Brammeier signs with MTN-Qhubeka

African team plans to sign another African rider

Matt Brammeier is set to return to Professional Continental racing after securing a two-year deal with the MTN-Qhubeka team.

A day after earning a spot in the Tour de France, the South African team announced the signing of the Irish rider and indicated that they are still on the lookout for another African riding. The deal still needs to be confirmed by the UCI before the team can finalise the signing.

"To be part of such a talented group of guys, past - present & more importantly, future champions cannot be more motivating to me,” Brammeier said in a statement issued by the team.

“I really can’t wait to get into the racing season with the team and I hope to be part of many wins this season. I really think my capabilities and best attributes are perfectly suited to supporting the top, and up and coming talents on this team."

Brammeier has spent the 2014 season racing with the Synergy Baku Cycling Project, after his previous team Champion System folded. It was the second time that the former Irish road champion had suffered that fate after the HTC-Highroad team closed down at the end of 2011. He went on then spend a year with Omega Pharma-QuickStep. Brammeier held the Irish road title from 2010 to 2013 and claimed a national time trial title in 2011. He has worked in support for the likes of Mark Cavendish and won the mountain’s classification at the Tour de Langkawi in 2014.

"Matt Brammeier has been an asset to all the teams he has ridden for,” said general manager Brian Smith. “Although without a contract he has continued to train throughout the off season like a professional and I respect his commitment. I did feel we needed an experienced worker within the team and he is a rider that can shine in that department."

Brammeier has been reunited with a number of former teammates including Matt Goss, Serge Pauwels and Gerald Ciolek. He will also work again with directeur sportif Jens Zemke, who spoke highly of his former charge.

“He is a loyal worker for the team and at nearly 30 years of age he is bringing lots of experience to the team, especially in the Classics, where he will support Edvald Boasson Hagen, Gerald Ciolek, Tyler Farrar, Matt Goss, Theo Bos and Co,” said Zemke. “As a former Irish champion he rode his best season in 2011, where I worked with him at HTC Highroad. I am sure he will reach this level again with us."

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