In His Own Words: Sport Director Matt White on Tour de Suisse Stage Eight

Sat 15 Jun 2013

Michael Albasini narrowly finished off the Tour de Suisse stage eight podium. Fourth from a group of 34 that formed over the category three ascent ten kilometres from the finish, Albasini was unaware that team leader Cameron Meyer had missed the selection after suffering a puncture ahead of the climb. Meyer fought hard to limit his losses to 27” and two spots on the overall. In his own words, Sport Director Matt White describes the penultimate day of the nine day Swiss tour.

Things went as expected until the pointy end of the stage. The boys chased down the break and looked after Cam. They did exactly what we’ve asked of them all week. Three or four kilometres before the climb at the end of the stage, Cam punctured. It certainly wasn’t an ideal time. The break had been caught and the pace had picked up dramatically.

Aidis [Kruopis] immediately gave Cam his wheel, and we were able to make it up to them pretty quickly. We helped Cam with the wheel change and took him back through the cars up to Stuey [Stuart O’Grady] and Cookie [Baden Cooke] who were waiting for him at the back of the bunch. They managed to get him about mid-pack by the time the climb began.

It was a good effort by all three guys, but because Cam started the climb so far back, he had to make his way around all the riders getting dropped. We were completely unaware of this. We knew he had made it back to the bunch, but we had no idea that he was having any trouble on the climb. Because we didn’t know, we couldn’t let any of his teammates know. Eventually we learned from race radio that Cam was in difficultly. By then, it was a little bit too late to do anything about it.

Cam managed to get himself within 5” of the back of the group with Albasini, but they barraged him. All his other teammates had been dropped on the climb, so he chased on his own. We were a few minutes behind him in the car, without any information. We later learned from Cam that he had just missed catching back on to the front group.

It’s quite a disappointing result after the effort he’s put in this week. He dropped two spots, from eighth to tenth. Simon Spilak (Katusha) is 19” ahead of Cam in ninth place. Tanel Kangert (Astana), in eighth place, has 26” on Cam. We’re hopeful he can make up the spots he lost in the time trial tomorrow.

We came here to run top ten. As the days have gone by, it seemed like a top five might have been within reach. Cam’s tenth at the moment. We’ll just have to see how it goes tomorrow.