Irish cycling world champion Martyn Irvine comes out of retirement to sign contract with new Irish professional team
Former track world champion Martyn Irvine and four-time national road race champion Matt Brammeier are among the new signings confirmed by the Irish Pro Continental team Aqua Blue Sport.
Irvine, 31, announced his retirement from cycling in January and returned to work as a mechanic, but after a change of heart during the summer he will return to the road with the ambitious new Irish team, which will include Milan-San Remo, Amstel Gold and the Tour of Britain on its race list for 2017.
“Very few Irish athletes get the experience to ride at this level so I feel very lucky to be getting this opportunity and not just about competing but being part of what Rick (Delaney) is trying to achieve,” said Irvine.
The Aqua Blue team has been established by Cork business man Delaney, who has guaranteed the financial backing of the team for the next four years. Delaney, who is based in Monaco, is behind the domestic team that races under a similar name. The team aims to compete at World Tour level be 2020 and ultimately the Tour de France.
Brammeier will also bring plenty of experience as he joins from World Tour outfit Dimension Data, where he has been for the last two years.
Former An Post-Chainreaction rider Conor Dunne joins from JLT Condor along with 2015 Tour de Yorkshire winner Lars Petter Nordhaug, who signs on after two years with Team Sky.
Tour de France stage winner Nicki Sorensen will be on board as a sports director along with Irishman Tim Barry. The team are believed to have signed at least 10 new riders, with further details to be revealed soon.