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SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (VN) — After the blur of stage 3 blew through Santa Clarita, Cameron Meyer (Orica-GreenEdge) stood in the road, relaxed and comfortable, a far cry from the high temperatures of the previous day in Palm Springs at the Amgen Tour of California.
“That was a really difficult day. The whole day was spent fast paced, twisty roads, crosswinds,” he said of Tuesday’s stage 3, from Palmdale to Santa Clarita. “There was a major split at the start of the race. Definitely was not an easy day, and it was still quite warm out there.”
The stage saw no major general classification shifts among the favorites, and Peter Sagan (Cannondale) ultimately ruled the day. The peloton found itself recovering from the hot stage 2, which ended in a searing climb above Palm Springs that left multiple riders needing treatment for heat-related issues.
“Yesterday was probably a bit dangerous, a bit extreme,” Meyer told VeloNews. “I don’t know what you could have done about it. But uh, yeah, now we’re getting a little bit more accustomed, so today was a lot more manageable. Hopefully the temperature calms down a little bit now.”
The two-time Australian national time trial champion said the peloton knows there’s not much organizers can do, and also said it doesn’t dampen the riders’ opinions of racing stateside.
“I think any bike race — you can turn up to Tour Down Under at the start of the year — great bike race, I love it, but you can turn up to some filthy conditions there. You can go anywhere, Milan-San Remo. Everyone loves Milan-San Remo, and there’s snow this year,” he said. “So I think it’s still a great race, you get great crowds, it’s still a great atmosphere. Unfortunately, we just got hit with a little bit of a heat wave this year. But we’ve dealt with it, and we can hopefully enjoy some better conditions.”
Those better conditions may be favorable to the 25-year-old’s general classification hopes. Currently he sits in 10th place, 1:40 out of the golden jersey held by Janier Acevedo (Jamis-Hagens Berman).
Meyer’s results sheet would hint that he’s on the cusp of road success with his capable Orica squad. He took sixth at this year’s Tour of Turkey, and won his national criterium championship. He’s a six-time world champion on the track, with gold medals in the points race (3), Madison (2), and the team pursuit (1) from 2009-2012.
Meyer also won the 2011 Santos Tour Down Under.
Meyer boasts a very strong time trial, and his climbing isn’t a true weakness, either. He won the mountains classification at last month’s Circuit de la Sarthe, and after the brutal stage into Palm Springs here in California he didn’t loose too much time on most of the contenders. Meyer will look to claw back some seconds in Friday’s individual time trial in San Jose.
Regarding his GC hopes, Meyer said they’re “not too bad.”
“I would have liked to be a little bit closer yesterday, but I’m at a point where if I have a really good time trial I can take back a lot of time on most of those guys,” he said. “I think [Tejay van Garderen is] probably in the box seat, and he’s probably a bit far away from Mick Rogers and I, but there’s a few guys in front that I’d like to move up. And hopefully, my time trial will be good on stage 6.”
The Tour of California continues Wednesday, as it rolls from Santa Clarita to Santa Barbara.
- My web photo albums from the Dutchtown Classic on Sunday, May 13, 2013:
Women Pro, 1, 2;
Men Pro, 1, 2;
Westra chasing another stage win
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (VN) — This was a hard blog to write. On the one hand, I really don’t want to talk about it, because I absolutely hate sympathy. On the other hand, if I write about the good, I should go ahead and mention the bad. This year has been plenty of both and nothing in between. Part of what makes cycling so great is how damn tough it is. You’ve got to love it to get through, and I do love it, even now.
I’m not sure what illness I have, exactly. There was a cold going around the team at Gila, and I felt a coughing, sore throat, and all that going on, but my SRM said that my legs were fine, I didn’t have a fever or anything, and symptoms were pretty minimal. That usually just means allergies, and there was a ton of pollen around, so I popped some antihistamines, and crossed my fingers heading into Cali.
I’m sure you’re all shocked to hear that finger-crossing doesn’t work. Every day here, the headache got a little bit worse, the coughing got louder, and the legs lost of a few watts. On Monday, I still had enough to finish 15th on the climb into hell, but I know I’m capable of better. Of course, 200-kilometer races and blistering heat (literally, I do have blisters) aren’t great for the health.
On Tuesday, when the road went uphill, I went backwards, which is usually the opposite of how things work for me. I chased for 80km, with Glen Mitchell driving the Bissell car next to me, keeping me fueled, and calculating the pace I’d need to maintain to make time cut. With 5km to go, race officials told to me to get in the car. Given how I’m feeling right now, it’s hard to think I would have felt much better tomorrow.
Obviously, the Amgen Tour of California was a huge target for me and the team, but the rest of the guys are doing quite well without me. I think Carter Jones is going to seal the deal on the polka-dot jersey, and Chris Baldwin’s not too shabby of a GC rider. Personally, I’m disappointed, but I learned a long time ago that you can’t tie your happiness to the last race. I’ll go home, rest up, and look ahead to nationals and Philly in the coming weeks.
This has been a real roller coaster year, for more reasons than I can get into just yet. My last comeback was from near-death in San Dimas to near-victory at the Tour of the Gila, so beating a few sniffles and coughing some phlegm (and now sand) out of my lungs will be a piece of cake.