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Interview: Cameron Meyer - Young Gun
 
By Chris Graetz
Date: 12/17/2009
Interview: Cameron Meyer - Young Gun
 

Interview: Cameron Meyer - Young Gun
Cameron Meyer's debut in the pro peloton in 2009 had some highs and lows. Gold in the Track Worlds to a shoulder injury mid season. The promising Garmin/Transitions rider is healthy and back with new goals to accomplish in 2010.

When it comes to young up and coming Australian cyclists, a few names come to mind. One of the most promising is Cameron Meyer. The 21 year old joined the professional ranks at the start of 2009 and despite various injuries that have hampered his season and his young career to date, he is overcoming them and producing some fine results. I caught up with Cameron at the World Track Champinships in Melbourne, Australia and he had this to say about his life in pro cycling.

Chris Graetz: How did you first get into cycling and who was instrumental in this?

Cameron Meyer: I first got into cycling about eight years ago through a school program where we did a bit of a clinic and they gave out free passes at the end of it. I tried the Velodrome with the free pass, enjoyed myself and loved it ever since. My dad was a big influence. He used to race bikes quite a few years ago and when me and my brother (Travis) started cycling, his love for the sport came back and he has really been behind us as well as my mum and the rest of my family.

Speaking of Cameronís brother Travis, he has recently signed with the Garmin-Transitions squad from 2010 onwards. Both brothers have a special bond and will look forward to riding with each other again as they develop their professional careers.

Chris Graetz: Tell us about your first win and how did it feel?

Cameron Meyer: My first win was an under 15ís time trial at the Australian Junior Club Nationals and that was a big moment. It was quite exciting and I was new to the sport so I was a very happy kid and my love for the sport got even bigger from that moment on.

Chris Graetz: Who were your heroes growing up and who are they now?

Cameron Meyer: Growing up the most obvious was Lance Armstrong. Obviously he was winning that many Tour de Franceís at a stage I was coming through the junior ranks. Now I look up to so many of our professionals we have in Australia like Michael Rogers, Cadel Evans and Stuart OíGrady. They are professionals that are dominating the sport and guys I can really relate to in what Iím doing and they are great role models to me.

Chris Graetz: What teams have you ridden for in your young career?

Cameron Meyer: I joined up with Garmin at the start of 2009 and previously I had ridden two years with the South Australian (SA.COM) and prior to that I was just in the junior ranks with the Australian National Team.

Chris Graetz: When did you first race in Europe and what was it like compared to Australian races?

Cameron Meyer: My first race in Europe was in the under 19 ranks when I was 17. I went over with the junior Worldís and raced in Italy and it was totally different to Australia. It was quite crazy actually with so many riders, particularly Italian riders going left, right and centre, talking, cars everywhere and a lot of people on the side of the road so it has a lot more vibe in Europe. The sport is well respected and itís growing here in Australia but itís a little bit more exciting in Europe at the moment.

Chris Graetz: Besides cycling, what are your interests?

Cameron Meyer: I Love going out with friends, watching movies and trying new restaurants and coffee shops. I love a game of golf but cycling takes up a lot of your time.

Chris Graetz: What has been your sweetest win or experience on the track and the road?

Cameron Meyer: My sweetest win on the track is obviously the World Title I won in Poland this year. I had worked so hard for so many years and got so many fourth places at the Olympic Games as well as the World Championships so to finally keep at something and to finally have it come true and to pull on that rainbow jersey was just an unbelievable moment. On the road, even though it wasnít a win it would have to be this yearís Giro díItalia. To have my first race in Europe in the pro ranks with Garmin Slipstream to be a Grand Tour and my first Grand Tour was unbelievable. The Giro is a special race and one that I can hopefully compete in for many more years to come.


Cameron Meyer taking third in the 2008 Under 23 Road World Championships.
Photo © 2008 Photoreporter Sirotti

Chris Graetz: You have had a rough year injury wise since the Tour de Suisse in June, what happened?

Cameron Meyer: I have had a few problems with my shoulders. Iíve dislocated them eight times now I think on record so we sat down and it was time to get them tightened back up so I went up to the United Kingdom to have them operated on and fixed up and it knocked around the second half of my season but my shoulders are nearly back to full strength. They are about 90% and my form is coming back and I had a good race here (Track World Cup) and hopefully next season will be just as good as this one.

Chris Graetz: Your first race back at the Track World Cup in Melbourne, what were your expectations?

