Carlingford Village, Louth, Ireland - Champion System Pro Cycling Team's Matt Brammeier captured his fourth straight Irish national road title Sunday by out-sprinting three survivors from an original six-man breakaway.
"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," Champion System General Manager Ed Beamon said.
The Irishman said this was the most challenging of his championship wins, but a recent personal loss served as extra motivation.
"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."
Brammeier, 28, joined Champion System this season from Omega Pharma-Quick Step. His previous best result this season was 10th on Stage 10 of the Amgen Tour of California. In addition to his four national road titles, he also won the Irish national time trial title in 2011.
Brammeier, Philip Lavery (Amicale Cycliste Bisontine) and Philip Deignan (UnitedHealthcare) escaped early into the 172-kilometer race and built a lead of about one-and-a-half minutes before being joined by three chasers. While the gap dropped below 20 seconds with less than two kilometers to go, ultimately the peloton was unable to bring back the escapees.
"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 and Damien Shaw (Aqua Blue) was third.
Brammeier is the second Champion System rider to win a national championship this weekend. Teammate Zach Bell won the Canadian national road race on Saturday.
"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."
Champion System's title sponsor is a leading Hong-Kong based custom cycling clothing manufacturer and Beamon said that these national jerseys allow the team to showcase the company's apparel.
"We love seeing the shamrock jersey in the peloton and I'm sure the Champion System factory is happy to keep the Kelly green on the production line," Beamon said.