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"Of course I want to be back as a professional rider. I would love to be in a WorldTour team. I can bring a lot of value to a team like that," he said to Cyclingnews.

Photo: OPQS / Tim de Waele




05.03.2014 @ 12:36 Posted by Aleksandra Górska

The Irish national champion Matthew Brammeier hopes for a good start to his 2014 season as he chases a success in the mountain classification of the Tour de Langkawi, in which he currently leads with seven stages completed under his belt. Debuting in the Synergy Baku Continental outfit the 28-year old former Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider overcomes cramps to fight his way back to the World Tour ranks.


Even though Brammeier seems very motivated to hold his mountain jersey when the race comes to its conclusion on Saturday, he acknowledges it will be a difficult task as races in Asia are more difficult to be controlled tactically than events held in Europe and he struggles with cramps significantly hindering his campaign.


"It’s always hard in races in Asia to go in with a tactic. You have to really read the race and play it by ear on the road on the day," he told Cyclingnews.


As the four time Irish national champion admits, he is suffering from cramps that spoiled his performance on Langkawi’s queen stage since a long time, but their ground hasn’t been accurately diagnosed yet.


"I don’t know what the problem is," he explained.


"I cramp a lot on the first day of a race, but it’s keeping going every day. So it’s not a fatigue or a muscle weakness problem. We’re trying to work it out."


Brammeier currently leads in the mountain classification three points ahead of Isaac Bolivar of UnitedHealthcare, and however he puts under doubt the possibility of bringing the red jersey home, there is a good reason for his aggressive shoving in the Tour de Langkawi as he wants to find himself a place in the World Tour team when his one-year deal with Synegry Baku comes to an end.


The difficult situation on the ‘transfer market” in the last winter-break after the Euskaltel-Euskadi and Vacansoleil have folded found many riders being forced to hang up their wheels, but it was never a case for the 28-year old Irishman as he was able to use his agent’s family connections to save his professional career.


Brammeier says that the Baku provided him with a little security as he went on the hunt for a new team, his agent Andrew McQuaid is the brother of the team’s general manager David McQuaid.


"I got worried that I might not find a big team, which I didn’t. I always had this as a back-up plan. They gave me a bit of a safety net. I wasn’t as nervous as I could have been."


Having signed a one-year contract, however, the Irish rider makes it clear that he wants to rejoin the World Tour team as soon as possible, as he has an experience and quality to make himself useful on this level.


"Of course I want to be back as a professional rider. I would love to be in a WorldTour team. I can bring a lot of value to a team like that," he said to Cyclingnews.


"I can ride on the front and I can ride really well for my teammates. It’s what I’m good at and it’s what I enjoy most. That’s where I want to be, but at the end of the day as long as I’m riding my bike and I’m in big professional races like this and I’m getting a salary then I’m happy."



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