Meier, who was flown from Vancouver to join the team yesterday afternoon, will bolster the team’s strength in the hunt for stage wins. The 29-year-old is confident that he will be a valuable asset to the team in his first Tour de France, despite the late call up.
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet, it has been a little bit of a whirlwind 24hours,” Meier admitted. “It not the way you want to start a Tour just because a guy is injured, but I have to say, as my first Tour I am extremely excited to start. It’s every bike riders dream to do the Tour de France one day and it’s unbelievable that it is happening.”
It’s straight to business for Meier, who will complete his final training this afternoon before the Grand Depart in Yorkshire tomorrow. “I just finished a ride today and I will do another ride this afternoon, but at this point it is just about getting stuck into it tomorrow,” Meier said.
“My role is a support role for the stage winners, so typically for Gerro (Simon Gerrans) and those guys having a real crack. Later on in the race if there is an opportunity to find a breakaway in the race, you take those opportunities when you can, but mainly I will be playing a support role,” he added.
As a fellow Tour de France debutant, Meier feels the rollercoaster of emotions for teammate Matthews, but is also confident the young rider will deliver results for many years to come.
“Bling (Matthews) is an incredibly talented bike rider as he has shown,” Meier said.
“He is one of those guys who is going to have a long and prosperous career ahead of him so emotionally it is pretty difficult not to start your first Tour but during his career he will have plenty more opportunities to do more Tours and win stages.”