Champion System Sport Director Franky Van Haesebroucke said the three-day race that begins with a prologue time trial favors Traksel. The veteran Dutchman won the race in 2008 and finished third in 2010.
“We are looking to Bobbie’s experience to lead the team over a course that features hard cobblestone roads and short, steep finishing climbs,” van Haesebroucke said.
Traksel, “most aggressive rider” at the Tour of Oman earlier this month, said he is ready for a better experience than the opening weekend of the Belgian classics. A crash blocked him from making the front group at last Saturday’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and racing was called off Sunday for Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne due to snow.
“You could say that Three Days of West-Vlaanderen is my race,” Traksel said. “My condition is good, the spirit of the team is strong, and this is a race that I love.”
Among the others on Champion System’s roster with experience at Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen is Ryan Roth. The Canadian national road champion finished 10th in last year’s prologue.
Champion System will also benefit from Van Haesebroucke’s knowledge of the area. The Belgian won Stage 6 of the Ronde van West-Vlaanderen in 1991.
Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen Roster (March 1-3):
Clinton Avery (NZL), Matt Brammeier (IRL), Matthias Friedemann (GER), Pengda Jiao (CHN), Mart Ojavee (EST), Ryan Roth (CAN), Bobbie Traksel (NED), Kin San Wu (HKG).
Sport Director: Franky van Haesebroucke (BEL).