Previously confirmed as one of the Irish riders on the historic Aqua Blue Sport team, multiple Irish champion Matt Brammeier says he is satisfied with his build-up and looking forward to year one with the squad.
The team is the first-ever Irish professional Continental set-up and will make its debut early next season.
Brammeier, former world track champion Martyn Irvine and Conor Dunne form the Irish element of the squad, which includes another 13 riders from around the world.
“When I finished the season I was probably the most tired I have ever been,” Brammeier revealed on Thursday.
“I was actually quite concerned at one point. I was going to see doctors and trying to work out what was wrong with me. I was just in a hole and I couldn’t get out of it. I was just super tired and fatigued.
“I was turning up to races and I couldn’t even ride on the front when I had to. I was just being there making up the numbers.”
Worried that he might be ill, Brammeier, his coach and the Team Dimension Data doctors ultimately concluded that he had pushed himself for so long that he had built up a high level of fatigue.
The issue was a very serious crash he had in the Tour of Utah in August 2015. He hit a car on a high-speed descent, suffering a wide range of injuries, and had a long road to get back walking and then regain shape.
That plus months of hard racing this year wore down his batteries and he needed rest.
Fortunately things are looking better now.
“I had a decent break at the end of the year,” he said.
“I had four weeks off, totally not doing anything. I am actually feeling quite good now…after three weeks’ riding, I am starting to feel good. Things are coming together well and I am happy with where I am.”
Brammeier is based in Girona, Spain, and will leave there on Saturday to head to Monaco.
Team Aqua Blue Sport’s first training camp will be held there and it will be a chance for the 16 riders plus team staff to get together, work on 2017 preparations and also put provisional shape on the early racing programme.
Irvine has also been working very hard, with the former track specialist returning to the saddle several months after he announced his retirement. He will focus on road racing this time around, believing he is yet to get the best out of himself in this area.