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Irish team named for World Championships

Posted 03 September 2010

Dan Martin will not be part of the Irish team competing in the World Road Race Championships on October 3 and it is still uncertain whether or not Philip Deignan will join the three man team to be led by Nicolas Roche.

Roche (AG2R La Mondiale) will be supported by David McCann (Giant Asia) and Irish national champion Matt Brammeier (An Post Sean Kelly ) with Deignan (Cervelo Test Team) and fellow Donegal man Ronan McLoughlin  (An Post Sean Kelly) named as nominated riders.

Cycling Ireland’s High Performance Coach, Phil Leigh, confirmed that Martin had opted out of selection to concentrate on the Tour of Lombardy while adding that the line-up of Roche, McCann and Brammeier could yet be changed to accommodate Deignan.

“You can never say never about Philip. He is down as a nominated rider but he has had a difficult season and he has struggled to find form with health and illness problems,” Leigh said.

“It has been a challenge for him to get himself fit but if his form shoots through the roof at the Vuelta and he finishes the race very strong we would have to look at that. If we need to change the starting three we can change that,” he added.

Leigh stated that the location of the race in Geelong, Melbourne, Australia had not helped in selecting the team with the long journey and 12 hour difference in time zones leading to Martin’s decision not to travel.

“Dan is concentrating on the Tour of Lombardy and he wants to maintain his form for that. He was eighth last year in that race and wants to improve on that and travelling to Australia conflicts with that goal,” he said.

“What has not helped us is the location of the Worlds. If it was in Europe it would have been very much easier for riders to attend. The time difference and travel coming so close to other races is a factor and a lot of riders from other nations have decided not to travel for the same reasons,” he added.

Leigh believes that the combination of Roche, McCann and Brammeier presents a very strong Irish team and that Roche has the ability to infiltrate or make the winning move.

“The Worlds can be a lottery and the strongest rider is not always the one who wins. If he plays the mind games right with the other teams who knows what Nicolas can achieve.

“If he can maintain his form coming out of the Vuelta he has a very good chance at the Worlds. He is an aggressive and attacking rider with the power to make it over the climb.

“A lot will depend on the how it is raced and controlled but Nicolas’s aggressive and punchy style of riding could make an impact on the race. Let’s not forget that he is also a very intelligent rider,” he said.

Leigh explained that he had no hesitation including McCann in the team and he has high hopes for the Belfast man who will also attempt to emulate his achievement of finishing 10th in last year’s World Time Trial Championship.

“David has had a fantastic season in Asia where he won a number of stage races and earned UCI points. He earned his place on the team and I had no question about naming him,” he said. McCann is preparing for the Worlds by riding the ten day Tour of China from 11th-20th of September.

“Matt Brammeier was part of our track team and is an integral part of the An Post Sean Kelly team. He was the strongest man in the national championships and a deserving winner. He came into the Ireland set up this year with an opportunity to develop and improve and he has done that and he will provide strong support,” Leigh remarked.

“It is a very positive thing for Irish cycling that we have six riders capable of riding the Worlds and that we have riders capable of making an impact on the race. It will be a tough race but we are there to compete,” he added.

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