Brammeier: “The novelty will never wear off”
Matt Brammeier reflected on his spring campaign with HTC-Highroad, which saw him ride Paris-Roubaix, Amstel Gold Race and Liege-Bastogne-Liege.
Brammeier declared that “even in ten years time the novelty of all these races won’t wear off, I’ll still be excited. It’s been bigger than everything.”
“Roubaix was awesome, something I dreamed of doing,” he said. “Even the first few years of riding, it was the race I looked forward to watching, seeing heroes like Sean Kelly and Museeuw win it. I was pretty nervous before it. The race itself had its ups and downs; I was well placed coming into Arenberg but someone came off in front of me and that ruined my race.”
Nevertheless, he forged on determinedly to the finish, running out of adrenaline in the final fifty kilometres. “I was knackered, but I wanted to do it for the experience. It’s a race I’ll probably focus the rest on my career around, that one day.”
On reflection, Brammeier reckons the Hell of the North finished him off for Amstel Gold and Liege-Bastogne-Liege. “Liege went really badly, I suffered so much. I just had no energy at all,” he said.
Fast forward a fortnight and, after a ten-day break at home which included a ride with his old club Liverpool Mercury, Brammeier feels “refreshed and ready to go” for a mid-season schedule that includes the Berlin Cyclothon and Philadelphia championships.
The Irish champion also mentioned that a Vuelta start is a possibility in the autumn.
McEvoy wants to motor on Michaelgate
Motorpoints Jonny McEvoy says his team have identified the riders to mark in Sunday’s Lincoln GP – but is hopeful that they’ll be the ones to watch on the Michaelgate.
McEvoy finished ninth in last year’s race, and used last weekend’s Tour of Ulster to prepare for the second round of the Premier Calendar.
Team-mate Pete Williams took the overall win in Ireland and McEvoy – who won the race’s hill climb – said the race sets Motorpoint up for a strong showing.
“Everyone in the team has good form and we’re feeling good ahead of the race,” McEvoy told Cycling Weekly.
“We know the strong teams and riders, so we know who to look out for. If we can watch the moves and get into good positions at the bottom of the climb, we’ll have a good chance of doing something.”
He admitted that with Ian Bibby – fifth last year – and Marcin Bialoblocki (seventh a year ago), Motorpoint’s team leader will be decided as the race unfolded.
Ferguson leads British juniors in Peace Race
Grant Ferguson is leading the British charge, two days into the Junior Peace Race in the Czech Republic.
Better known for his prowess on knobby tyres as Scottish junior MTB champion, the 17 year old is currently sat thirteenth overall, eighteen seconds behind leader Matej Mahoric after making Thursday’s split.
Ferguson is part of the Great Britain ODP junior team out there, which also includes Owain Doull, Jonathan Dibben, Sam Lowe and Matt Holmes.
Tour Series announces home teams
Home teams have been announced for this year’s Tour Series, which begins at the end of the month.
Organiser SweetSpot allocates the rounds on the basis of where each squad is based, and their proximity to the event locations.
Last year’s winners Motorpoint will be the home team in Stoke-On-Trent, while Rapha-Condor-Sharp will look to win their home race in London’s Canary Wharf for the second year running.
Surrey-based Sigma Sport-Specialized have been given round seven in Woking as their home race,
Although no extra points are on offer for teams who win their home round, spectators are encouraged to get behind whoever is representing them.
Additional focus on the home teams is given in the hour-long highlights show, which again will be shown on ITV4 the evening after the race.
Volunteers are required for the eight-round series, and are being encourage to contact the organiser as soon as possible.
To apply, email firstname.lastname@example.org, with the name of the venue(s) at which you wish to volunteer in the subject line of the email, and include your full name and a contact telephone number in the message.
Tour Series 2011: home teams
Round One, Tuesday 24th May
Home team: Endura Racing
Round Two, Thursday 26th May
Home teams: Team UK Youth, Pendragon-Le Col-Colnago
Round Three, Tuesday 31st May
Home team: CyclePremier.com-Metaltek
Round Four, Thursday 2nd June
Home team: Twenty3c-Orbea
Round Five, Tuesday 7th June
Home team: Motorpoint
Round Six, Thursday 9th June
Home team: Team Raleigh
Round Seven, Tuesday 14th June
Home teams: Sigma Sport-Specialized, Wilier-GoSelfDrive.com
Round Eight, Thursday 16th June
Home team: Rapha-Condor-Sharp
Kelly to do Etape Hibernia
Irish cycling legend Sean Kelly has been revealed as an ambassador for Irish Sky Ride, the Etape Hibernia.
The event winds along the western coast of Ireland in County Clare, and is eighty-two miles in length.
Nine-time Classics winner Kelly rode the event in 2010 and will join the two thousand participants that the event expects on the ride again this year.
More information is available at www.etapehibernia.com.