Cameron and Travis Meyer hail from Perth, Australia. They started riding at a young age and, with only a year between them, have ridden and trained almost constantly together, amassing a staggering number of titles at junior and senior level, largely on the track, but now increasingly on the road too.
Of course, given his track pedigree – world champion in the points race (2009, 2010, and 2012), Madison (2010, 2011) and team pursuit (2010) – you might reasonably expect Cameron, at 24 the elder of the two brothers, to be competing at the London Olympics. But no, he’s riding this week with his brother Travis for Orica-GreenEDGE in the Vuelta a Burgos.
But increasingly, since joining first Garmin and now GreenEDGE, the brothers have turned towards a career on the road. In 2010, when Cameron was Australian national time trial champion, Travis was the holder of the national road race title. Those victories on the road and track saw Cameron voted both best Australian cyclist of the year and, once again, best track cyclist.
In 2011, Cameron repeated his success in the national time trial championship and went on to win the overall and stage four in the Tour Down Under, becoming the first leader of the UCI’s WorldTour. This year he was second in the national time trial but won the team time trial at Tirreno-Adriatico where he placed tenth overall.
Understandably the boys were, along with Jack Bobridge, the first to be signed to the new Australian WorldTour squad of Orica-GreenEDGE. Team manager Shayne Bannen explained:
During my time at the Australian Institute of Sport I worked with many of the young Australians now making an impact on cycling’s world stage so I’m pleased to be able to continue that with three of our most talented young riders.
Cameron and Jack are going to play a big role in Australia’s success on the track at the Olympics and have already proven their quality on the road. Not many guys can finish the final time trial of a three-week tour in the top ten at such a young age like Cameron has for the past two editions of the Giro d’Italia.
And Travis was making big gains over the past 12 months before injury got the better of him. We know his recovery is in good hands and a minor setback doesn’t change how talented he is. Travis won five junior world titles on the track and as soon as he stepped up to the elite ranks he won the Australian road title at his first attempt.
As an Australian team aiming to be around for a long time it was important for us to make these three guys founding members of the team because they’re going to be around at the top level for a long time.
Travis’ 2011 season came to an impromptu end in late May after Bayern-Rundfahrt as he needed surgery on his left external iliac artery. He explained:
I have been out of action and my season is basically over, so it is great that Shayne and GreenEDGE have shown faith in me by offering a place on their roster for 2012. It’s been a little frustrating sitting on the sidelines for a good portion of the year but that only adds to my motivation.
Initially, Cameron said that one of the reasons for joining the team was having support for his continuing ambitions on the track.
I’ve really enjoyed my time at Garmin-Cervelo but joining GreenEDGE gives me the best support possible to chase my dreams and of becoming one of the leading road riders in the world along with the possibility of riding at the Olympic Games in 2012.
Despite that declaration, a couple of months ago Cameron decided to leave behind the boards for good to focus completely on the road and withdrew from consideration for selection for the team pursuit squad at London 2012. He reasoned that while it was a very hard decision to make, he wanted to see what he could achieve by focussing solely on the road, citing Bradley Wiggins as his inspiration.
Chris Boardman, who won Olympic gold on the track in 1992 and broke the world hour record three times in his career, has singled out Cameron as the pick of the very talented bunch of young Australian cyclists:
He can hardly be called ‘new’ now, but Cameron Meyer is a fascinating prospect. The only thing to understand now is what direction he is going to go and how that is going to manifest itself. Is he going to become a major tour rider? Or is he going to be someone who can grab stages? I will be interested to see how he develops. He is the most interesting prospect to come out of Australia.
However Cameron’s career develops, you can be sure than one of his keenest supporters will be his younger brother Travis who, now he’s fully recovered, may also become a force to be reckoned with on the road. VeloVoices will be keeping a close eye on their continued development starting with the Vuelta a Burgos.