Just over a week ago we joined part-time bike rider / full-time barista Matthew Brammeier at the finish of Stage 1 of the Tour of Britain in a super-sunny Wrexham. It was the first time his teammates had seen Matt since his horrific collision with a team car on a fast descent at Tour of Utah a few weeks ago. As each of the Team MTN-Qhubeka riders arrived back at the team bus after the race their faces lit up to see Matt, balanced on crutches, beaming back at them. There followed high-fives, handshakes and a number of delicate man-hugs (he's still suffering the after-effects of 3 busted ribs and a cracked pelvis). We were privileged to witness these moments and the camaraderie amongst this band of brothers was evident for all to see. In fact the joy and perhaps even relief on their faces was quite touching - this is no ordinary bunch of bike riders, it's a family.
Earlier that day Matt had confidently predicted that Edvald Boasson Hagen was their man for GC and his tip to be in yellow come 5.30PM in London 8 days later. This was no blind loyalty to a teammate - there was a real belief and certainty in his prediction. Eddie didn't quite have the top end speed to outsprint the likes of Viviani, Cavendish and Greipel that day, but during the course of the race he proved to be the strongest guy overall. And what a race it was. Gruelling - and that was just following it with a camera. Narrow, grippy roads, crosswinds and World Class teams all motivated to finish the season strongly. Here we caught-up with Eddie as a huge crowd gathered at the Team MTN-Qhubeka bus ahead of the final stage in London. Elbows were out as we jostled for position to interview our man!
Below is a gallery of Team MTN-Qhubeka shots we were able to capture during the week. Hope you enjoy.