Bobbie Traksel aims to keep Oman most aggressive jersey after a second day on the attack
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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Bobbie Traksel aims to keep Oman most aggressive jersey after a second day on the attack

by Ben Atkins at 1:55 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of Oman
Dutch rider spends two days in front of the race to cement polka-dot jersey lead

bobbie trakselBobbie Traksel (Champion System) is hoping to make the most aggressive rider classification at this year’s Tour of Oman his own, after spending his second straight day in a two-man breakaway. Rather than a pure combativity award, the classification is decided by an amalgamation of the points accumulated on intermediate sprints and mountains.

For this reason it was seen as essential for Traksel to get into the day’s breakaway.

Traksel was on the attack in the first kilometre of yesterday’s first stage, and jumped clear of the peloton after just four kilometres in stage two today. Coincidentally, the riders to go with him on both days were from the Japanese National Team, as Kohei Uchima joined the break yesterday, and Tomohiro Kinoshira today.

On both occasions, the two-man breaks were able to build substantial leads, but were ultimately unable to stay away to the finish.

“The gap was so big after he took the first sprint that we decided to continue with the breakaway to try to get to the KOM [Mountain points - ed],” Champion System general manager Ed Beamon said of today’s second stage.

Unfortunately for Traksel’s stage winning ambitions, the tough course made it too much to accomplish, and he was forced to concede to the peloton on the climb to Al Himraya with less than 25km to go. This meant that he missed out on taking any mountain points in the stage, and also missed out on the intermediate sprint.

“We had a bit of wind from the front on the big roads leading to the climb and the peloton was able to close a lot in the last ten kilometres before the climb,” the Dutchman explained. “I think we only needed 20 to 30 seconds more and I would have had a chance to get over in front of the chase.”

As the peloton accelerated further over the two late climbs, with attacks from riders like Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff) and Vincenzo Nibali (Cannondale), the bunch fractured into several pieces. Traksel was unable to stay with the front group and eventually finished the stage alone, some 11’52’ behind stage winner Peter Sagan (Cannondale).

With the late attacks from the peloton, Traksel was unable to score on either of the day's climbs, as well as missing the second sprint, but he sits comfortably in the overall lead of the competition with 12 points.

With the jersey now Champion System’s main target for the race, Traksel will almost certainly be seen on the attack again.

“I'm happy we keep the jersey another day and I will keep trying all week,” he said.


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