Cameron Meyer was the man of the moment in the closing kilometers of the eighth stage of the Vuelta a España. Part of a six rider breakaway that formed during the second hour of racing between Lleida and Andorra, Meyer launched an attack three kilometers from the Collada de la Gallina summit to lead the race alone.
Behind Meyer, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) was the first of the favorites to jump from the whittled down bunch. Chris Froome (Sky Procycling), Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), and Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank – Tinkoff) joined Valverde and the quartet exchanged blows as they clawed their way up towards Meyer. Froome and Contador were the first to catch Meyer. Rodriguez, Valverde and Daniel Moreno (Katusha) bridged across to form a seven-rider move before Meyer lost contact with the elite group. Below, Meyer describes his day.
It was a really fast start to the stage. It was a really hard start. It took 70 kilometers from the breakaway to go. Everyone spent a lot of energy in the first part of the race. I got off in an early move but was brought back. Eventually, I got into the breakaway that stayed away.
The race came into my European hometown of Andorra today. I know every road, and I certainly used that to my advantage in the finish. I knew where I wanted to attack, and I was caught two kilometers from the finish.
I had hoped the big guys like Contador, Froome, Valverde and Rodriguez might ease up a little bit after they had come by me. If they were only slightly slower, I could have held on all the way to the finish. They didn’t ease up, and I had ride up the hill as quick as I could at my own pace. It’s a steep, hard climb. I gave it everything.
It was good to get out front today and have a go at the stage. The team has had a go nearly every day on every stage. We’ve been quite active during the first week of racing. If we keep this up, I expect by the end of the Vuelta we’ll have another stage win one way or another.