Cameron Meyer: I really didnít know to be honest. It was going to be my first competition back since my shoulder injuries and I hadnít raced since June. There was also some expectations on the shoulders wearing the rainbow jersey in front of a home crowd. I knew I had some pretty good form and I had been performing well at the training camps leading into the event so I really wanted to be up there and be amongst the medals and to walk away with two gold is unbelievable so I couldnít have asked for anything more this weekend.

Chris Graetz: Speaking of the two gold, how did it feel to win?

Cameron Meyer: It felt great to win. I had my family here, my mum and dad as well as the home crowd so it was something special to win on home soil in front of them and wearing the rainbow jersey; so to win the team pursuit and the points race, my two favourite events, itís been a great weekend.

Chris Graetz: Speaking of your favorite events, what do you think about the changes in the Olympics program - eliminating the points race, and Madison, events you've done well in? Also, what will you concentrate on if they are taken away?

Cameron Meyer: Iím not that pleased about it but thereís not a whole lot I can do so I have to remain focused and I can set new goals. It is a real disappointment that you work so hard to become a World Champion in the discipline and only a couple months later be told itís going to be out of the next Olympic games. So weíll sit down and reassess after the decision is made about what events will be at the Olympics. But after the performance by the Australianís in the team pursuit winning gold, in the way we did I think weíre a big shot in London and I would love to be part of it so that is a major goal. In regards to focusing on an event it will be the Team Pursuit. The Omnium doesnít really suit me if it stays the same format with the kilo and the flying 200. Iím a real endurance based athlete and so the team pursuit will become my main focus.

Since this interview, the decision has been made and the events have been taken out of the Olympic program for 2012. UCIís Decision

Chris Graetz: What is your racing schedule for the rest of the year and going into next season?

Cameron Meyer: I have only two races left with the Revolution carnival and the Australian Madison championships both in Melbourne. Going into next season it will start with the Road Nationals and then the Tour Down Under, the track Worlds and then hopefully the Giro díItalia. Itís one of my goals and a big event on the calendar so hopefully I can get selected again in the Garmin-Slipstream team and thatís a real focus next year after the track World Championships.

Chris Graetz: What are your longer term goals?

Cameron Meyer: Iím looking three years down the track at the London Olympic Games. To finish on the podium there is a major goal. The Tour de France is every boys dream and as an endurance rider I would love to be part of the Australian history that has been riding the event and performing so well and I would love to be one of those riders that rides the Tour de France one day and rides quite well.

Chris Graetz: Grand Tours or Classics?

Cameron Meyer: I think Grand Tours suit me a bit better. The one day classics I havenít had an experience in so I canít really comment on them but having raced the Giro this year and also the Tour de Suisse in June, they really gave me a good taste for what is takes to be a Tour rider and I think thatís a path I would like to head down.

Chris Graetz: Have you got any advice for young riders who would like to make it as a pro like you have?

Cameron Meyer: A lot of commitment and dedication but you really have to know what you want and have goals in mind. For example, myself, I had that goal of winning that world title on the track. If you keep your goal in mind and keep trying to achieve it Ė it can happen, and it will happen.

Chris Graetz: As an Aussie, how exciting was it seeing Cadel win the World Championships?

Cameron Meyer: That was an amazing moment. It was one of the biggest moments in cycling history for an Australian to win that event and being an Aussie and a professional cyclist as well as knowing Cadel, it was a very sweet moment and I was cheering quite heavily in front of the TV when he attacked in the last couple kilometers and itís just going to do cycling in Australia the world of good.

With some fine results this early and his shoulder injuries behind him, Cameron is looking up to the future and with talent to burn we could just be witnessing the rise of a champion and a potential Grand Tour winner. To visit Cameronís website, shared with his brother, Click Here

Cameron Meyer
Selected Palmares

2009 World Champion Track Points Race
68th 2009 Tour of Switzerland
2008 World U23 Time Trial Championships, 3rd
2008 Tour of Japan, 1st overall
2008 Oceania Championships, 1st Points Race
2008 World Cup Track, US, 1st Points Race
2007 World Cup Track, US, 1st Points Race
2007 Tour of Tasmania, 1st overall and three stage wins
2006 Australian U19 Championships
Gold Medals: Individual Pursuit, Madison, Team Pursuit
2004 Australian U17 Time Trial National Champion
2002 Australian U15 National Time Trial Champion

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