Skip to main content

Meyer solos to elite road title

At just 20 years of age Travis Meyer (Garmin-Transitions) broke away on the final lap of the Australian elite men’s road race and never looked back, holding a 31 second margin over breakaway rival David Kemp (Fly V Australia) all the way to the finish line in Buninyong. Meyer was surprised to win the race, with the first lap breakaway of 10 riders being given too much latitude by the peloton, which couldn’t catch the bunch over the closing laps.

"My first ever road national title and to do it in my first race in elite men, it is an unbelievable feeling. I can’t quite describe what it feels like," said Meyer. "To win the road race after [my brother] Cam’s just won the time trial, to have two national champions in the same team and in the same family, it is just unbelievable.

"People are going to know my name in the ProTour ranks just because I have got the jersey on, to win it after guys like Robbie McEwen, Stuart O’Grady, Matt Wilson, for me to be able to do that and I am only 20 in my first year on the ProTour it hasn’t quite sunk in yet," he added.

Garmin-Transitions played the race beautifully. While nobody expected the break containing Meyer to last the entire race, Garmin sport director Matthew White had the team represented in every key group as the race unfolded. That Meyer’s move lasted and the West Australian was remarkably fresh only played further into the outfit’s hands.

"We couldn’t afford to get caught out by having nobody in the race and in the end it stayed away," said White.

Fly V Australia, too, was a force to be reckoned with throughout the race. The outfit had a massive representation at the event, allowing it to put three riders into the initial breakaway of 10. While the race hadn’t unfolded the way it expected, Kemp still managed to survive the 163.2 kilometre race in second place.

"It was fantastic when we got out to six or seven minutes, it gave us some time to recover," said Kemp. "Once it looked as though it wouldn’t come back I was told to sit on and conserve my legs.

"Unfortunately, I was cramping on the last lap when it went 'whack', but I just switched my mind off and rode through the pain," said Kemp. "I almost got Trav back, but not quite."

The story behind Damien Turner’s ride to a bronze medal in third place was equally as inspiring as Meyer’s win. Turner’s role in the race’s outcome was crucial, with the local rider driving the peloton up the Buninyong climb on every lap to claim all 42 king of the mountains points offered over the 16 laps. Making Turner’s journey all the more challenging is the fact that he has only one eye, the other replaced by a glass eye.

"Personally it is a dream come true, I don't think it could get any better than this, other than winning the event, but winning was never in my wildest dreams," said Turner. "This is a course that really suits and over the last three years I have been very lucky that I have gone very well. I put so much pressure on myself to better last year's performance, so next year [this] is going to be very difficult to top."

Best laid plans

Everyone had a plan heading into the race, but how comprehensive that plan was would be immediately tested as a break of 15 riders rode away from the peloton on the opening lap. The group shed a few riders as it pulled out a 1:50 minute lead by the second lap, leaving Travis Meyer, David Kemp, Aaron Kemps, Chris Pryor, Russell Van Hout, Damien Turner, Hayden Brooks, Jay Bourke, Brendan Jones and Cameron Peterson.

Nobody knew it yet, but the winning move had been made. Peter Aquilina made the first of a few attempts to cross to the lead group, but as the gap grew past 3:30 minutes any hope of bridging was fading quickly. Chris Steffanoni’s attempt to bridge the by then five minute gap summed up the day well, he tried to cross for lap-after-lap, but in the end pulled out and was seen riding back down Buninyong in the opposite direction to the race.

While Jack Bobridge (Garmin-Transitions) was frustrated by back-to-back mechanical issues, criterium champion Kemps was dumped out of the rear of the break. David Tanner (Fly V Australia) crashed and withdrew with a wrist complaint as the peloton’s deficit sunk to 6:35 minutes, then blew out to 7:50 minutes.

Simon Clarke (ISD) was forced out of the race suffering from the flu as the race really heated up. Past half race distance, with around 47 kilometres remaining, Bobridge was instrumental in the most threatening chase of the day’s escape. With him came teammate Cameron Meyer, Bernard Sulzberger, William Clarke, Stuart Shaw, David Pell and Olympic rowing gold medallist Drew Ginn.

The chase formation forced the peloton’s hand, when it was perhaps already too late. Astana teammates Allan and Scott Davis worked hard at the peloton’s head with Matthews Lloyd and Wilson also pulling the group at previously unseen paces, subsequently spitting riders out the back like popcorn from a hot saucepan.

Three more riders went the way of Kemps and Pryor from the lead group, leaving just five at the front – still with more than three minutes on the peloton and just four laps remaining. Mark O’Brien and Cameron Meyer charged ahead of the chase group and started closing in on Travis Meyer, Kemp, Van Hout and Turner as the quartet started the final lap.

The younger Meyer hit the gas heading up Midland Highway, leaving the three that stuck with him for the previous 15 laps in his wake. With the road on the climb up Buninyong quite literally melting in the 38 degree heat, reports of Meyer’s increasing lead came in.

A short seven kilometres later Meyer appeared at the start of the finishing straight, alone, so alone he was across the line and in the embrace of sports director White before Kemp even appeared. Kemp looked pleased the event was over as he rolled across the finish line, while Turner gathered a second wind to excitedly celebrate his arrival as a national championship medallist.

Some 35 seconds later rolled home Van Hout. The dream of claiming an Australian championship outright – after being awarded the jersey but not winning the race in 2006 – might have been lost, but it was an impressive ride nonetheless from Van Hout, who has only competed domestically in recent years.



