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The Champion System Team
ProConti team had been formed to help develop Asian riders
Champion System Pro Cycling Team is folding after two years in the professional peloton. The China-based Professional Continental team was formed with the objective of giving emerging Asian riders to opportunity to ride at the highest level. There was no reason given for its discontinuance, as the Spanish website Biciciclismo has reported.
Champion was started in 2010 at the Continental level and moved up to Professional Continental in 2012, under the leadership of Ed Beamon, who had been involved in the failed Pegasus project. The original plan was to move up to WorldTour status and ride the Grand Tours, hopefully within five years.
The team rode a full calendar in Asia, Europe and the US this season, from Qatar to the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad to the Tour of California. It received WorldTour wild card invitations only to the Tour of Beijing and the one-day races in Montreal and Quebec.
The team has featured non-Asian riders such as Jaan Kirsipuu, Cameron Wurf, and Craig Lewis, with Bobbie Treksel and Matt Brammeier joining the team this year.
The year's biggest winner was Zachary Bell, who won stages at the Tour de Korea and the Tour de Taiwan, as well as the Canadian national road title. Brammeier won the Irish road title, and Chun Kei Feng won both the Taiwan road and time trial titles.
At the team's presentation in 2012, its first ProConti, year, Beamon said, “Hopefully, we will take this team to the Tour de France and the WorldTour and we'll carry the hopes and dreams of a lot of Asian and Chinese kids along with it."
Champion System, producer of custom sport clothing, will continue to be present in the WorldTour as official supplier for Lampre-Merida.