After MTN-Qhubeka were announced to be riding the Tour de France yesterday, they have signed another rider, four-time Irish champion, Matthew Brammeier, on a two-year deal.
The UCI points system is notoriously unkind to some riders, and Matt Brammeier is no exception. The Liverpool-born Irishman has bounced from team to team to team. He rode for An Post in 2010, then moved to HTC Highroad, where he lost his contract after a year. He then moved to Omega-Pharma Quickstep, where he lost his contract after a year, the press knew about it before he did. He was without a team then, and quickly had to find a contract, only managing to find Pro-Conti team Champion System. They were beautifully attired, in fairness.
To compound Brammeier's bad luck, Champion System folded. He had hurried discussions with Tinkoff-Saxo before the 2014 season, but these fell through, leaving him at Continental outfit Synergy Baku, where he had a difficult season, getting the mountains jersey at the Tour de Langkawi, but illness kept him out afterwards, he failed to win the Irish championship for the first time since 2009, with Ryan Mullen winning.
Despite all his bad luck, Brammeier has had good years, winning both the Irish road and time-trial championships in 2011, along with 36th at the world championships. He is respected as a good helper in the peloton, and is a good rider on hilly and flat terrain. He will be good help for MTN's impressive array of sprinters. MTN will be riding Cadel Evans' Ocean Road Race, and Brammeier is expected to start his season in the teams' black and white stripes there
"MTN was my number one choice in terms in terms of what I would get out of it and what I could give to the team, to finally have it sorted means I am obviously pretty happy," he told stickybottle.com. He also tweeted that he would be excited.
— Matt Brammeier (@Mattbrammeier85) January 15, 2015
MTN will ride the Tour de France next year, and Brammeier would be hoping for a spot.
This will be his third time riding for a major team, long may this one last.