Bobbie Traksel gave Champion System some early glory in the Tour of Oman, going on the attack to take the polka-dot most aggressive rider jersey on stage one and then successfully defending the crown on stage two by making the break of the day yet again.
The Dutchman jumped away with Kohei Uchima of the Japanese national team on stage one, and was joined by Tomohiro Kinoshita (Japan) on stage two. Both times they spent more than 100km out front battling the warm wind blowing inland from the Sea of Oman.
Traksel picked up points on the climb and in the sprints on stage one and won the first sprint on stage two, to give him a total of 12 points and a place on the prize presentation podium. He and Kimoshita tried to stay away until the climbs but were hindered by the headwind and were caught by the peloton as the racing exploded on the first climb.
Traksel lost almost 12 minutes when he was caught on the climb, slipping to last in the general classification. But importantly he pulled on the polka-dot jersey for another day.
With riders of the caliber of Peter Sagan (Cannondale) and Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) also wearing classification jerseys in Oman, Traksel is in excellent company.
"It's important for the team to make a big impression in a race like this and with such a strong field of riders. It's great for us to be in this race and so we're going to try and take advantage of that and do something every day," he told Cyclingnews.
"It's going to be difficult to keep it with the field here [but] I'll try. Now we have a good goal to focus on this week," Traksel said, promising to go on the attack yet again on stage three.