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Found 17 results

  1. Matt Brammeier has returned home following his accident at the Tour of Utah. The Irishman sustained severe injuries in a collision with a race vehicle when descending from Guardsman Pass in Big Cottonwood Canyon. He was immediately transported to hospital by ambulance where he underwent several check-ups. Click here to view the article
  2. The injuries Matt sustained are significant, as he suffered fractures of the sacral and pelvic bones, as well as rib fractures on both sides, a bruised liver and fractured tooth. A small pneumothorax is resolved. Matt and the team want to thank the staff at the University of Utah Trauma centre who took great care of him. He is now back in Great Britain where he will undergo further treatment. At the moment it is not certain when he’ll make his return. “We don’t expect him back on a bike for at least the next 6 – 8 weeks”, says team doctor Jarrad van Zuydam, who’s focus is on a full recovery to allow Matt a return to racing at the top level. The Irishman himself is already focussing on 2016: “It’s looking like my season is well and truly over, so I’m looking forward to return hungry in 2016.” "Matt arrived home safely and is recovering well. He will be getting about on crutches for the next few weeks to allow his pelvic fractures to heal. His chest injuries are not as severe as was first feared and his pain is already far better. We don’t expect him back on a bike for at least the next 6 – 8 weeks but we are confident that he will make a full recovery and a return to racing at the top level." Dr Jarrad van Zuydam – Team Doctor "The last days have been tough as you can imagine but I’m starting to feel better already. I had some extraordinary care over in Salt Lake City and can’t thank all of the staff at the University of Utah Trauma centre enough. I’m still in a fair bit of pain, but over all, considering what I just hobbled away from I can’t grumble for one second. I’m just happy to be in one piece and to be back home with my family and Fiancée and looking forward to starting my recovery process already. I’ve had one of my most enjoyable years of my life this year with the team and I can’t thank them enough for all they have done for me so far." Matt Brammeier – Rider
  3. After the crash ambulance transported Matt to hospital where he underwent several check ups. He is stable but sustained severe injuries to his pelvis, ribs and lung. The team wishes Matt a speedy recovery. Matt Brammeier was involved in a high speed collision with a vehicle during the queen stage of the Tour of Utah. Thankfully, Matt has suffered no head, neck or spinal injuries and is currently stable in hospital. His musculoskeletal injuries are significant however. He suffered rib fractures on both sides as well as a small pneumothorax. He also has fractures of the sacral and pelvic bones. Matt is unlikely to require surgery but will need some time to recover from his injuries. Dr Jarrad van Zuydam – Team Doctor
  4. Matt Brammeier was involved in a high speed crash on stage 6 of the Tour of Utah. The Irishman collided with a service car on the descent from Guardsman Pass in Big Cottonwood Canyon. He was chasing back to the main peloton by the time. Click here to view the article
  5. The final stage saw MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung keep its unique record of placing a rider in the break at every single stage of the 2015 Tour of Utah when Songezo Jim joined 11 riders off the front of the peloton today. The leaders were allowed to get just over a 3 minute lead before the chase from the peloton really started. There were 2 main climbs of the day, the cat 2 Wolf Creek Ranch climb and then the extremely tough HC climb up Empire pass. After Wolf Creek, Tanner Putt (United Healthcare) attacked the lead group and Songezo set off after him just before Empire pass. Once the rode tilted upward though, the favourites quickly began to reel the break back in. Songezo was the 3rd last rider to be caught but at that point the peloton was down to a favourites group of just 8 riders, Natnael as part of the selection. Songezo did a good job to ramp up the pace for Natnael for a while before our Eritrean champ and Michael Woods (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit) took over the pace making. Over the top of the climb the leading group had swelled to 11 riders and there was just the extremely fast 9km descent back in to town left to race. Bookwalter and Norris got a slight gap on the descent and this was enough to decide the stage. Natanel led the yellow jersey and other favourites across the line 20" later. Natnael picked up our 3rd most aggressive rider of the stage jersey award for his efforts today while also securing 7th position on the General Classification. It was good to have Songezo in the break, he did well once again. Natnael was good on the climb and set the pace for most of the big climb, showing he was one of the best. Looking back maybe he could have attacked on the climb but it was not possible for me to get up to him. There are a lot of positives to take from this week but the thing that was missing was a win and that was what we really wanted. We tried hard and the guys raced every day in the front but we also made a few mistakes, and in the moment some of those decisions cost us. The good thing is we can become better from these experiences. Jean-Pierre Heynderickx - Sport Director
