New Race Leader at Tour de SuisseMon 10 Jun 2013
Lining up for stage three of Tour de Suisse with the yellow jersey still on his back was another special day for Cameron Meyer. The ORICA-GreenEDGE squad gave a tremendous effort yesterday to keep Meyer in the lead. Today’s 203 kilometre stage to Meiringen was another big ask to keep the coveted yellow jersey. The team rode in support of Meyer all day. In the end Meyer fell off the lead group going over the final climb of the day. Finishing in the top 20, Meyer is now in 11th overall, 1’42 behind new race leader Mathias Frank (BMC).
“Of course having the yellow jersey within the team has been a bonus, but we knew keeping the yellow jersey through the tour was a mighty task,” said Sport Director Laurenzo Lapage. “Today’s stage was aggressive from the start. There was an uncategorised climb early in the stage that strung things out right away. The peloton eventually split in two and stayed that way over the first climb of the day. Shortly after that climb, 18 riders went clear.”
Michael Albasini, recent winner of the one day race GP du canton d’Argovie, was one of the escapees in the high powered group.
“Albasini was represented in the front group of 18,” said Lapage. “Having Alba in the lead group took some of the pressure off Cam, and it forced other teams to take control of the race.”
When the climbing started again after the 160 kilometre mark, the lead group began to lose some of its escapees. The whittled down lead group rode the category four climb together, but over the category one Hasliberg climb, rider after rider fell off the pace until it was Albasini alone in the lead.
“Alba was the last guy caught on the category one climb,” explained Lapage. “He did a fantastic job riding at the front of the race which forced other teams to do the work. The rest of the boys did an excellent good job of looking after Cam as they long as they could in the bunch.”
After a nasty fall took Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) out of the race and to hospital, Mathias Frank (BMC Racing) was next in line for the overall. Just 5” back from Meyer, the yellow jersey was within reach for the Swiss rider. BMC Racing’s usual team captain, Teejay van Garderen (BMC), dutifully went to the front to set tempo for his teammate.
“Teejay’s pace on the climb did a lot of damage,” explained Lapage. “Cam lost contact with the group but he continued riding hard to limit his losses.”
After the remnants of the lead group crested the climb, four riders slipped off the front on the narrow and slippery descent. Roman Kreuziger (Team Saxo-Tinkoff), Peter Sagan (Cannondale), Rui Costa (Movistar) and Mathias Frank sped down the wet descent with zero apprehension and continued to open their gap to the finish. Unsurprisingly, the multitalented speedster, Sagan, easily won the sprint for the stage win.
As the leaders fought for the stage win, Albasini helped Meyer limit his losses coming into the finish.
“Once Cam made contact with Alba on the climb, the two rode together to the finish to minimize the time loss,” said Lapage. "Cam now sits in 11th overall and still has his sights set firmly on a high GC place.”
“The team will continue to look out for Cam’s GC ambitions,” reported Lapage. “The overall will be decided in the final days of the tour – the penultimate day and the time trial. We expect these will be good days for Cam to move back up in the GC. Until then the next few days will be open for the opportunists. Here we might expect to see some of our fast guys go for their own goals.”