Meyer set for Tour de France debut as Orica GreenEdge announces its nine riders for race
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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Meyer set for Tour de France debut as Orica GreenEdge announces its nine riders for race

by VeloNation Press at 8:34 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
Stage victory is initial goal for Australian squad

Cameron MeyerBenefiting from good morale after a time trial stage win plus tenth overall in the Tour de Suisse, Cameron Meyer has been confirmed as making his Tour de France debut this month with the Orica GreenEdge team.

The multiple world track champion has been in solid form this season and he and the Australian squad have decided that it is time for him to take the next step in his evolution and to ride the sport’s toughest race.

Directeur sportif Matt White is clear that the 25 year old adds an important extra dimension to the lineup. “Cam comes to the Tour off the back of a consistent last couple off months where he finished in the top ten overall at Turkey, California and Switzerland,” he said. “He’s been building steadily since his setback after an operation to treat a saddle sore early in the season.

“We haven’t previously had anyone for the high mountain stages. With the form he showed us last week in Switzerland, we realise that Cam gives us an option. He can climb with a very select group of riders, and that opens us up to opportunities on stages that we’ve been forced to overlook in the past.”

Meyer underlined his road ability when he won the Santos Tour Down Under two years ago. He’s been making gradual progress and this season placed fifth in the Tour of California and sixth in the Presidential Tour of Turkey.

The remainder of the team was also announced today, with Aussie veteran Stuart O’Grady in line to equal the record number of starts held by George Hincapie, who lined out in the race seventeen times. Also confirmed are the sprinters Matt Goss and Daryl Impey, Brett Lancaster, Svein Tuft, Simon Gerrans, Michael Albasini and Simon Clarke.

The team rode the Tour for the first time last season but had an unexpectedly quiet campaign. This time round, it is determined to leave a mark.

“Last year, we brought together a group of riders who hadn’t raced together much before the Tour de France,” noted White. “This year, we have six who raced the Tour together last year and five who recently worked together at the Tour de Suisse. This is a group of riders that have learned to work together seamlessly.”

With that unity tried and tested, he is clear on what they want to achieve. “This sport is very result focused,” he said. “We’re judged on wins, and we have yet to tick the box of our first stage win at the Tour de France.”

The most logical way for the team to try to notch up that first important Tour victory seems to lie in targeting bunch sprints. However White is conscious that Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma Quick Step) and Peter Sagan (Liquigas Cannondale) are very difficult to beat in straight up gallops, and so he wants to take a multi-dimensional approach.

“Wins can come in different ways,” he reasoned. “We’ll be happy with any win we can grab. Each day, we focus on our goals and the process we need to follow to achieve the goals. If we do our best to hit those goals, it’s our best chance to get that win. When we tick off small boxes every day, we become confident that we’ll get to tick off the big box eventually.”

“We’re bringing a more diverse team this year to give us a few more options for intermediate stages and days in the medium mountains. The sprint stages remain a big focus, and we bring a dedicated sprint train to support Matt Goss on the flatter days.”

White’s view on the riders who will compete alongside Meyer:

Stuart O’Grady: “Stuey knows his way around the bunch, and he knows his way around the Tour. He’s experienced the yellow jersey, the green jersey, stage wins and everything in between. Having the sort of leadership that comes from his knowledge is invaluable.”

Matt Goss: “Gossy will be our man on all the sprint stages. He had some devastatingly close calls last year. We saw him win a tough stage at Tirreno-Adriatico in March, finish third in the first week of the Giro d’Italia last month and race a quite consistent Tour de Suisse as part of his build-up to the Tour. The boys will look to deliver Gossy to the top step on one of the many stages that are available to the sprinters.”

Daryl Impey: “Impey is the last guy in front of Gossy in the sprints. He’s also quite handy in the medium mountains. We brought him to his first Tour de France last year and have seen him develop into one of the best lead out guys in the world over the last 12 months. He’s an important asset for us at any race.”

Brett Lancaster: “Brett is coming off a very solid Giro d’Italia backed up by a win in Slovenia. He’s another crucial member of our sprint train, and he’s the most experienced guy we have in that role. He handles pressure well and provides a sense of calm to the train in what can be a very hectic final.”

Svein Tuft: “Svein is a world class time trailer. He’ll be crucial for our team time trial ambitions. He’s a strong guy with a huge amount of power to chase breakaways or look after the sprint train. We can use him in a lot of ways. I’m really looking forward to taking him to his first Tour de France.”

Simon Gerrans: “Gerro has been one of our most successful athletes since the team’s inception. He has a knack for winning from a breakaway or a reduced bunch. I expect to see Simon pick and choose stages throughout the Tour where he sees an opportunity for himself to get into a break or make an elite selection.”

Michael Albasini: “Albasini shares similar qualities to Gerrans. Two years ago, he won a stage at the Vuelta, but he’s yet to win a stage at the Tour. He’s an opportunist with a good chance of winning out of a breakaway. He’s experienced, versatile and capable in a lot of different scenarios.”

Simon Clarke: “Clarkey had a breakthrough year last year culminating in a wildly successful Vuelta. He deserves a ride at the Tour de France after what he accomplished in Spain. In addition to capitalizing on personal opportunities in the medium mountain stages, Simon is a fantastic teammate who can do whatever sort of work we might need on days that are better suited to another rider on the team.”

Orica-GreenEDGE for the Tour de France:

Brett Lancaster
Cameron Meyer
Daryl Impey
Matt Goss
Michael Albasini
Simon Clarke
Simon Gerrans
Stuart O’Grady
Svein Tuft


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