View Count: 135 |  Publish Date: June 09, 2013
Change of tack needed to convert Meyer’s stage win into tour success

Significant victory: Cameron Meyer. Photo: AP
When Cameron Meyer won the opening time trial stage of the Tour de Suisse on Saturday, the timing of the six-time world track champion’s victory was significant, coming as it did at the tail-end of a week when the cycling careers of two other up-and-coming Australian riders in Nathan Earle and Rohan Dennis took hugely important turns for the better, albeit for different reasons.
It began with the announcement that Earle, 25, a strong climber,  had signed with top British team Sky for next season on the recommendation of Tasmanian Richie Porte, who is being groomed as a future Sky team leader. Then on Thursday, at the Criterium du Dauphine stage race in France, Dennis, 23, finished second in the 32.5km stage four time trial to take the overall race lead. A member of Australia’s 2012 Olympic silver medal-winning team pursuit line-up,  who now races on the road for the US Garmin-Sharp team, he was still third overall going into Sunday’s final stage.
The news of Earle and Dennis led many to wonder how Orica-GreenEDGE allowed them to slip through their grasp; especially when their roster needs riders to take them from being a team reliant on winning races in bunch sprints or opportunistic attacks to being capable of winning tours as well.
That is not to say every Australian rider should go to Orica-GreenEDGE. Just as a diversity of nationalities on the team helps to internationalise its brand power, it is also a great reflection of how Australian riders are regarded that many ride on foreign teams. Advertisement
But Orica-GreenEDGE, with nine off-contract riders after Australian Stuart O’Grady’s recent re-signing, must show that its management means it when it says it recognises the need to have a line-up that can vie for overall honours in major tours.
Which brings us to Meyer’s win in Saturday’s 8.1km stage one time trial at the Tour de Suisse that put him in the overall race leader’s yellow jersey. For Meyer  it was a superb start to the 10-day race.  His team said it hoped he could emulate his strong overall rides in this year’s Tour of Turkey and Tour of California where he placed sixth and fifth respectively.
But after starts in the 2009 and 2011 Giro d’Italia and last year’s Vuelta a Espana, the expectation  should be for him to start pressing for wins had he the support needed to help him in the mountains. But, as Orica-GreenEDGE showed by picking a  team that is best serving sprinter Matt Goss, that is still some way off. The answer could lie in who signs those last nine Orica-GreenEDGE contracts.
Watch stage 3 of the Tour de Suisse – 203km Montreux to Meiringen – live on Eurosport on Tuesday from 1.10am Twitter: @rupertguinness

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