Matt Brammeier’s season may have come to a premature end after he collided with a team car during stage 6 of the Tour of Utah. The MTN-Qhubeka rider was chasing back into the peloton on the descent off Guardsman's Pass inside the final 50 kilometres of the stage when he hit a support car on the outside of the road as the two were rounding a corner. It’s unclear how long he will be out of competition, but the team's priority is for Brammeier's recovery.
Brammeier was immediately taken to hospital following the incident and was diagnosed with injuries to his pelvis, ribs and lung. “Thankfully, Matt has suffered no head, neck or spinal injuries and is currently stable in hospital. His musculoskeletal injuries are significant however,” team doctor Jarrad van Zuydam explained in a press release issued by the team. “He suffered rib fractures on both sides as well as a small pneumothorax. He also has fractures of the sacral and pelvic bones. Matt is unlikely to require surgery but will need some time to recover from his injuries.”
Brammeier posted a picture of himself on Twitter in hospital wearing a neck brace with the caption, “all good in the hood guys. Thanks for all the messages.” He will have to remain in hospital for a few days and will undergo more tests on Sunday. This is not the first serious injury sustained by Brammeier, who broke both legs in 2007 after being hit by a cement lorry during a training ride.
Brammeier joined the MTN-Qhubeka team at the beginning of this season, stepping up to Pro Continental level after a year spent with the Baku Cycling Project. The Irishman formed a key part of the team’s classics squad and went on to claim his first professional win with the team at the ZLM Toer in June, after a late solo attack.
MTN-Qhubeka are currently fighting in the general classification with Natnael Berhane, who finished third on the day and has moved into fifth overall at 1:26 behind current leader Joe Dombrowski (Cannondale-Garmin).
“It was mostly a good stage for us. Natnael was in contention on the climb, and this we could expect. He ended with a good third place and could move up some places on the GC,” team directeur sportif Jean-Pierre Heynderickx said after the stage. “Tomorrow is our last chance and we will try to bring Natnael to a good position again to see what is possible.”
The final stage of the Tour of Utah takes the riders over two tough climbs before the finish in Park City.