Cameron Meyer’s decision to walk away from cycling midway through a contract with WorldTour team Dimension Data caused a shock in the cycling world this summer, but the Australian says he is now ready to make his return.
The 28-year-old quit in June citing personal and motivation issues, admitting he could no longer meet the demands of professional cycling, but after a prolonged break he is set to ride the London Six Day at the end of October, with his sights on big targets on both the road and track.
The six-time world champion on the track hopes to ride World Cup events this winter and the track World Championships in 2017, as well as gaining a place on the UniSA team for January’s Tour Down Under on the road.
In an interview with the Adelaide Advertiser, Meyer said he remained in Europe this summer, doing some sightseeing and acting like a “normal human being rather than a professional sportsman” as he assessed what he wanted from his cycling career.
“I knew I got to a point where I needed it (cycling) and I still wanted a future within the sport,” Meyer said.
“But I just needed time away to really pinpoint where my future was going to be and where my motivation and passion lied and I wasn’t able to do that while still fulfilling a road contract in Europe.
“It was personal issues and I couldn’t pinpoint why it happened at that time or the exact reason, it basically bubbled down that I knew I needed time away to assess where I wanted to go.
“Around the public and media’s view it seems like a comeback but to myself I just needed a break.
“I didn’t have an obligation as to when to start back on the bike, it was just let it happen and let that motivation to get up in the morning and start training towards a goal return.
“And I guess when I stepped back on the bike after my break my motivation and passion came back pretty quickly.”
Meyer rode for Garmin, Orica-GreenEdge and Dimension Data before his surprising retirement in June. He won the Tour Down Under in 2011 and took stages at the Tour de France (2013) and Giro d’Italia (2014) as part of Orica’s formidable team time trial setup.
Meyer says he will try to combine his track and road ambitions over the next few years, with the Commonwealth Games and Olympics on his radar.
The Perth rider took three gold medals as the Australians dominated the cycling events at the Commonwealths in Delhi in 2010, the same year he became triple world champion on the track. The 2018 Commonwealth Games are set to be held in Meyer’s home nation on the Gold Coast.