• Cameron Meyer (L) and fellow Australian Callum Scotson (R) at the 2016 Six Days of Gent in Belgium. (Getty)Source: Getty
Cameron Meyer has his sights fixed on acquiring the one Australian national title that has thus far eluded him as he continues a return from a surprise sabbatical.
Sophie Smith

Cycling Central
22 Dec 2016 - 8:22 AM 

The 28-year-old has previously triumphed at the Australian criterium and time trial championships but is aiming to add the road race to his CV in Buninyong, Victoria next month after finishing second to Jack Bobridge this year.

“It’s the one I haven’t ticked off so I’ve got to prioritise on that,” Meyer told Cycling Central from Western Australia.

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“It’s a funny race, it can go a different way every year, hopefully, I can be up there again. I’ve always gone well around there. It’s going to be a little bit different with a little bit more track focus in the lead-up but I still think the form is okay.”

Meyer has focused on track competition since returning from a mid-year lay-off, which saw him leave Dimension Data with immediate effect. He walked away from the sport for two months before resuming training in August and September.

It’s not been an idle rebuild either with the Beijing Olympian competing abroad for a month before claiming the national Madison championships with Sam Welsford in Melbourne, Victoria last week.

“I missed the track in the four years that I went away from it, since 2012,” Meyer said. “I know I’m a better bike rider when I include my track, it’s something that I love doing, I have a passion for it and I really want to include it in my program.”

Meyer – in what he has described the second phase of his cycling career – is long-term targeting the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and Tokyo 2020 across the Madison, points race and maybe team pursuit.

“Tokyo is where I want to head as a goal in the next four years,” he said.

He emphasised it was his call to dissolve the pro contract with Dimension Data, over staying on, but has not ruled out a return to the WorldTour moving forward.

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“I haven’t written it off for the future and maybe there is a team out there that sees my goals on the track, with the Commonwealth Games and the Olympic Games, as something that fits with their philosophy, and me riding certain road races with them,” Meyer said.

“It’s becoming harder and harder now with the track and the WorldTour teams. They’re businesses at the end of the day and they’re the ones that sign the contract. You’re obliged to go to the races that they need you to.”

During the Rio Olympic Games cycle, select Australian and British domestic squads, including the defunct Budget Forklifts as well as WIGGINS, signed team pursuit riders and prioritised their medal ambitions, a concept Meyer also gave credence to.

“I will need road racing throughout the year and I don’t know if that’s going to be fully in Europe, or it could be the National Road Series. It looks like there are a few changes in the National Road Series, which hopefully will boost that level of racing and that could be an option for me. But I think those decisions will come after the track world championships in April,” said Meyer.

The multiple track world champion is in the immediate future focused on the road with the gold medal tilt at Buninyong as well as the Tour Down Under and possibly the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and Herald Sun Tour, with national squads, on the agenda.

He added there is mutual benefit in balancing the two disciplines, as professionals like Rio Olympic omnium gold and silver medallists Elia Viviani (Sky) and Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) have done and proven this year.

“Cavendish, Viviani and those guys still ride the road [and] really perform well in those endurance events on the track,” Meyer said.

“I think if you do go down the team pursuit line you have to be more focused on your power and being a track rider, but hopefully I can balance the two, find that right combination and make it work.”