Traksel and Brammeier to target Belgian semi-Classics for Champion System
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Monday, February 18, 2013

Traksel and Brammeier to target Belgian semi-Classics for Champion System

by VeloNation Press at 7:53 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de Langkawi, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
 
American trio of Lewis, Beyer and Butler lead team for Tour de Langkawi

Bobbie TrakselHaving come out best in the most aggressive rider competition in the Tour of Oman, Bobbie Traksel will seek to use his current good condition and strong motivation to good ends in Saturday’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Sunday’s Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne races.

The Dutchman won the latter race in 2010 and last year placed fifteenth in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. He is clearly in good shape and is determined to shine. “With the start of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, the season really begins,” he said. “The next couple weeks are all about the team making a good impression on the north European routes.”

For the team’s general manager Ed Beamon, Traksel and Irish champion Matt Brammeier will be the protected riders.

“Bobbie Traksel's knowledge and experience will help guide a motivated group,” he said. “I expect he and Matt Brammeier will be our best opportunity for top places.”

Brammeier came to the team after previously racing with the HTC Highroad and Omega Pharma Quick Step squads and has worked hard over the winter to be in good shape. While the terrain of the Tour of Oman didn’t give him much opportunity to make the most of his condition, he will hope for a more prominent showing in this weekend’s races.

“I'm super motivated and raring to go,” he said, confident that the Tours of Qatar and Oman have helped him build the form he needs. “Hopefully I can learn a lot from Bobbie and he can give me some guidance leading up to and during the race.”

The two events will mark the European debut for the team this season. Traksel and Brammeier will be joined by Clinton Avery, Matthias Friedemann, Mart Ojavee, Ryan Roth, Wang Yip Tang and Kin San Wu.

Craig LewisMeanwhile the team has also confirmed its lineup for the Tour de Langkawi. After racing there with the Asian squad last year, Chris Butler and Craig Lewis (left) return aiming to improve on their eleventh and eighteenth places overall. They will be joined by fellow American Chad Beyer, who moved to the team over the winter, and the trio plus the Slovenian rider Gregor Gazvoda will try to use their climbing abilities on the uphill finishes of the Cameron Highlands and the Genting Highlands.

“I’m confident in my climbing fitness,” said Butler, who confirmed that the race is one of his top targets for this season. “I have trained hard to mix in some speed work in preparation for the race. My teammates are on good climbing form and we are all hungry to race.”

Beyer said that he had put in a lot of training to be ready. “Hopefully it pays off. I've had a chance to look at the stages and it’s going to be a solid race with a couple of big climbing days.”

They will be joined by the Malaysian rider Adiq Othman and the German Fabian Schnaidt; Beamon believes that the latter could fare well in the bunch gallops after picking up stages in last year’s Tour of Qinghai Lake, La Tropicale Amissa Bongo and Oberösterreichrundfahrt.


Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne Rosters (Feb. 23 and 24):

Clinton Avery (NZL), Matt Brammeier (IRL), Matthias Friedemann (GER), Mart Ojavee (EST), Ryan Roth (CAN), Wang Yip Tang (HKG), Bobbie Traksel (NED), Kin San Wu (HKG)

Sport Director: Franky van Haesebroucke (BEL)


Tour of Langkawi Roster (Feb. 21-March 2):

Chad Beyer (USA), Chris Butler (USA), Gregor Gazvoda (SLO), Craig Lewis (USA), Adiq Othman (MAS), Fabian Schnaidt (GER)

Sport Director: Ed Beamon (USA)

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