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Brammeier new Irish road champ

Posted 27 June 2010

(Photos: All race photos by Dee Doherty)

Matt Brammeier is the new Irish road race champion having staged a major upset to relieve Nicolas Roche of the title after a two man sprint finish in Sligo town.

Brammeier (An Post Sean Kelly Team) rode an aggressive race and his persistent attacking finally paid dividends inside the closing 300 metres when he seen off the challenge from Roche who was the sole survivor of an early 14 man break.

The duo fought a pulsulating battle over the final three laps of the 13.6 kilometre circuit where their successive attacks cut the lead group to just five riders heading into the last of thirteen laps.

Brammeier, a Liverpudlian who declared for Ireland this season, launched the first of three devastating attacks as the breakaway headed into the closing four laps having established a complete stranglehold on the race.

His attack reduced the front group to nine riders by the time Roche restored order with the AG2R La Mondiale rider wasting no time in shooting away from that group ahead of the ninth ascent of Tully Hill.

Brammeier lead the chase as Roche opened up a slender 10 second led over the top with the chase group behind reduced to his teammate David O’Loughlin,  Dan Martin (Garmin-Transitions), Sam Bennett (VC La Pomme) and David McCann (Giant Asia).

The six riders regrouped almost three kilometres later only to see Brammeier launch a second stinging attack to which only Roche and McCann were able to respond heading into the penultimate lap.

Martin and O’Loughlin used the climb of Tully Hill to bridge the gap to the leading trio but Brammeier’s determination knew no bounds and he surged clear once more heading onto the final decisive lap.

Martin who had fought his own battle to stay in contact with O’Loughlin, Roche and McCann led the pursuit before Roche made the jump across to Brammeier shortly before the final climb.

Roche tired in vain to dislodge the An Post rider on the climb while Martin was involved in a similar battle little over 40 seconds behind to free himself from McCann and O’Loughlin.

Coming into the finish it was a two horse race between Roche and Brammeier with the Roche coming up short as Brammeier sprung for home 300 metres from the line.

Martin held off McCann to finish third as Brammeier celebrated a memorable win which left Roche seriously disappointed heading into next week’s Tour de France.


National Road Race Championship, Sligo, 150 kilometres

1. Matt Brammeier (An Post Grant Thornton M Donnelly Sean Kelly), 3 hours, 48 minutes, 58.
2.  Nicolas Roche (AG2R same time)
3.  Dan Martin (Garmin Transitions)
4.  David McCann (Giant Asia)
5.  David O’Loughlin (An Post Grant Thornton M Donnelly Sean Kelly)

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