What's Cool In Road Cycling

Meyer Second in Tour de Perth

Drapac Professional Cycling’s Travis Meyer raced to second place on Stage 2 of the 2014 Woodside Tour de Perth on Thursday, 22 seconds behind Tim Roe (Budget Forklifts) who took a solo victory in Kalamunda.

“There was nothing we could do against Tim today,” said Meyer. “I was in perfect position and the guys rode really well for me and I got to save my legs but Tim was just way too strong on the last climb.”

As expected, the stage shook up the General Classification following the previous evening’s criterium, with Meyer now trailing Roe for the overall. Overnight leader, Drapac’s Will Clarke slipped back to 7th, 49 seconds behind Roe.

Jai Crawford, part of a 13-man attack which chased down a three-man breakaway with 34km to go in the 116km stage, finished strongly in 5th place 43 seconds in arrears of Roe.

The GC is looking solid for Drapac with Meyer, Crawford and Clarke in the top 10 overall, solidifying themselves as the dominant team in the opening race of the National Road Series season.

Today’s result came with some satisfaction for Meyer, a former overall winner in Perth.

“I planned to be in the best form that I could for this race – it was one of my goals from the start of the season,” he explained. “It’s a race that I really enjoy and being in front of a home crowd is really nice.”

While pleased at the team effort, Directeur Sportif Henk Vogels admitted there was some mixed emotions at the finish.

“The team rode incredible today,” he said. “Jai Crawford and Ben Johnson did a great job for Travis when he came across. Will and Phelo [Adam Phelan] were really good as well.

“We’re disappointed we didn’t win but the strongest guy won.”

Meyer praised the work of Crawford and Johnson who ensured he was in the best position possible heading into the final climb.

“They were in a group up the road and on the last time up the circuit climb I hit across and then they rode for me which was really good,” explained. “It meant I came into the last climb a little bit fresher and it also put the pressure on Avanti.

“It just came down to the last climb and I attacked at the bottom. Tim come past me half-way up like I was standing still but I was able to hold on for second.”

Stage 3 sees the Tour de Perth head offshore to Rottnest Island for a 19.3km individual time trial. There, Meyer is hopeful that his recent form against the clock holds.

“I’ve still got a good shot to win the Tour,” the 24-year-old said. “Hopefully tomorrow in the time trial I can peg some time back on Tim but he’s obviously in pretty good nick and he has a 22 second lead at the moment so you never know.

“I did a time trial last weekend on my road bike for a bit of practice and averaged 46km/h so I was pretty happy with that,” Meyer continued. “If I can do around that same sort of mark again I think I’ll be in with a shot to win or hopefully take the lead in GC.”

Travis Meyer crosses the finish line in second place in Kalamunda. © Mark Gunter.

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