Cameron Meyer Climbs into the Amgen Tour of California Top TenMon 13 May 2013
Cameron Meyer rode his way up the final slope of stage two of the Amgen Tour of California to become the top finisher for ORICA-GreenEDGE. After a tough opening stage in California yesterday, the squad was primed to rally around Meyer on a stage that finished with a tough climb that averaged over nine percent. Meyer fought the oppressive heat on the unrelenting climb to finish in a satisfying tenth place.
In typical fashion, a group of five riders escaped from the bunch soon after the race got underway. Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step), Jason McCartney (Bissell), Scott Zwizanski (Optum p/b Kelly Benefits), Ben Jacques-Maynes (Jamis – Hagens Berman) and Kin San Wu (Champion System) quickly opened a gap on a peloton that was content to watch them ride away for the time being.
Reduced to four riders after Wu was dropped from the break, the remaining riders continued to trade pulls to open a gap of 12 minutes before the top of the category one climb. At the bottom of the descent the gap had been reduced to less than eight minutes and would continue to drop as they raced through the valley in Palm Desert where the temperature hit a cruel 50°C degrees.
The breakaway riders continued their strong ride at the front of the race as various teams took turns behind them to reduce the gap before hitting the final climb of the day. BMC did the final bit of chasing to bring back the break for their top rider and overall contender, Tejay van Garderen at the 6 kilometre mark. As the climbers upped the tempo to an impressive speed, the peloton behind shattered into tiny fragments.
As the climb ruthlessly began to take its toll on the peloton, Meyer found himself within the dwindling group of riders vying for the win.
“The big objective today was riding for Cam,” said Sport Director Matt Wilson. “The boys did an awesome job for him. They helped get him into good position before the last climb, which was important because of the heat and difficulty of the climb. He lost 1’40” and with a big time trial coming up that really suits him, we expect him to make some of that time back.”
“This had to have been the hottest day ever for this tour,” continued Wilson. “I don’t remember anything even as close to the heat we saw today. Fortunately, the boys recovered pretty well from yesterday and even felt a little bit better today. Today’s pace wasn’t as high as yesterday, which was good for them.”
“We’re very happy with how the day went for us,” summed up Wilson. “Cam felt good on the climb. He raced his own pace and was able to get into a good rhythm. He’s not a pure climber so he wasn’t able to follow the explosive moves, but he did a fantastic job given his qualities.”