  6. The final stage of the Tour of Utah saw Lachlan Norris (Drapac Cycling) out sprint Brent Bookwalter (BMC Racing) for the stage win with our Natnael Berhane coming across the line in 3rd place. Joe Dombrowski (Cannondale-Garmin) won the Tour of Utah overall. Click here to view the article
  7. The 6th stage of the Tour of Utah would be the races Queen stage as riders finished atop the Snowbird Ski Resort. Joe Dombrowski soloed to the win and into the race leader’s jersey while Natnael Berhane came home in 3rd place behind Michael Woods (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit). Click here to view the article
  8. The stage was not all about the final climb though as riders had to contend with 4 major climbs in total, including the Cat 1 up Guardsman Pass. It was this mountain that would start to shape the race as an original break of 12 riders, which included Johann van Zyl once again, started to crumble. Team Colombia would set the pace on the mountain and by the summit, only 2 riders remained out front by a single minute. The peloton was down to 25 riders as they hit the long descent to the foot of the HC Snowbird climb, Natnael was part of this favourites group. As Colombia brought the 2 leaders to within touching distance at the base of Snowbird, Dombrowski attacked to bridge to his teammate up front. After catching his breath on the wheel he then went again. Frank Schleck (Trek-Factory) and yellow jersey Woods tried to respond but they couldn't hang on to the young American. Natnael and Chris Horner (Airgas-Safeway) then left the rest of the peloton behind to join Schleck and Woods. Dombrowski was in a league of his own and opened up a 1'17" lead over the 4 chasers by the finish of the 13km climb. Woods won the sprint for 2nd and Natnael 3rd. The result saw Natnael move up to 5th on the GC, +1’26” behind Dombrowski who pulled on yellow before Woods in 2nd, Schleck 3rd and Horner 4th. It was mostly a good stage for us. Natnael was in contention on the climb, and this we could expect. He ended with a good 3rd place and could move up some places on the GC. Also we had Johann in the break again. It's nice to keep our record of 6 breakaways in 6 days. Johann was strong again but it was a pity Daniel was in the break as well, it was not possible to beat him in the mountain sprints so we couldn't get the jersey back. Unfortunately the bad news is Matt Brammeier had a crash and was taken to the hospital in the ambulance. We believe it is only a precautionary measure but we will get confirmation soon. Tomorrow is our last chance and we will try to bring Natnael to a good position again to see what is possible. Jean-Pierre Heynderickx - Sport Director
  9. At only 89.1km in length, the 5th stage started off with a real bang as 8 riders attacked right from the gun. Songezo Jim was one of the riders in the move, ensuring MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung kept its unique record of being in the break in each stage of the Tour of Utah this year so far. The 8 leaders were held at just over a minute for most of the day as with the finish coming up so soon, the GC teams couldn't risk letting the gap go. Strangely though, team Smartstop were leading the chase most of the day while also having a rider driving the break too. It was of no concern to Songezo though as he just got on with the business before eventually attacking the lead group along with Stefano Pirazzi (Bardiani) with 35km to go. The duo held onto a 30" lead until 20km to go before they were caught by the peloton. Johann van Zyl then proceeded to mark any attacks for our African team as there was a plan to set up Natnael Berhane for the stage. MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung drove the peloton into the penultimate climb of the day and then Youcef Reguigui launched Berhane onto the hill with 14km to go. Unfortunately this move was actually 1 lap too early. Natnael put his head down and went for broke. The Eritrean champ built up a 30" lead on the climb but the peloton would regroup before mounting the chase. Natnael put in a valiant effort but unfortunately was caught with just 2km to go. After a massive 12km solo effort Natnael crossed the line 26" behind Woods and is still in contention to challenge for a high GC spot. Songezo Jim was also awarded the most aggressive rider jersey for his efforts. Today I got in the break again which was good, and with two laps to go I attacked with other one other and thought maybe we had a chance but it didn't work. Tomorrow is another opportunity and we will try again. Songezo Jim - Rider It was a short stage, just 7 laps of a 12.5km circuit with a steep climb at 1km from the finish. The plan was to protect Nathu all day and bring him to a good position for the final km. He attacked with 1 lap to go, this wasn't actually the plan and I am was not too happy with this attack. I have to say the team were still excellent though, for the 5th time in 5 stages we had somebody in the break. It was a good job by Songezo, he got the prize of most aggressive rider. It was a pity he couldn't stand on the podium yet because the presentation was washed out by a very big thunderstorm. Jean-Pierre Heynderickx - Sport Director
