Traksel signs with Champion System for 2013

The Champion System Pro Cycling Team announced today that Bobbie Traksel has signed with the Chinese-registered Pro Continental squad for 2013. General manager Ed Beamon welcomed the addition of the experienced Classics rider, whose palmares are highlighted by a victory in the 2010 edition of Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, contested in brutal weather conditions.

"Bobbie will be an important leader for us next year," Beamon said. "His knowledge of the Belgian and Dutch races, along with his combatant approach and commitment to team dynamics, will be a great value in our continued development. A good team needs strong leadership and I expect Bobbie to be on the front line as a rider and a mentor as we continue to build China's first Pro Continental team."

Traksel, 30, turned professional in 2001 for Rabobank and has competed on Dutch and Belgian teams throughout his career. The Dutchman rode for Rabobank from 2001 through 2004, spent the next four years at, Unibet Palmans-Cras, and P3Transfer-Batavus, and then signed with Vacansoleil in 2009.

After two years with Vacansoleil, Traksel had intended to race for the Australian-based Pegasus Sports in 2011, but the team collapsed prior to the season's start and the Dutchman instead rode for the Belgian Pro Continental team Landbouwkrediet in 2011 and 2012.

In addition to his 2010 victory at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, Traksel's other notable race results include a stage win and overall victory at the 2008 Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen plus victory at the 2002 Veenendaal-Veenendaal. Prior to turning professional, Traksel showed his promise in the Classics by winning the U23 Tour of Flanders.

"I hope to take the next step in my career with new input from a different country," Traksel said of his move to Champion System. "In every place in the world, there are other ways of doing things and I want to learn about that and about the different types of riders from Asia. But I don't want to change everything. It's still my goal to win a big Belgian race, like one of the Flanders classics."

Traksel will join returning Champion System Classics riders Clinton Avery, Matthias Friedemann and Mart Ojavee and play a vital role for the team in lead-outs and finishes, Beamon said. Additionally, Americans Craig Lewis and Chris Butler will return next year after playing integral roles for a team that won five races on three different continents during the 2012 season. The list of returning Asian riders will be announced at a future date.

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