Matt Brammeier has signed with Champion System for 2013 after spending the past season at Omega Pharma-QuickStep. The Irish champion only discovered that Omega Pharma-QuickStep would not be retaining his services when he read about it in a Belgian newspaper in September, and he was left with a late scramble to find a team for the coming campaign.
Brammeier’s search for a team was complicated by the fact that he had no WorldTour points after two seasons spent riding in the service of others at HTC and QuickStep, and he admitted that the opportunity to ride for himself was part of his reasoning for signing for Champion System.
“I was speaking to a few bigger teams, but I basically wanted to go to a team with more chances for myself,” Brammeier told Cyclingnews. “I need to start thinking about myself and getting some points on the board if I want to get back into the WorldTour and stay there. It’s a chance to score results and for my morale and motivation, I just want to make a step up and prove to myself that I can get some good results.”
Although Brammeier will ride at the Pro Continental level in 2013, he should have a fuller race programme than he enjoyed at Omega Pharma-QuickStep, where places in the cobbled Classics were at a premium. The Irishman is hopeful that he will have the opportunity to score points on the Asia Tour and lead the line in the Belgian semi-Classics next spring.
“At the moment, my programme is probably going to be a lot better than it was this year at QuickStep,” he said. “I think the team is hopeful on going to Qatar and Oman and then we’re going to Langkawi and some of the Classic races as well. It will be difficult to get an invite to the big WorldTour races, but we should definitely get to the semi-Classics like Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne and Nokere Koerse. They’re races I can get stuck into, races where I can try and make the finale, ride for myself and see how it goes.”
The final details of Brammeier’s deal were thrashed out at the end of November and consequently he will miss the team’s gathering in Hong Kong later this week. His first contact with the squad will be at a training camp in California in early January, but he has already been in touch with Craig Lewis, previously a teammate at HTC-Highroad.
“I was speaking to him about the team and he was really happy. He said there was good morale there and that it’s a good bunch of guys. I’m looking forward to it, it’s going to be something totally different to the last two years.”