Brammeier appeals non-selection to Irish team for Olympic road race
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Friday, June 8, 2012

Brammeier appeals non-selection to Irish team for Olympic road race

by Shane Stokes at 8:55 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Olympics
Martin, Roche and McCann first choice for selectors

Matt BrammeierFollowing on from Friday’s news that a rider has appealed Cycling Ireland’s three-man selection for the men’s Olympic road race, details have emerged of the competitors who are involved.

The Irish federation confirmed to VeloNation that Dan Martin (Garmin Barracuda), his first cousin Nicolas Roche (Ag2r La Mondiale) and David McCann (RTS Racing) were the three who had been picked for the July 28th race, with the young An Post Grant Thornton Sean Kelly rider Sam Bennett as a reserve.

This line-up had been due to be announced Friday, but an appeal was lodged late on Thursday by the current Irish national time trial and road race champion Matt Brammeier (Omega Pharma Quick Step).

This will now be considered by Cycling Ireland’s Selection Appeal Panel (CISAP), namely Richard Archibold from the Sport Institute of Northern Ireland, the law practitioner Aideen Collard, Swim Ireland high performance director Shane Keane, who formerly worked with the Irish Sports Council, Cycling Ireland board member Anto Moran and Anthony Walsh, who has a Masters in Sports Law.

Under the selection rules drawn up, the sole grounds for consideration are that either due process and/or selection procedures weren’t followed or there was bias or undue influence. If the panel concludes that the appeal is indeed valid, it will ask the original selectors to assess the riders once again.

Under the second scenario, a final announcement is expected next Friday or possibly earlier.

Selection process:

CI laid out its selection criteria at the end of December, detailing the process whereby the three slots for the Olympic road race would be filled.

An initial filter was applied in that riders had to have scored UCI points during 2011 in races other than the national championships. That narrowed the list of potential candidates to just seven: the aforementioned five competitors, plus Philip Deignan (UnitedHealthcare), and the domestic-based Irish rider Adam Armstrong (Eurocycles).

The riders were told that their performances in 2012 would determine who would get the nod for the games. A table was laid out detailing the selection criteria points which would be allocated for specific results. Top ten finishes in UCI single day races plus in stages in multi-day events would earn the riders points towards their total.

Martin expressed a degree of frustration earlier this year in relation to what he felt was an imbalance between the prestige of an event and the points on offer. For example a stage win in a 2.2 event such as the An Post Rás would be determined to be equal to fourth place on a stage of the Tour de France, even though there is a pronounced difference in the teams taking part and the standard of the events.

At the time, Martin said that a strong performance in the An Post Rás could see successful riders there picking up a wedge of points and potentially pushing the higher level pros out of the picture.

As things turned out, he had a very successful spring and ended up being the rider with the most points. Bennett and McCann were next in line, while Roche – who is yet to hit strong form, but who expects to be a solid contender in the upcoming Tour de Suisse – was fourth, one place ahead of Armstrong. Neither Brammeier nor Deignan picked up points this season.

In addition to those totals, Cycling Ireland selectors had an extra 100 points which they could allocate – all or part thereof – to the riders they felt could perform best on the London Olympic course.

The three-man selection panel comprises An Post Rás director Dermot Dignam, international commissaire Paul Watson and Dr. Giles Warrington of Dublin City University’s School of Health and Human Performance.

Given that Martin, Bennett, McCann and Roche all scored results-related points, Brammeier’s sole hope for selection is to secure a very substantial chunk of those 100 subjective points, and hope that the combined totals for the other riders don’t end up higher.

One of the three riders will also compete in the time trial. The cost of the appeal is €250 Euro.


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