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Matt Brammeier in the KOM jersey
Irish champion has to settle for second at Tour de Langkawi
A stroke of bad luck prevented Matt Brammeier (Synergy Baku Cycling Project) from the possibility of kicking off his new contract with a bang at the Tour de Langkawi.
Brammeier suffered from cramp at the crucial moment on stage 1 when Duber Quintaro (Columbia) attacked his breakaway companions, forcing him to delay his chase. If he had won, it would have been his first victory outside of the national championships since turning professional in 2011 with HTC-HighRoad. Despite being visibly disappointed, he was pragmatic about his second place finish.
"I was really good all day, but in the last 10 kilometres I got really bad cramps and when the Colombia guy attacked at the finish I couldn't follow him. Everyone was just watching me, but I just had loads of cramp," Brammeier told Cyclingnews at the finish of stage one. "I was fully cramped up and I had to wait. I'm a little pissed off, but second’s not a bad start to the season."
Brammeier spent most of his winter looking for a new contract after his Champion System team folded when the clothing company pulled the plug on the sponsorship deal. The 28-year-old finally found a new home at the Synergy Baku Cycling Project, and the Tour de Langkawi marks the beginning of his first season with the Azerbaijani team.
The Irish national champion made it into the day's break on stage one of the Tour de Langkawi, along with four other riders. He says the plan had always been to go on the attack. "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. 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."
With the peloton debating whether or not they would do some chasing, the five cyclists managed to build up a lead of more than seven minutes. It proved to be enough of a cushion for the five, who were left to fight it out between themselves. With nine more stages still up for grabs, Brammeier isn't counting out another assault on the breakaway but this time he'll hope that he can go one better. "Every race I do that’s how I'm going to try and ride. I'll just try to take my chance."