Brammeier in negotiations over 2014 contract, hoping to be selected for world road race championship
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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Brammeier in negotiations over 2014 contract, hoping to be selected for world road race championship

by Shane Stokes at 4:18 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, World Championships
Believes in Dan Martin’s chances: “I really believe we are in with a shot of a podium or, even better, a rainbow jersey this year”

Matt BrammeierQuadruple Irish road race champion Matt Brammeier is not yet sure where he will be competing in 2014, with the rider still working on his plans. The 28 year old has been racing with the Champion System team this year and while he may end up staying put, that is not certain.

“As of yet I've no plans,” he told VeloNation. “I’m still working on it, whether it be a new team or some more time with this team; I'm still unsure. I’ve been taking to a few teams and also Champion System. We’re working on it.”

Brammeier has been firing off his trademark long distance attacks this year and was one of the most aggressive in Wednesday’s Coppa Agostoni - Giro delle Brianze. He and his breakaway companions were however reeled in before the line.

Next up for him is the World Ports Classic, Paris-Brussels, the Grote Prijs Jef Scherens - Rondom Leuven, Grand Prix d'Isbergues - Pas de Calais and the Omloop van het Houtland Lichtervelde. He is also likely to ride the Tour of Beijing, and possibly the Tour of Hainan.

One race which is high on his list of priorities is the world road race championship. Brammeier is one of those in the running for a place on the team, but has not yet learned if he will be given the nod or not.

Ireland has four places for the elite worlds; Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp) and Nicolas Roche (Saxo Tinkoff) are seen as certainties, while it appears difficult to pass over the in-form Philip Deignan (UnitedHealthcare). If that is indeed the case, it would mean that Brammeier is vying for the last slot on the team. He’s hoping that Cycling Ireland will pick him for that position.

If so, he has a clear idea of what his role could be. “I think I can do a good job in the first 150-200kms of the race,” he said. “I have no dreams of making it to the finish on such a course but I think I can ride well in a big peloton, stick with the guys, keep them fed and watered and generally just use my experience to be there for them if they need anything.

“I don't think we can go into it with a big team tactic, the key is just going to be keeping Dan in a good position and of course as fresh as possible for the finale. Worlds is normally a pretty straight forward bike race but this year even more so.”

Brammeier rode well in the 2010 world championships in Geelong, Australia, going on the attack from a long way out. He was part of a group which was clear for much of the race, and which took pressure off the rest of the Irish team.

With Martin the winner of Liège-Bastogne-Liège and a mountain stage in the Tour de France, Brammeier believes that he is a genuine contender for the worlds. Martin too is confident, and is riding the Vuelta a España intent on using that race to put him in the best form possible for the worlds in Florence.

“I really believe we are in with a shot of a podium or, even better, a rainbow jersey this year,” said Brammeier. “We won't get this chance for a long time again; well, maybe next year too. I think I'm climbing a lot better than I have been before and I’ll be trying to shift a few more kilos towards Beijing and Hainan so I will be pretty light by then, if all goes to plan.”

Asked what he needs to do to ensure he is given a place on the team, he admitted he is not sure. However he is hoping that competing in high level events and riding aggressively will stand to him.

“I'm racing well, feeling good and giving 100% to every race,” he said. “I'm in contact with Brian Nugent [the Irish national coach] and he's up to date with how things are going. Hopefully I can be in good enough condition to be on the start line this year.”

In the meantime, he’ll continue to race aggressively, hoping that sooner or later, one of his long distance moves might stick.


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