Matt Brammeier faces possibility of being without a contract next season
National road race champion left stranded after his Champion System team lost its backing for next season
National road race champion Matt Brammeier is still without a contract for the 2014 season, but has his fingers crossed that something will come through at the last moment.
The 28-year-old set a record this year when he became the first Irishman to take four consecutive national RR titles. While the distinctive Irish jersey is very recognisable in the peloton and has brought his team attention at many races, he has been left stranded after his Champion System squad lost its backing for next season.
It means that after competing with the top-ranked HTC Highroad and Omega Pharma Quick Step teams in 2011 and 2012, that Brammeier now faces the possibility of being left without a pro contract in 2014.
He told The Irish Times yesterday that things were very difficult due to a number of teams stopping this year, causing a glut of riders on the market, but that he hoped to know in the coming days if he would have a deal or not.
Brammeier will be among a number of strong Irish riders who will attend Cycling Ireland’s awards night in Dublin on Saturday. Also confirmed are Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Tour de France stage winner Dan Martin, Vuelta a España stage winner Nicolas Roche, BMX masters’ world champion Kelvin Batey and Irish women’s champion Mel Spath.
Sean Kelly and Stephen Roche will also be amongst the 270 confirmed as attending.
One big name who will be absent is world scratch race champion Martyn Irvine. He recently finished third in the omnium event at the European championships, showing he is coming back to form after a bad leg fracture in March, and will now line out in the Manchester World Cup this weekend.
The action gets underway for the three-person Irish team with Caroline Ryan competing in the 10 kilometre scratch race today.
Tomorrow sees Ryan and Irvine riding the men’s and women’s pursuit, with Irvine also doing the points race. Eoin Mullen will compete in the Keirin.
The action will then conclude on Sunday when Mullen does the men’s sprint, Ryan goes in the points event and Irvine lines out in the scratch race.
He will wear his distinctive rainbow jersey in the latter, with the world championship colours giving him additional motivation.