• Cameron Meyer celebrates winning Stage 2 of the Ovo Energy Tour of Britain 2018 from Cranbrook to Barnstaple (Getty)Source: Getty
Australian Cameron Meyer won Stage 2 of the Tour of Britain overnight, borrowing from his track pedigree to claim a two-up sprint and hold-off an elite group of charging chasers.
Sophie Smith

Cycling Central
4 Sep 2018 - 6:58 AM  UPDATED 4 Sep 2018 - 9:07 PM

The 30-year-old was the best of a five-man breakaway that was reduced to two in the finale to Barnstaple where runner-up Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani-CSF) assumed the race lead on countback.

Meyer (Mitchelton-Scott) was part of the main escape that went clear within the first 20km of the 174.9km race, which provided an indication of the overall contenders.

“The group behind was always going to be a strong group of favourites and coming in quite fast. I knew it was going to be close as soon as I heard the gap was one minute with 10km remaining. Normally you work off the average of about a minute every 10km,” Meyer said.

“I just wanted to push all the way to the line because at my last Tour of Britain in 2010 I got caught twice inside the last kilometre, so I didn’t want deja vu to happen.

“It was push all the way inside that last kilometre and then I was pretty confident - with my track background - to negotiate the sprint against whoever I had to go up against.

“I got the Italian [Tonelli] to go inside the kilometre to 500m mark. I knew I had him covered from there and hopefully it wasn’t just that group catching me. I was very happy.”

It was a rewarding victory for Meyer, who returned to top-tier road racing last year following a 17-month retirement from the WorldTour. The highly decorated track world champion attributed his renewed hunger to balance between the two disciplines.

“I was raised on the track and it gives me a lot of excitement through the season, just to break it up. I’m not that guy that can sit in Europe from the cold months of February all the way through to October,” he said.

Mitchelton-Scott sports director Matt Wilson believes the temporarily “lost” Meyer returned to the team and road racing’s top-tier last September a different person with a different attitude.

“It’s nice when the unexpected win pops up. Breakaway moves are always hit and miss, you never know if it’s going to work out,” Wilson said.

“We went into it today with the plan that he was going to go in the breakaway because the final was pretty tricky and there was no GC set-up, so who knew who was going to chase. It was a good chance for an opportunity for one of the other guys, Cam took it and won.”

Speaking at a post-race press conference, Meyer removed himself from overall contention, pointing to the likes of Julian Alaphilippe and Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors), Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Wout Poels (Sky), who finished a mere two seconds off the pace.