Matt Brammeier (Champion System) ride to a record fourth straight Irish road championship on Sunday.
The 28-year-old, as he has in so many races this season, featured on a six-man breakaway eventually out-sprinting three of his companions to take the title.
Brammeier said that he found extra motivation for the race in a conversation he had with his grandmother before she passed away.
"It was the hardest of the four titles to win," Brammeier said. "I lost my grandma recently and one of the last things she said to me was how proud she was and how proud my granddad would have been of me. I had that in my mind all day and really wanted to win it for them. It was a special day and I'll never forget it."
While the peloton was without Dan Martin or Nicolas Roche, Brammeier still had quality in opposition in the form of Philip Deignan (UnitedHealthcare) who earlier this month finished as runner-up in the Tour de Beauce. Deignan, along with Brammeier and Philip Lavery (Amicale Cycliste Bisontine) were part of the early break before being joined by three other chasers.
"I gambled all on the sprint, hit out hard with 200 meters to go and never looked back," Brammeier said. "I got a good jump and won by a good margin."
Lavery finished second while Damien Shaw (Aqua Blue) was third.
Champion System general manager Ed Beamon was impressed by Brammeier's effort.
"To repeat as a national champion is such a difficult task, but Matt has done it four years in a row and that's beyond unbelievable," he said.
"It's great to have national champions on the team," Beamon said. "We started the season with five, but it is that much more exciting when a guy wins the championship as a member of our team."
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