• Cameron Meyer (R) with Daryl Impey (L) at the 2018 Santos Tour Down Under. (AAP)
Cameron Meyer will be using the Santos Tour Down Under as a reset after finishing third at the road race at the FedUni Road National Championships.
By
Cycling Central

Source:
AAP
8 Jan - 9:20 AM 

Australian cycling star Cameron Meyer has an early shot at redemption next week in the Tour Down Under in the service of Mitchelton-Scott team-mate Daryl Impey.

Meyer was shattered and fought back tears after his bronze medal on Sunday in the men's elite road race at the national championships.

The nine-time world track champion was the man to beat as he lined up for a two-man sprint with Chris Harper.

But Michael Freiberg recovered brilliantly and shot past them with a kilometre left for the road title, while Harper took silver.

"I know it's a good ride and will take a while for that to settle in," Meyer said.

He is in the Mitchelton-Scott lineup for Adelaide's 13-20 January Tour and the race is an obvious way for Meyer to re-set after the nationals.

Sunday was full of frustration for Mitchelton-Scott, with Amanda Spratt taking silver and Sarah Roy bronze behind teenage sensation Sarah Gigante in the women's road race.

Gigante's epic Roadnats victory
We're necessarily cautious about talking up young riders. But there's not enough superlatives when it comes to Sarah Gigante who triumphed over one of the best riders in the world to take the elite and under 23 women's titles at the 2019 Cycling Australia FedUni Road National Championships.

Meyer won the Tour in 2011, but this time he will be riding shotgun for defending champion Daryl Impey.

The South African will have six Australian riders as teammates at the Tour, all of whom rode in Sunday's road race - Meyer, Luke Durbridge, Alex Edmondson, Mat Hayman and Michael Hepburn.

The Tour Down Under will also be Hayman's retirement race.

With sprinter Caleb Ewan now at Lotto-Soudal, Mitchelton-Scott can fully support Impey for the toughest edition of the Tour's 21-year history.

Giro and Tour debut on Ewan's 2019 dance card
Caleb Ewan is set to race the Giro d’Italia before making an overdue debut at the Tour de France with new team Lotto Soudal this season.

The major feature this year is that the Queen stage at Willunga is now the last day, while the Tour route is also tougher.

While Simon Gerrans won three Tours for Mitchelton-Scott, Impey is out to become the first back-to-back champion at the race.

"I have been following a similar plan to last season so hopefully it will pay off again," Impey said.

"The biggest change for me, and for the team, is that without Caleb we don't have to worry about his leadout, so I can put more energy into my own goals.

"I like the new route. I don't think Willunga on the last day will change much."

TDU news: Sagan arrives, Porte ready, Cipollini out
World cycling star Peter Sagan has jetted into Adelaide to begin preparation for the 2019 international cycling season which starts at the Tour Down Under.

Last year, Richie Porte won the Willunga stage for the fifth time, but Impey beat him for the Tour title on countback.

Meanwhile, Porte's former BMC teammate Rohan Dennis will unveil his whole new jersey on Tuesday on the last day of the Australian road championships.

Dennis will make his debut for Bahrain-Merida and his skinsuit will also feature the rainbow stripes after he won his first world championship last September in the time trial.

Dennis and Porte (now with Trek-Segafredo) are two former champions also returning to the Tour Down Under.