Brammeier takes photo finish ahead of Martin in Irish road race championship
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Monday, June 27, 2011

Brammeier takes photo finish ahead of Martin in Irish road race championship

by Shane Stokes at 4:36 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, National Championships
HTC Highroad competitor beats Garmin-Cervélo rider by one centimetre

Matt BrammeierAfter seven laps of a rolling circuit and four hours of racing, one centimetre was the winning margin in the Irish road race championships, where defending champion Matt Brammeier beat Dan Martin to the line.

A photo finish was needed to separate the two, and to show that Martin – who was moving faster and overtook his rival immediately after the line – had lost out by a tiny margin. The two were the strongest in the closing kilometres of the seven lap race, accelerating clear over the top of the final climb and then speeding on to the finish in Scotstown, Co. Monaghan.

Brammeier’s win saw him take an extremely rare double, the HTC Highroad rider having won the time trial championships on Friday evening. That first effort meant that he was less fresh than many of his rivals in the road race, and he played things cautiously.Irish championships

“I was very tired yesterday after taking the time trial championship on Friday evening,” Brammeier told VeloNation afterwards. “I tried to do as little work as possible and to save everything for the last lap and the climb.”

Martin, who was psyched to prove a point after being passed over for selection for the Tour de France, had a much more active race. He was the main aggressor and attacked multiple times on a circuit which wasn’t really suited to his climbing abilities. The Garmin-Cervélo rider felt that he could have won had the sprint played out a little differently.

“I just messed up the sprint a little bit. Matt was super strong as well. I maybe paid for being too confident, because he was a lot more conservative than me all day, not riding as much. I definitely had the legs in the finish for the sprint, but I misjudged the distance to the line. My gears jumped with 50 metres to go…even so, I was coming past him very fast. To miss it by that much is just disappointing.”

The duo reached the finish eighteen seconds clear of bronze medallist David McCann (Giant Kenda), Tour de France-bound Nicolas Roche (Ag2r la Mondiale) and best under 23 rider, Sam Bennett (An Post Grant Thornton M. Donnelly Sean Kelly).

David McCannMcCann ended up strongest out of that three man chase group, attacking inside the final five kilometres to open a gap over the other two and to grab the bronze medal. “It was a different race. Not the hardest course,” he said. “A bit tactical and a bit negative for my liking. But an interesting race.”

He said that he was confident that he’d be able to get clear of Roche. “I knew I was stronger. Early on in the race I spent half a lap off the front on my own, which in hindsight was probably what left me short of being with the other two lads at the finish. But I like to race aggressively.”

Roche said before the race that he was still feeling the after-effects of the bad crash he had in the Dauphiné. It looked like that today, as his level was less than he had showing in the French pre-Tour event. He’s got nearly a week before the start of the Tour de France, however, so hopefully his form will click.

He finished just ahead of Bennett, who successfully defended his Under 23 championship title. “I was feeling good but unfortunately I was looking around a bit too much when it came to Brammeier and Dan going. I missed out on that. We were holding them for a good while, but just blew a little bit.”

Aggressive start forms early selection:

Philip LaveryThose riders were all part of a nine man break which joined up on the third lap out of seven. It started after eleven kilometres when Philip Lavery (An Post Grant Thornton M. Donnelly Sean Kelly) attacked and was joined by Brammeier. They were in turn joined several kilometres later by McCann, Roche and Bennett.

Then, 67 kilometres after the start, Martin, Ronan McLaughlin (An Post Grant Thornton M. Donnelly Sean Kelly), Maryn Irvine (Giant Kenda) and Philip Deignan (RadioShack) also got across.

Deignan was dropped with two and a half laps remaining, the Letterkenny rider showing that he has not yet recovered from the Giro d’Italia and Tour de Suisse races. The other eight fought it out for the medals, with a ferocious attack by Martin the last time up the climb dragging himself and Brammeier clear. They raced on towards the finish, where he had big hopes of retaking the jersey he won in 2008. However he lost out by that tiny margin in the gallop.

Martin will take a break from racing and then build back up for the defence of his Tour of Poland title and the Vuelta a España. As for Brammeier, he’ll show off his jersey in the Tour of Austria, the Classica San Sebastian and the Eneco Tour.


Irish road race championships, Elite men:

Irish road race championships1, Matt Brammeier (HTC Highroad) 4 hours 1 min 30 secs
2, Dan Martin (Garmin-Cervélo) same time
3, David McCann (Giant Kenda) at 18 secs
4, Nicolas Roche (Ag2r La Mondiale) at 21 secs
5, Sam Bennett (An Post Grant Thornton M. Donnelly Sean Kelly) at 28 secs
6, Ronan McLaughlin (An Post Grant Thornton M. Donnelly Sean Kelly) at 1 minute 51 secs
7, Philip Lavery (An Post Grant Thornton M. Donnelly Sean Kelly) same time
8, Martyn Irvine (Giant Kenda) at 2 mins 39 secs
9, Peter Hawkins (Morsele) at 4 mins 47 secs
10, Mark Cassidy (An Post Grant Thornton M. Donnelly Sean Kelly) at 4 mins 49 secs
11, Sean Lacey (The Edge) at 4 mins 54 secs
12, Colm Cassidy (UCD)
13, Fiachra O’Muire (Team Dectek Dunboye Clonee CC) both same time
14, Keith Gater (Waterford CC) at 5 mins 10 secs
15, Connor McConvey (XMTB) at 5 mins 45 secs

Under 23:

1, Sam Bennett (An Post Grant Thornton M. Donnelly Sean Kelly)
2, Philip Lavery (An Post Grant Thornton M. Donnelly Sean Kelly)
3, Aaron Buggle (UV Aube)

Team: Dectek Dunboyne Clonee CC



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