Matrah Corniche, Oman — Champion System Pro Cycling Team’s Bobbie Traskel took home honors as the most aggressive rider at the Tour of Oman Saturday after securing and protecting the jersey since the first day of racing.
Heading into the final stage, only Jesus Hernandez (Team Saxo-Tinkoff) had the potential of stealing the jersey from Traksel, but it would have required him to take maximum points on the sprints and climbs. But Hernandez garnered no additional points in the 144-kilometer race.
“This is a great start for the season for me,” Traksel said. “These races were great preparation for me and I’m feeling very good about my new position on the Champion System team.”
Chun Kai Feng was Champion System’s leader on the final overall classification, finishing the six-day stage race in 33rd place, 6:33 behind overall race leader Christopher Froome (Sky Procycling).
Champion System General Manager Ed Beamon said he was proud of the team’s overall effort to preserve the jersey in a race that saw Traksel in the breakaway on Stages 1, 2 and 3, Chan Jae Jang in the breakaway supporting Traksel on Stage 3 and Matthias Friedman with the lead group to secure crucial points to protect Traksel’s lead on Stage 4.
Being Asia’s first and only pro continental team, it was important for Champion System to have a solid showing at a race of this caliber, Beamon said.
“A podium at an event of this stature is great for our sponsors, particularly for Champion System and the endorsement of their support,” Beamon said. “The guys did a great job committing to a goal and I am especially proud that our Asian guys were able to contribute.”
The final stage began in Nawit Nagam Park, crossed an intermediate sprint and a categorized climb before hitting a two-and-a-half lap circuit finish in Matrah Corniche. An early three-man breakaway was caught when the peloton hit the circuits. A chaotic showdown ensued that fractured the peloton and only approximately 80 riders were in the front group with a kilometer to go. Nacher Bouhanni (FDJ) won in a sprint finish.