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20 year old Travis Meyer has given his family and his new ProTour team Garmin Transitions the elite men's double at the Scody Australian Open Road Championships.
In today's 163.2km race at Buninyong, south of Ballarat, Meyer won by a considerable margin after he attacked the lead group on the first climb up the Midland Highway on the final lap of the race. David Kemp (Fly V Australia - QLD) outsprinted Damien Turner (VIC) to claim the silver medal.
Travis is the younger brother of Wednesday's elite men's time trial champion Cameron, 21, and both West Australian brothers are graduates of the Cycling Australia/AIS road development program.
“My first ever road national title and to do it in my first race in elite men, it is an unbelievable feeling," said an emotional Meyer. "I can’t quite describe what it feels like.
“To win the road race after Cam’s just won the time trial, to have two national champions in the same team and in the same family, it is just unbelievable.
“People are going to know my name in the ProTour ranks just because I have got the jersey on, to win it after guys like Robbie McEwen, Stuart O’Grady, Matt Wilson, for me to be able to do that and I am only 20 in my first year on the ProTou it hasn’t quite sunk in yet.
The champion was one of a group of riders who staged an audacious attack on the peloton on the very first lap of the 16 laps of the circuit, a break many thought would be reeled in well before the finish line. But they underestimated the impact of the extreme heat as temperatures hit close to 40 degrees with a temperature in excess of that reflecting off the bitumen and the resilience of the leade group who set a steady pace and at one stage were more than half a lap (six kilometres) ahead of the main field.
“I was more doing the team job for Cam Meyer, Matt Wilson and Jack Bobridge, so that’s why I went in the early attack," explained Travis Meyer. “When the attack went it, it was quite fast up the climb the first time, so I imagine a lot of the guys in the group weren’t interested in going that early - I mean the first lap out of 166k, it is not usually a race winning move.
“The way I looked at it is that we would keep riding tempo and see how it goes and then see if we were still in with a shot at the end," he said. “When I found myself in a winning position I thought I'd better pay attention now and focus on winning the bike race.
“With three to go, we had over three minutes, I knew we were in for a shot and I started looking after myself as I wanted to give it a big hit on that last lap and that’s what I did and I managed to stay away," he explained of what ended up being the winning solo attack he launched with ten kilometres to go. “But then nerves started hitting in because I wanted to make sure I secured the victory, so the move I made was I think the perfect move.
Travis Meyer won five World Titles on the track as a junior a five time Junior World Champion on the track and in the two years since he moved out of the junior ranks he has notched up some impressive results on both road and track which resulted in the Garmin Transitions team signing him to a ProTour contractfrom 2010.
His brother Cameron began his ProTour career with Garmin in 2009 and in that year won the points race World Championship on the track and made his Grand Tour debut in the Giro d'Italia despite his young age.
The brothers will now both boast the green and gold jersey of Australian champion with Travis wearing his every time he lines up in a road race and Cameron in any time trial he contests.
Silver medallist David Kemp was also surprised the medals were contested by such an early group of leaders.
"I was one of the first ones across and when I looked back and the peloton was sitting up, I knew the break was going to go but I didn’t quite expect it to get out to six or seven minutes," said Kemp. "It was fantastic as it gave us time to recover and once we knew they weren’t coming back on, I started to conserve my legs.
"I started cramping with five laps to go and unfortunately on the last lap I cramped but I just rode through the pain and almost got Travis back but not quite," said Kemp. "It was hard for everyone, those guys couldn’t have worked much harder than we did."
Kemp's effort in their race has seen him earn selection as the final rider in the starting line up for the Santos Tour Down Under where he will join Michael Matthews, Rohan Dennis, Simon Clarke, Tim Roe, Jonathan Cantwell and Peter McDonald in the UniSA - Australian National Team.
Bronze medallist Damien Turner is a Ballarat local and was over the moon to claim a medal in his own backyard.
"Personally it is a dream come true, I don't think it could get any better than this other than winning the event, but winning the event was never in my wildest dreams," said Turner. "This is a course that really suits and over the last three years I have been very lucky that I have gone very well. I put so much pressure on myself to better last year's performance, so next year is going to be very difficult to top."