Champion System's Lewis, Traksel Out With Injuries
Hong Kong SAR - The Champion System Pro CyclingTeam will be without Craig Lewis and Bobbie Traksel for races this week due to injuries suffered recently in and out of competition.
Traksel underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee earlier last week after experiencing pain in some early-season races. Despite the discomfort, he still earned "most aggressive rider" honors at the Tour of Oman and finished third on Stage 2 of Driedaagse van West-Vla anderen.
"I had already had a few weeks of problems with my right knee and the most important part of the spring was over," Traksel said. "It was a choice between surgery now or after the season. But to put it off any longer would have meant more problems and pain."
Beamon said he hopes the 31-year-old Dutchman is able to return to competition in time for the Four Days of Dunkirk in early May.
"It is disappointing because he ends up missing the races that are most important to him," Beamon said. "This is especially tough because it is the part of the season where the weather really favors a guy like him."
Lewis will be out for an undetermined amount of time after breaking his right elbow in a crash during Brabantse Pijl on last Wednesday.
"A crash happened to the left of me - maybe somebody overlapped a wheel or something," Lewis said. "Gerald Ciolek went over the handlebars into me and I went over him. Everybody else landed on the pavement, but I landed on this one little stretch of cobblestones off the side of the road."
Lewis had been slated to start the Giro del Trentino this week. Beamon said it is difficult to predict when the 27-year-old American will be able to return to action. Lewis's right arm is in a 90-degree cast for the next three weeks, making it impossible to train.
"It's a pretty big bummer because he was an important guy for Trentino and a really important guy for the Amgen Tour of California," Beamon said.
A two-time Under 23 national champion, Lewis knows well the path back from injury. In 2004, he broke more than 40 bones when he was hit by a car in the Tour de Georgia. In 2011, he crashed and broke his left femur at the Giro d'Italia.
"My whole spring is a wash now," he said. "At least I can be fresh coming into the summer and fall and hopefully will be able to show myself then."
Champion System, Asia's first and only pro continental team, did not replace Traskel for a pair of weekend races in France: Tour du Finistère on Saturday and Tro-Bro Léon on Sunday. Filling out the seven-man roster was Clinton Avery, Matthias Friedemann, Mart Ojavee, Ryan Roth, Fabian Schnaidt, Wang Yip Tang and Kin San Wu.
Lewis is replaced on the Giro del Trentino roster by Kin San Wu, Beamon said. The rest of the roster is set: Chad Beyer, Chris Butler, Gregor Gazvoda, Korean national road champion Chan Jae Jang, Japanese time trial champion Ryota Nishizono, Adiq Othman and Chinese national road champion Gang Xu. The four-day, five-stage race in Italy has started on Tuesday.