Irish national road race champion Brammeier signs pro contract with HTC Columbia
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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Irish national road race champion Brammeier signs pro contract with HTC Columbia

by Shane Stokes at 11:18 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Moves from the An Post Grant Thornton M. Donnelly Sean Kelly team

Matt BrammeierIreland’s number of ProTour riders has unexpectedly jumped by one, following the announcement that the HTC Columbia team has given a pro contract to national champion Matt Brammeier.

The team, which has the highest number of victories in the pro peloton this year and which is home to cycling’s fastest sprinter Mark Cavendish, has offered the 25 year old a one-year deal.

The signing of the Liverpool-born rider is a massive boost to Brammeier’s career, and will see him move from the An Post Grant Thornton M. Donnelly Sean Kelly team at the end of the season.

Brammeier highlighted his ability when he beat defending champion Nicolas Roche (Ag2r La Mondiale), Roche’s fellow ProTour rider Daniel Martin (Garmin-Transitions) and others in June’s national road race championships in Sligo. More recently, he was awarded the most aggressive rider prize on the final stage of the Tour of Britain, then was the first to attack in Sunday’s elite road race at the world championships in Geelong, Australia. He was clear in a breakaway group for 200 kilometres.

Brammeier is, as might be expected, delighted to be able to step up to the ProTour. “I am thrilled to be joining HTC Columbia in 2011,” he stated. “It's the best team in the world and it's a huge honor that they have put their faith in my abilities as a rider. I like to work hard and ride hard and I'm excited that I will be able to improve and learn from the very best.

“It's been a long and tough road back from the injuries that almost ended my career 2 years ago but it's all been worthwhile. It's a dream come true to be given such a fabulous opportunity with HTC-Columbia."

HTC-Columbia Team Manager Rolf Aldag said that his recovery from those injuries are part of the reason why the team has put its faith in him. It was able to see his spirit in firstly recovering from that, and then in his aggressive riding style when in the peloton with bigger names.

“Matt has shown tremendous character coming back so strong after his very bad accident two years ago, being run over by a truck and then winning the Irish National Road Title this year,” he stated. “He is a real fighter with a lot of talent, good tactical skills from his track experience, and the right spirit.”

An Post Grant Thornton M. Donnelly Sean Kelly team manager Kurt Bogaerts recently confirmed to VeloNation that other pro teams were interested in the rider. Confirming ProTour inquiries, he said that while Brammeier had brought a lot to the team and would be missed, that he wouldn’t object to his moving as it would indicate that Irish cycling is progressing.

When the team was set up, helping Irish riders to develop was listed as one of the primary goals. Brammeier’s graduation to the paid ranks is the first time that an Irish rider with the team has succeeded in moving up to the next level, and vouches for a system that has been honed over the past few seasons.

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