Champion System’s Traksel Holds onto Most Aggressive Jersey At Oman
Bobbie Traksel of the Champion System Pro Cycling Team remains in the most aggressive rider jersey after Tuesday’s Stage 2 of the Tour of Oman.
Champion System General Manager Ed Beamon said the team’s top priority was to hold onto the jersey, making it crucial to get into the day's breakaway again.
Traksel, who also initiated the break on the opening stage, escaped just four kilometers from the start of the 146 kilometer stage and only Tomohiro Kinoshita (Japan) grabbed his wheel. The pair rapidly built up a lead of nearly six-and-a-half minutes. Similarly to Monday's stage, the Dutchman won the first intermediate sprint, which helped secure his hold on the most aggressive rider classification.
“The gap was so big after he took the first sprint that we decided to continue with the breakaway to try to get to the KOM (King of the Mountain),” Beamon said.
Yet, the duo experienced intense headwinds as they ascended the first categorized climb, forcing Traksel to sit up before the summit. Kinoshita forged ahead, but soon was also absorbed by the chasing peloton.
“We had a bit of wind from the front on the big roads leading to the climb and the peloton was able to close a lot in the last 10 kilometers before the climb,” Traksel said. “I think we only needed 20 to 30 seconds more and I would have had a chance to get over in front of the chase.”
Cresting the second categorized climb, the peloton splintered and a group of 50 riders barreled together to the finish in Al Bustan. Peter Sagan (Cannondale) soloed to take the win and the leader’s red jersey. Traksel finished 142nd, nearly 12 minutes back of Sagan. Chun Kai Feng, who was 54th on the stage, is Champion System's best-placed rider overall in 51st (1:05 behind).
Beamon said Champion System will continue to defend the jersey in Wednesday’s 190 km stage that features two intermediate sprints and a categorized climb.
“I'm happy we keep the jersey another day and I will keep trying all week,” Traksel said.