Meyer takes top 20 in Tour de Romandie prologue after time in the hot seat

Tue 30 Apr 2019

Australian Cameron Meyer spent a brief time in the hot seat in the Tour de Romandie prologue before eventually being bumped back to 19th on the opening day of action in Switzerland.

Unfortunately Sam Bewley’s race was over before it started with the Kiwi suffering a dislocated AC joint in his left shoulder in a crash during recon. He will undergo further scans this week, with surgery possible, and therefore is out of the upcoming Giró d’Italia.

Hot Seat

With Bewley ruled out, it was Meyer who was the first off the start ramp for Mitchelton-SCOTT in Neuchâtel. And the 31-year-old was quick out of the blocks, setting the fastest time at the intermediate split before holding his advantage to cross the line with the fastest time.

Meyer’s time on top lasted until Rui Costa (UAE – Team Emirates) made his way around the course three seconds faster. Ethiopian time trial champion Tsgabu Grmay was next up for Mitchelton-SCOTT and the 27-year-old negotiated his way through the streets to set a time of 5’26”.

Neo-pro Callum Scotson took to the course 20 minutes later and managed to go three seconds quicker than Grmay, but the goalposts at top of the time sheets were constantly shifting, with 5’10” the time to beat by the time Dion Smith began his effort. The New Zealander made his way around the tricky course seven seconds shy of that benchmark to move into the top 20 at the time.  

Final Two

Former U23 national TT champion Damien Howson was the penultimate rider down the ramp for Mitchelton-SCOTT and he too moved inside the top 20, before faster times eventually knocked both the Australian and Smith down to 30th and 40th respectively.

Attention then turned to local man Michael Albasini, with the veteran hoping to put on a strong performance on home soil. The 38-year-old powered his way around the opening half of the course to set the fourth fastest time at the intermediate split before recording a time of 5’14”, just a few tenths shy of teammate Meyer.

Cameron Meyer:
“It was a fairly technical course with a bit of everything. Two climbs, some flat and fast downhills, so you had to concentrate all the way around, especially with it being so short.”

“But the course was pretty good for me. I thought once I had seen it to give it a fair go and see what I could do. I didn’t specifically train for this stage, but it was nice to have a solid hit out before the race really gets underway.”

“Tomorrow is a very demanding stage and should be one for the GC guys. I think Damien is in great shape and we will support him as he hopes for a good overall week.”

Tour de Romandie Prologue Results:
1. Jan Tratnik (Bahrain Merida) 05:06
2. Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo-Visma) 00:01
19. Cameron Meyer (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 00:08

Phot courtesy of Getty Images.