CAMERON Meyer is within reach of claiming Mars Cycling Australia’s elite men’s national road triple crown.
Meyer last night added the criterium title to two time trials championships with a breath-taking solo breakaway in Ballarat’s central business district.
He crushed the spirit of his rivals in a performance which left even Meyer stunned.
So dominant was the display in front of more than 6000 spectators who lined Sturt Street, it would be brave for anyone to suggest he could not win Sunday’s road race at Buninyong and in doing so become the first to secure the championships’ three titles.
Meyer, 25, admits to being in better shape than last year, when he almost stole the road race with another solo break.
He said the GreenEDGE team’s preparation was ahead of where it was this time last year.
Meyer led the 2012 road race by more than three minutes with 60 kilometre to ride, but hit the wall and slipped out of contention.
There was never any sign of a similar experience for Meyer in the shorter 44-kilometre criterium.
Once clear, the further the race went the tighter his grip on the event became as the bunch struggled just to hold on once the gap reached 20 seconds at the halfway mark.
Meyer opened this up to almost 30 seconds with five kilometres to go, allowing him luxury of sitting up and celebrating over the last 100 metres.
He finished 16 seconds clear, with Steel Von Hoff getting second from Meyer’s teammate Leigh Howard in a bunch sprint.
A multiple world champion, Meyer has been best known a time trial rider, having secured national elite men’s titles in 2010 and 2011 before lowering his colours to fellow West Australian Luke Durbridge 12 months ago.
This year Meyer chose not to ride yesterday’s time trial, saying the flat nature of the new course did not suit him.
He said his focus had been to use the criterium to get his legs going ahead of Sunday’s road race, which was a big priority.
Meyer said even getting out on his own after his brother Travis had made the first break in the criterium was all about blowing away some cobwebs given he had only arrived in Ballarat about four hours before the race after an early flight from WA.
“It’s been a long day.”
Meyer said he did not expect to stay away on a harder revamped 1.1km circuit even though it suited him, but once he reached the 20km mark still well clear he was committed to push on.
He said with 10km left he was told to go and try to hold to the finish.
He did it with ease.
So while he bypassed the time trial, in the end it was his time trialling ability which speared to a criterium gold medal.