#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Travis Meyer (WA)4:26:31
2David Kemp (QLD)0:00:31
3Damien Turner (VIC)0:01:08
4Russell Van Hout (SA)0:01:43
5Hayden Brooks (QLD)0:03:14
6Jack Bobridge (SA)0:03:29
7David Pell (VIC)
8Bernard Sulzberger (TAS)
9William Clarke (TAS)
10Mark O'brien (VIC)0:05:09
11Johnnie Walker (VIC)0:05:16
12John Anderson (QLD)
13Darren Rolfe (QLD)0:06:23
14Jai Crawford (TAS)
15Baden Cooke (VIC)0:06:31
16Zakkari Dempster (VIC)
17Jonathan Cantwell (QLD)
18Luke Roberts (SA)
19Cameron Jennings (QLD)
20Matt Wilson (VIC)
21Lachlan Norris (MTB)
22Peter Mcdonald (NSW)0:06:35
23Steven Robb (VIC)
24Michael Rogers (ACT)0:06:37
25Matthew Lloyd (VIC)0:06:42
26Fabio Calabria (VIC)0:07:16
27Mark Frendo (QLD)0:08:06
28Brendan Jones (NSW)0:08:11
29Wes Sulzberger (TAS)
30Daniel Mcconnell (VIC)
31Cameron Meyer (WA)
32Jay Bourke (VIC)0:11:27
33Dylan Newell (VIC)0:11:51
34Andrew Roe (SA)0:12:18
35Drew Ginn (VIC)0:13:07
36Tristan Jones (SA)0:13:23
37Sean Moran (ACT)
38John Cornish (VIC)
39Joel Pearson (NSW)
40Patrick Shaw (VIC)
41Allan Davis (QLD)0:13:48
42Jon Houston (SA)0:14:11
43Will Wettenhall (VIC)
44Scott Davis (QLD)
45Shaun Mccarthy (VIC)
46Karl Evans (QLD)
47Steven Pilson (VIC)
48Sam Moorhouse (NSW)0:15:26
49Liam Mccarthy (QLD)0:15:41
50Wade Wallace (VIC)0:26:34
DNFNathan Jones (WA)
DNFCasey Munro (VIC)
DNFJames Ibrahim (VIC)
DNFSamuel Rix (VIC)
DNFStephen Tree (NSW)
DNFPeter Dennis (VIC)
DNFErik Mellegers (WA)
DNFDimitri Lafleur (WA)
DNFGiuseppe Cirella (QLD)
DNFSteele Von Hoff (VIC)
DNFMark Hewat (VIC)
DNFReece-Emerson Van Beek (VIC)
DNFAndrew Naylor (VIC)
DNFPeter Aquilina (VIC)
DNFAaron Batchelor (VIC)
DNFNick Bensley (VIC)
DNFDonatas Bludzis (VIC)
DNFLogan Calder (WA)
DNFCameron Carlyle (VIC)
DNFPhillip Chapman (NSW)
DNFBrad Davies (SA)
DNFDavid Deery (ACT)
DNFRowan Dever (VIC)
DNFMark Dippelsman (QLD)
DNFRob Doyle (VIC)
DNFDrew Mckinley (IRL)
DNFJohn Groves (MTB)
DNFMark Guirguis (VIC)
DNFSteven Hedley (WA)
DNFMatthew Hodges (QLD)
DNFTobyn Horton (GBR)
DNFMichael Hosking (QLD)
DNFNathan Hunter (SA)
DNFMark Isaacs (VIC)
DNFLuke James (VIC)
DNFMark Jamesion (QLD)
DNFCraig Johnson (VIC)
DNFKris Johnston (ACT)
DNFBen Kersten (NSW)
DNFMichael Knoff (VIC)
DNFKris Koke (NSW)
DNFPeter Ladd (VIC)
DNFUnknown Rider ()
DNFMarc Loecherer (VIC)
DNFChris Mallalue (VIC)
DNFSteven Martin (VIC)
DNFTim Mcgrath (VIC)
DNFNicholas Mitchell (VIC)
DNFMalachi Moxon (VIC)
DNFAdam Murchie (VIC)
DNFTommy Nankervis (VIC)
DNFCameron Peterson (NSW)
DNFDavid Rawlins (SA)
DNFJared Rowney (QLD)
DNFSam Rutherford (NSW)
DNFJosh Smith (SA)
DNFCameron Spears (SA)
DNFChris Steffanoni (VIC)
DNFJacob Sutherland (VIC)
DNFWalter Tate (USA)
DNFWill Tehan (VIC)
DNFJon Townsend (VIC)
DNFLee Turner (VIC)
DNFChristopher Tymms (VIC)
DNFMatthew Werrell (QLD)
DNFRobert Williams (NSW)
DNFPaul Richards (VIC)
DNFTom Donald (VIC)
DNFDarren Lapthorne (VIC)
DNFSimon Clarke (VIC)
DNFLeigh Howard (VIC)
DNFAlessandro Bazzana (USA)
DNFMatt Goss (TAS)
DNFAaron Kemps (QLD)
DNFDavid Tanner (NSW)
DNFMatthew Rice (TAS)
DNFBrendan Brooks (NSW)
DNFPeter Herzig (QLD)
DNFChris Jory (NSW)
DNFNicholas Sanderson (VIC)
DNFRhys Pollock (VIC)
DNFChris Pryor (QLD)
DNFMitchell Pearson (NSW)
DNSCharles Howlett (VIC)
DNSAshley Humbert (NSW)
DNSBradeley Hall (WA)
DNSSimon Mccarroll (NSW)
DNSBilly Carson (SKCC)
DNSChris D'amelio (VIC)
DNSMark Mckinley (IRL)
DNSDavid Melville (QLD)
DNSStuart Payne (VIC)
DNSRico Rogers (NZL)
DNSRobbie Mcewen (QLD)


Thank you for reading 5 articles this month*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

after your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Latest on Cyclingnews