Cameron Meyer posted the fastest time on the opening stage time trial at the Tour de Suisse. Ten seconds quicker than Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma-Quick-Step) in second, Meyer covered the 8.1 kilometre course in 9’40. The Western Australian will wear yellow during the first road stage tomorrow.
“Today went really well,” said Meyer, following his media obligations and doping control. “I’m excited and a bit surprised with the result. I started off with the earlier group of riders, and the wind was definitely in my favour. Still, my legs were good.”
While the weather may have worked to Meyer’s advantage, his team had studied the forecast and deliberating started him earlier in the day.
“Any day there is a first stage time trial, the team can choose in which order it wants to race its riders,” explained Sport Director Laurenzo Lapage. “We knew there was a big chance of rain in the afternoon, so we purposefully put Cam early.
Although the rain didn’t fall until after the final finisher, the winds picked up and shifted for the second half of the field.
Cameron Meyer started the first road stage of the Tour de Suisse in the yellow jersey after winning the opening stage time trial on Saturday. He knew it would be a big ask to defend the race lead on the stage two summit finish to Crans-Montana. With full support from his team, Meyer conserved energy ahead of the ascent and rode within himself up the climb. The collective efforts were enough to stay in yellow by 3” over Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp).
“We controlled from the start,” added Meyer. “This allowed me to save energy before the summit finish.”
The weather shortened stage was originally meant to include the Nufenenpass and Furka ascents as a prelude to the Crans-Montana finale. ORICA-GreenEDGE benefited from the stage two modifications.
“Today’s stage was a shortened day compared to what had been originally been scheduled,” said Sport Director Laurenzo Lapage. “We’ve seen weather modified stages since the start of the season, and today was no different. With the changes, today was essentially a flat stage with a 15-16 kilometre climb to close out the stage.”
When neutral racing gave way to the official start, ORICA-GreenEDGE allowed the early break to take shape. Enrique Sanz Unzue (Movistar) Christophe Riblon (Ag2r La Mondiale), Adrian Saez de Arregi (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Johannes Fröhlinger (Argos-Shimano) held their advantage over the bunch until the base of the summit finish.
When Albasini and Impey dropped off the pace, Meyer was left alone in a group of around 40 riders. He defended himself against the constant onslaught of attacks and accelerations.
“I felt good on the climb,” said Meyer. “It was definitely a learning experience for me to ride with the big riders. I only lost time in the last kilometre. It was enough to hold onto the jersey.”
Bauke Mollema (Blanco) won the stage thanks to a well-time attack underneath the flamme rouge. With Hesjedal alone up the road, Mollema accelerated away from the bunch, bridged across to Hesjedal and kicked a second time to leave the Canadian in his wake.
“I have 3" on Hesjedal ahead of what looks like a very long, hard day on the bike,” said Meyer. “I’m up for the challenge. Hopefully I can come through alright. Every day that I can keep in yellow is a bonus.”