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“I'd like to say I'm happy but I'm not. I did everything right and rode a perfect race but I suffered bad cramps in the last 30 kms. I've suffered with cramp since I started cycling, always on the first day of a stage...

Photo: OPQS / Tim de Waele

MATTHEW BRAMMEIER

RIDER PROFILE
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NEWS

TOUR DE LANGKAWI

RACE PROFILE
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NEWS
27.02.2014 @ 15:39 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Matthew Brammeier (Synergy Baku) got a big chance to take his first win outside of his national championships when he was arguably the fastest rider in the breakaway that stayed away in the first stage of the Tour de Langkawi. However, it all came to nothing as bad cramps derailed his plans in the finish.

 

Synergy Baku Cycling Project celebrated a big day, as Matt Brammeier took the King of the Mountains Jersey in the first stage of Le Tour de Langkawi and Luke Davison won gold at the UCI Track World Championships, as a member of the Australian team pursuit team. Brammeier also finished second on the stage and is third in GC, 24 seconds behind stage winner and race leader Duber Quintero (Team Colombia).

The Irish national champion was part of a five-man escape group which got away early in the stage and built up a lead of up to seven minutes. The peloton was slow to react on the 101 km stage with start and finish in Langkawi, and finished just over a minute behind the four remaining breakaway riders.

Brammeier took all five of the mountain rankings to claim the race's first King of the Mountains jersey. He had hoped to sprint for the win but was struck down with cramps in the closing kilometers.

“I felt really good all race and was pretty confident I could win in a sprint. I can normally get a good sprint out but can't really ride hard for long with cramp. The other guys marked me out a little so it was hard to try and cover everything. Quintero attacked with around 1.5km to go and my legs started to buckle. The other guys wouldn't help with the chase so I was destined for second place,” Brammeier said.

He wasn't entirely satisfied, though.

 

“I'd like to say I'm happy but I'm not. I did everything right and rode a perfect race but I suffered bad cramps in the last 30 kms,” he said. “I've suffered with cramp since I started cycling, always on the first day of a stage race. I've looked hard but never really found the reason or answer.

 

"I have always struggled with cramps and today towards the end I was feeling it a little, but I tried my best not to show the others. I'm still glad that I got this jersey and we'll try our best to keep it." 

 

Brammeier is known as an escape artist and he had marked today's stage out as a good opportunity.

 

“I thought that there was a good chance that the break would stay away, because there are so many teams with sprinters here that I knew that there might be a bit of a standoff," he told Cyclingnews. "There sometimes is on the first day. I went full gas to get into the break. As I always try to race, I just try to take my chance.”

In addition, German sprinter Michael Schweizer finished ninth on the stage, helping to give the team the second place in the team ranking.

"Today was good for the team, Luke winning gold at the Worlds via the Team Pursuit Final and at the very same time as Europe went to bed, Matt was putting himself in a jersey for the podium on the first stage of a HC event, not bad really,”rejoiced team manager David McQuaid.

"That break group with Matt stayed away and caught the World Tour teams napping. That's the way Matt is really, aggressive and from the flag drop. I wasn't surprised when I saw via Twitter he had won the first KOM after 7km. Proud of the boys, staff, team and structure today, really I am."

On the other side of the world, Davison claimed his first elite World Championship title. The Australian Pursuit Team took the gold medal ahead of Denmark. Davison had previously won three junior titles.

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