Cameron Meyer Wins Circuit Sarthe Mountains Classification

Sat 6 Apr 2013

Cameron Meyer finished his first European race of the season in mountains classification jersey. The Australian moved into the KOM competition lead on the final stage of Circuit Cycliste Sarthe. Meyer made the day’s break and did the lion’s share of the work over the undulating roads into St-Vincent-du-Loroüer. Francis Mourey (FDJ) won the final stage while Pierre Rolland (Europcar) won the overall.

After several failed attempts establish a breakaway, a group of four riders sped away from the peloton at the 50 kilometre mark. Meyer was accompanied in the small group by Mikhail Ignatiev (Katusha), Marco Canola (Bardiani Valvole – CSF Inox), and Lloyd Mondory (Ag2r La Mondiale). Several kilometres after the break took shape, the leaders had gained 1’ advantage. Quickly the gap went out to 3’10” with Europcar controlling the chase from the peloton.

On the finish circuits, Ignatiev punctured out of the front group and Mourey joined the race leaders. By the final passage of the finish line and with only one lap of 13.1 kilometres remaining, Meyer had been caught, and Mourey, Canola and Mondory had 35” in hand over the bunch.

By virtue of taking maximum points on the first two categorised climbs of the day and third on the last climb, Meyer look over the KOM competition, a mere point ahead of Mondory.

“I didn’t even know I was in contention to take the KOM jersey,” said Meyer. “I just fell into it. With ten kilometres to go, [Sport Director] Lionel [Marie] passed me and told me I had moved into the KOM jersey and would need to go to the podium for the presentation.”

ORICA-GreenEDGE started the final stage of Circuit Sarthe with just three riders. The reduced numbers gave the remaining riders freedom to race with personal objectives in mind.

“Heppy [Michael Hepburn] and I wanted to get in the break today,” explained Meyer. “Svein just wanted kilometres in his legs. It took awhile, but eventually I made it into the move at the front of the race. I was very happy to make the break.”

Meyer has successfully rejoined the European peloton after a long delay to the start of his season due to complications from saddle sore surgery. In January he won the criterium at the Cycling Australia National Road Championships in impressive solo fashion. Last month, he won the road race at the Oceania Games. In his first race back with the team since January, Meyer looks to be on point for a strong season.

“Today he was flying,” said Marie. “Cam wasn’t sure about his fitness since it was his first race back, but he was a big actor today. He was in the breakaway and was the strongest guy. No one helped him for a long time. Mourey took some turns on the front once he joined the leaders, but Cam did 99% of the work. It was good for him to lead the race like that.”

“I definitely exceeded expectations,” added Meyer. “My condition is a little bit higher than I thought. It’s great to be back racing. This is a good tour. I was able to get a lot out of the week and look forward to building on that towards my next race.”