Q&A With Christian Meier Ahead of Tour de San Luis

Sun 19 Jan 2014

Argentina’s Tour de San Luis offers an increasingly popular early season option for teams looking to take advantage of warm weather and tough terrain. ORICA-GreenEDGE makes its second appearance in South America as the race enters its eighth edition. Last year, Svein Tuft won the individual time trial in San Luis while Leigh Howard sprinted to a podium place on stage three. In 2014, the team will support Aidis Kruopis in the Tour de San Luis sprints.

Christian Meier is part of the six rider squad looking forward to getting racing underway on Monday. He checked in from the race hotel to answer a few questions about his thoughts about his season opener.

Q: The team arrived early to Argentina. What was the idea behind that?

We came to Argentina ten days early for a couple reasons:
1 - Acclimatize to the heat
2  - Recover from the 40+ hours of travel required to get here
3 - Have a solid week of really good training that we could use as a mini- camp before the racing begins.

I know for me it has taken more than a few days to get somewhat used to the 40°C (and higher!) heat, so I would say it has been a good week for us.

Q: In an interview earlier this month, Sport Director Matt White said Tour de San Luis is an increasingly popular early season race option for teams. As a rider, what's appealing about this race?

Teams are becoming increasingly interested in early season race opportunities, especially in places that are offering good weather conditions. Tour de San Luis is one of a handful of races that we do that does not carry the weight of a WorldTour race as far as results goes. It is a good place to test some early season form as well as get in a solid block of intensity and build for goals we all have just a bit later on in the spring. 

Q: What are the team objectives for Tour de San Luis?

We are going to support Aidis Kruopis as best we can in the sprint. He is highly motivated to give the finishes a good go here. Beyond that we all the freedom to give it a nudge on the climbing days, and we have a couple guys here who I think can have a crack on some of the uphill finishes. 

Q: For those that don't know - what are characteristics of this race and this region?

Hot, windy, dry! We have three stages that finish uphill and three more flat sprint days. You can find some serious mountains around here as well as many arid plains.

Q: Adam Yates makes his debut with the team at San Luis. How does the rest of the team help a neo-pro (if at all) in this sort of situation?

Mostly just making sure he's up in the mornings and makes his bed before getting out on the bike. Disappointingly, I still can’t get him to eat his veggies.

Nah, he's a good bloke. We will see more once the racing starts but with most young guys its mostly about reigning in the enthusiasm a bit now and again. He is a talented rider, and I am very interested to see him have a go on one of the uphill finishes. 

ORICA-GreenEDGE for Tour de San Luis:

Adam Yates (GBr)
Aidis Kruopis (Ltu)
Christian Meier (Can)
Ivan Santaromita (Ita)
Jens Keukeleire (Bel)
Pieter Weening (Ned)