Brammeier determined to make most of personal chances with Champion System team
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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Brammeier determined to make most of personal chances with Champion System team

by Shane Stokes at 10:38 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Irish champion on the hunt for victories in 2013

Matt BrammeierAfter spending the past two seasons riding for the leaders of the HTC Highroad and the Omega Pharma Quick Step squads, Irish road race champion Matt Brammeier has said he is determined to make the most of his own opportunities after moving teams.

The 27 year old recently finalised a contract with the Pro Continental Champion System team and should have considerably more opportunities there in the year ahead.

He’s clear on what he wants to achieve. “I need to win,” he told VeloNation. “I have came close over the last two seasons but I think with this team I can really take more chances, be given more freedom in breakaways and hopefully win some more. My first big goal will be the Classics - I want to be in top shape and try to ride a finale in one of those races.”

Brammeier has taken three consecutive editions of the Irish road race championships and also won the time trial title in 2010 and 2011. Last year he was second on a stage of the Tour of Austria and also tenth in the Tour of Qatar prologue; this season was complicated by some injury issues, but he took that third Irish road race title and was also thirteenth on stage five of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

Brammeier has spoken out against the current WorldTour structure, which places a large emphasis on the points a rider has. Because he has spent much of his time riding for others, he hasn’t been able to rack up as many points as he would otherwise have had.

He has argued that domestiques should also get a share of the points when one of their team-mates is successful in a race, but that is likely to be less of an issue in 2013 as he will likely be able to ride more for himself.

Moving from a UCI ProTeam to a Pro Continental squad will be viewed as a step back by some but if he does end up having more personal opportunities, then it could be better for his career.

The Liverpool-born rider sounds upbeat about the switch. “I’m really excited to be involved in a team with such a diverse and interesting program of races,” he said. “I’m looking forward to racing in Asia, the US and of course Europe next year. I’m sure I won't get bored!

“My thoughts on joining the team were simple. I had some options but eventually I decided on Champion System as it would give me the best program of races and also more chances for myself than in the last few years.”

Brammeier has proven his strength in getting the better of WorldTour riders Nicolas Roche and Dan Martin in the Irish championships. It’s now time to achieve more in international races, something he fully realises himself. “ I enjoyed my last two years with HTC and Quick Step but now I need to make a step up personally and professionally and get some points for myself. Points points points, bloody hate points,” he said, expressing his frustration with the system and how it made finding a team more complicated.

The Belgium-based rider is currently working hard on his condition in Girona, logging in pre-season kilometres and raising his level. This time last year he was recovering from an operation to remove a plate from the leg he broke when he was run over by a cement truck in November 2007. That surgery led to some niggles in 2012 but he’s hoping those issues are fully behind him now and he can realise his potential in the year ahead.

Brammeier’s got a general idea of his early season programme, and wants to be going well in March and April. “I've not gone into my programme a great deal yet with the directors, but to start I think I will be in Qatar, Oman, Langkawi and then my first big goal, the semi-Classics. After that, I'll rest and gear up for the Tour of California,” he said.

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