Champion System signs KBK winner Traksel; Butler, Lewis will return

Chris Butler, Craig Lewis extend with China's first Pro Continental team

Champion System announced on Tuesday that it had bolstered its classics squad with 2010 Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne winner Bobbie Traksel. The Chinese-registered Pro Continental team also confirmed that Americans Craig Lewis and Chris Butler would return in 2013.

“Bobbie will be an important leader for us next year,” said Beamon. “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’s foul weather win in Kuurne was one of the most memorable in recent classics history, but a move to the failed Australian Pegasus squad torpedoed his shot at the WorldTour in 2011. He signed with Belgian Pro Continental squad Landbouwkrediet and will join Champion System at the end of the year.

“I hope to take the next step in my career with new input from a different country,” Traksel said. “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.”