Bobbie Traksel Signs With Champion System For 2013
Past Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne winner Bobbie Traksel's signing with the Champion System Pro Cycling Team for 2013 fortifies the pro continental squad's classics team, General Manager Ed Beamon announced Tuesday.
Traksel will join returning Champion System classics riders Clinton Avery, Matthias Friedemann and Mart Ojavee and play a vital role for the Chinese-registered team in lead outs and finishes, Beamon said.
"Bobbie will be an important leader for us next year," Beamon said. "His knowledge of the Belgian and Dutch races, along with his combatant approach and commitment to team dynamics, will be a great value in our continued development. A good team needs strong leadership and I expect Bobbie to be on the front line as a rider and a mentor as we continue to build China's first pro continental team."
In addition to announcing the re-signings of Avery, Friedemann and Ojavee, Beamon also said Americans Craig Lewis and Chris Butler will return to the team next year after playing integral roles for a team that won five races on three different continents in its inaugural season. The team will announce the list of returning Asian riders at a later time, Beamon said.
Traksel, 30, comes to Champion System from the Belgian pro continental squad Landbouwkrediet-Euphony. Among his nine top 10 finishes this year are a pair of fifth places finishes on Stages 4 and 8 at the Tour of Qinghai Lake. He was also the points classification winner at Etoile de Bessèges in February and finished third on Stages 1 and 5a on the way to a 16th place finish overall.
He has previously raced for a number of Dutch teams, including Vacansoleil (2009-2010) and Rabobank (2001-2004) in a professional career that started in 2001. The 2010 winner of Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne also counts an overall win at the 2008 Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen among his five victories that season, along with podium finishes at Nokere Koerse (third in 2010), Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen-Koolskamp (third in 2009) and Ronde van Noord-Holland (second in 2007).
"I hope to take the next step in my career with new input from a different country," Traksel said. "In every place in the world, there are other ways of doing things and I want to learn about that and about the different types of riders from Asia. But I don't want to change everything. It's still my goal to win a big Belgian race, like one of the Flanders classics."