  10. The day started with 6 riders forming the main break of the day. Johann placed himself in this early move and with 4 categorised climbs on route, the young South African was in a prime position to go for the King of the Mountains jersey. United Healthcare kept the escapees on a short leash as they were a bit weary of "VanSnails" fire power. However, Johann was able to claim maximum points on the first cat 2 and cat 3 climbs of the day, this was already enough to secure the jersey. With the final 2 climbs coming in the last 25km, it would turn into an important GC day and so our African team then focused on ensuring Natnael Berhane was in the best position possible for these two climbs. Johann's break was caught on the penultimate climb, except for Joey Rosskopf (BMC Racing) who went solo. There was a huge push in the peloton and both Songezo Jim and Adrien Niyonshuti marked the attacks. Over the top Rosskopf had a 20" lead which he held all the way around until we started the climb for the final time. Again there were attacks from the peloton but Natnael was all over it. Nearing the top of the climb Natnael would attack and quickly got 15" over a select group of 13 riders. Unfortunately for Natnael the descent didn't start straight away and there was a general regrouping of the peloton on the false flat. This reduced peloton would catch Natnael with 4km to go and it was then down to a 48 rider bunch sprint. It would be a photo finish and our Eritrean national champion was right in the frame to take 6th, only half a bike length from the win! The victory went to Logan Owen (Axeon Cycling Team). It wasn't really the plan for me to go in the break today but there was a lull just before the sprint so I jumped across to the leaders with a BMC guy. It was then just about rolling through until the climbs. I had already picked up 9 points the other day in the KOM competition so it was a good opportunity to get the jersey. I managed to gain enough points so I'm pretty happy to have the jersey now. In the final, once I knew I had the jersey it was just about saving the legs for the next few days. Johann van Zyl - Rider It was another good stage for our team today. The other day in the bus we spoke about Johann taking the KOM jersey at some point because he scored some points, today he went and got it. He was excellent again but so were all the guys. They kept Natnael in a good position all day and brought him to a good spot before the final 2 important climbs. He was strong and could stay with the favourites, and even put in an attack. At the finish he took 6th place and this is a good result for us. Jean-Pierre Heynderickx
  11. The 3rd stage of the Tour of Utah was yet again, a good one for Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung. Johann van Zyl pulled on the King of the Mountains jersey and Natnael Berhane sprinted to a fine 6th place at the finish. Click here to view the article
  12. Jay Thomson would assert himself upon the 2nd Tour of Utah stage by making the break of the day and then still sprinting to 10th place after getting caught by the reduced peloton. Jure Kocjan (Smartstop) was the rider who won the stage. Click here to view the article
  13. After an early attack by Adrien Niyonshuti was caught inside of the first 15km, Jay then went on the attack and would lead the race solo up to the 40km mark where 3 riders then joined up with our South African strongman. The yellow jersey team was a bit nervous to give the break much of a gap so Jay and company were held at 4 minutes for the majority of the day. The only real obstacle of the day was the cat 3 climb that came with 30km to go. It was here that the break lost their advantage and a fast tempo in the peloton saw only 45 odd riders survive over the top. MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung had 3 riders in this lead group, Jay, Johann van Zyl and Natnael Berhane. It was a quick run-in to the final city circuits and Johann again showed the great form he is in by being involved in all of the attacks that went on the 3 local laps. Natnael also showed promising signs to close down a few late moves and keep his GC battle aspirations in tact while a few others lost time. Jay sat in for the final few kilometers to prepare for the group sprint and despite spending a lot of energy in a 110km breakaway effort, he could still sprint to 10th place. I am finally finding my legs again so I can't complain about today. I knew the final climb from doing it in the past and I knew it wasn't an easy one. For some reason I also wanted to test my legs in the break. In a way I am disappointed how things worked out, but in a way I'm also happy. Unfortunately I messed up the sprint and I couldn't fight for the victory but I really feel like my form is building so I will keep on trying. Jay Thomson - Rider
