (ACT)|
|DNF||Daniel O'Keefe (NSW)|
|DNF||Cameron McDonald (VIC)|
|DNF||Darren Lapthorne (VIC)|
|DNF||Caleb Jones (NSW)|
|DNF||Kris Johnston (ACT)|
|DNF||Robbie Hucker (VIC)|
|DNF||James Henry (VIC)|
|DNF||Dean Heathcote (VIC)|
|DNF||Russell Gill (Sa)|
|DNF||Sean Finning (VIC)|
|DNF||Marc Williams (ACT)|
|DNF||Michael Troy (NSW)|
|DNF||Wade Edwards (VIC)|
|DNF||Jacob Sutherland (VIC)|
|DNF||Jonathan Lovelock (VIC)|
|DNF||Nicholas D'Ambrosio (NSW)|
|DNF||Andrew Crawley (NSW)|
|DNF||Michael Freiberg (WA)|
|DNF||Thomas Donald (Qld)|
|DNF||Daniel Bonello (NSW)|
|DNF||Jonathan Bolton (WA)|
|DNF||Michael Cupitt (ACT)|
|DNF||Cameron Bayly (Sa)|
|DNS||Dean Windsor (NSW)|
|DNS||Alexander Smyth (VIC)|
|DNS||Joel Strachan (VIC)|
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