Meares blown away
NO one was more excited to see Simon Gerrans win stage three of the Tour de France - and then take the yellow leader's jersey after his Orica-GreenEDGE team won the stage four time trial - than dual Olympic gold medallist Anna Meares.
Meares, who beat arch-rival Victoria Pendleton to claim gold in the women's sprint at the London Olympics, has been highly critical of the sport she loves due to its propensity to attract plenty of headlines for all the wrong reasons, thanks to riders being caught using banned substances.
Yesterday, however, she was thrilled with the results from the world's greatest cycling event.
"It's such a good feeling. I see how hard they work and I get goosebumps thinking about how good they must feel," she said. "The positive talk around Australian cycling is just a real buzz."
Meares said the team owner - businessman Gerry Ryan - and manager Shayne Bannon deserved enormous credit for the time, effort and money they had put into the team.
"They have given some of our talented young riders more opportunities than they ever would have received," she said.
"It's great to see someone like Cam Meyer, who I've been away with on Australian teams to world cups, world championships ... the Beijing Olympics, getting a chance.
"He's one of the only enduro riders who eat cake with the sprinters."
The track star, who spends most of her time in Adelaide these days, will return to competition for the first time since the London Olympics in next week's international grand prix meet in the South Australian capital.
Meares (pictured) admitted her preparation for next week's meet had not been ideal, but said she would not lack motivation.
"I've been training for six months, but my back has been playing up in the past few weeks," the 29-year-old said.
"I definitely won't be in good form, but I'd still like to win. I've got no carryover points and I need them to get into the World Cup series later this year."
As well as the World Cup series, she has her sights set on next year's world championships in Colombia, and then the Commonwealth Games (her fourth), in Glasgow, where she will come up against England's Becky James - the winner of the sprint and keiren at this year's world championships.
"I thought I was done with the Brits when Victoria retired, but Becky has really stepped up," Meares said.