Champion System Eager for First Amgen Tour of California
Hong Kong, SAR - The Champion System Pro Cycling Team heads to its first Amgen Tour of California with a versatile and motivated roster.
Champion System General Manager Ed Beamon said the team's diverse line-up should allow Asia's first and only pro continental team to make a significant impact on the eight-day, 730-mile race that begins Sunday in Escondido. The race features an individual time trial around San Jose and a summit finish on Mount Diablo before crossing the Golden Gate Bridge to finish in Santa Rosa.
"Our goal will be to add excitement to the race and attempt to animate every stage," Beamon said. "I think we have a strong group of opportunistic guys and you can expect to see national champions Matt Brammeier (Ireland) and Ryan Roth (Canada) spearheading an aggressive approach that will target a stage win."
Beamon said he is looking to his most experienced Amgen Tour of California riders for the overall classification: Americans Chad Beyer and Chris Butler. Beyer, who recently completed a solid block of European races, said he feels confident about his form heading into his home country's race.
"I've done the Tour of California two times before and it's always a treat to do a big race on home soil," Beyer said. "I think those European races have definitely brought my form up a level. I'm anxious to get out there and see what we can do."
Fresh off earning "most aggressive rider" honors on the final stage of the 4 Jours de Dunkerque stage race in France, former Taiwan national champion Chun Kai Feng heads to the Amgen Tour of California eager and confident.
"It is inconceivable for me to be able to race in the Amgen Tour of California, because it is a huge race," Feng said. "My season has been good so far and the main thing for me is to keep learning."
Missing from the Champion System lineup is American and two-time Under 23 national champion Craig Lewis, who is recovering from a broken elbow suffered during a crash at Brabantse Pijl in early April.
"It is a big disappointment not to have Craig with us at the Amgen Tour of California, but I think we have a great squad and we're looking forward to the team's first appearance here," Beamon said.
The team's title sponsor, Champion System, is a leading Hong Kong-based custom cycling clothing manufacturer that is providing the Amgen Tour of California's custom race leader jerseys, complete with rider names.
Champion System Pro Cycling Team Amgen Tour of California Roster (May 12-19):
Chad Beyer (USA), Chris Butler (USA), Matt Brammeier (IRL), Chun Kai Feng (TPE), Gregor Gazvoda (SLO), Ryan Roth (CAN), Bobbie Traksel (NED), Kin San Wu (HKG).