  14. Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung got the Tour of Utah off to a great start with Johann van Zyl taking 5th place after a 200km long breakaway. The stage win went to Kiel Reijnen (United Healthcare). Click here to view the article
  15. With a long 212km stage on the cards today, Johann "vanSnail" threw caution to the wind and attacked with 6 other riders after just 6km of racing. The 7 escapees combined well to forge out a solid lead of just over 14 minutes. It would be a long day of hard work out front though for our young South African and his breakaway mates. United Healthcare and Cannondale-Garmin began the initial chase with still 160km to go and the 14 minute gap to the leaders slowly started to decrease. The only real obstacle of the day was the Cat 2 climb that topped out with just less than 60km to go. It was on this climb that the breakaway was reduced to just 3 riders, Johann, Gregory Daniel (Axeon) and Emerson Oronte (SmartStop). The 3 leaders still had a 5'30" gap with a 50km gradual descent to the line left to race. What was going against them though was the fact that it was now around 5 or 6 teams who would be committing to the chase and they had a strong headwind to contend with. Johann certainly looked the strongest of the 3 leaders and with 10km to go it was down to just Johann and Daniel with the peloton now a minute back. Attacks soon came from the main bunch once the duo were within sight and the eventual stage winner Reijnen, along with Alex Howes (Cannondale-Garmin) and Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing) would bridge across to the 2 original leaders with just 3km to go. The five put their heads down and made it with 4 seconds to spare over the charging peloton. Howes took 2nd, Phinney 3rd, Daniel 4th and Johann was 5th while also winning the most aggressive rider jersey for his troubles. Today was probably the easiest I've ever gotten into a break. I knew if a biggish group got a big enough gap there would be the possibility to survive. With my first jump I managed to get across to the 6 other riders and we quickly got the 14 minute gap. My confidence grew with every minute we gained. Over the last climb we were only 3 left and I drove it as hard as possible to try and make it to the end. Eventually I lived up to my nickname and finished 5 out of 5, but I am super happy to have the most aggressive jersey. This week I want to race as hard as possible to get into my best shape and hopefully make my grand tour debut in Spain. Johann van Zyl - Rider It was a very strong ride by Johann today. It was only due to a bit of bad luck, the strong headwind in the canyon after the climb that stopped the break from arriving at the line alone. Johann was the strongest but with the headwind he needed the help of the others so he had to wait until the small climbs at the end to try attack them but then it was too late. Jean-Pierre Heynderickx - Sport Director
  16. For the second time this year, Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung will race on American soil as our African team start the UCI 2.HC Tour of Utah on Monday 3 August. Click here to view the article
  17. The Tour of Utah is a 7 stage event, finishing on the 9th of August but only after the 16 teams have completed the 1100km route. It will be the 2nd time MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung take part in the Tour of Utah after debuting in the race back in 2013. The route is well balanced with opportunities for the sprinters and punchers in the first 5 days thereafter the climbers will have the chance to decide the GC over the final 2 stages. It will be important for our MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung team to race visibly as we represent our wheel partner, ENVE Composited in their home state. The event itself also serves a key event in our Vuelta a Espana preparation as the Utah high altitude will be beneficial to our riders that are hoping to participate in the Spanish grand tour later this month. We will line up with a strong team led by Natnael Berhane who comes off a 5th place finish at the recent Tour of Austria. Our stage victor from Austria, Johann van Zyl is also in Utah along with Jay Thomson, Songezo Jim, Adrien Niyonshuti, Youcef Reguigui, Matt Brammeier and Matt Goss. I am happy to be part of this race wearing my national jersey once again. I was in Austria a few weeks ago and now I am in America, it is great motivation for me to be showing the flag of Eritrea in these different countries. I have been training well for the Tour of Utah. Tour of Utah is also part of my build up for the Vuelta so I would like to finish high up on the GC here. It will be good for my morale ahead of the Vuelta if I can ride well here. The goal is to continue just as the team has done so over the last few weeks and months. We want to race at the front, we must be visible and we want to try and win a stage. Jean-Pierre Heynderickx - Sport Director
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