Champion System Team with five national champions in 2013 roster
The Champion System Pro Cycling Team will count five reigning national champions among its 2013 roster, including new signees Irish road cycling champion Matt Brammeier, South Korean road champion Chan Jae Jang and Japanese time trial champion Ryota Nishizono.
WorldTour veteran Gregor Gazvoda will also become part of Asia's first pro continental team, General Manager Ed Beamon announced Monday, while Chinese national road champion Gang Xu makes his return to the squad. Canadian road champion Ryan Roth, whose signing was previously announced, completes the roster of national champions.
"Having national champions representing five nations and three continents is a strong indication of how interesting and diverse the Champion System team is," Beamon said. "We are especially proud to be broadening our Asian base. Having a South Korean and Japanese national champion on the team validates our commitment to finding the best talent in Asia and providing them the opportunity to fulfill their potential on a world stage."
Brammeier is a three-time Irish national road champion (2010-2012) and two-time national time trial champion (2010 and 2011). The 27-year-old comes to Champion System from Team Omega Pharma-Quick Step. He was runner-up on Stage 2 of the Tour of Qatar this year. In 2011, he was runner-up in stage 6 of this year's Tour of Austria. Signing with the team ends a frustrating few months and has him anxious to get rolling, he said.
"It's going to be an exciting year and what I hope is a step forward in my career," Brammeier said. "I have spent the past two seasons on some of the world's biggest teams in mainly a supporting role. So I am quite confident I can play that role at a good level now. However, next year I want to make a step up and put some more pressure on myself, play my cards a little more and put some results on my palmares. I also want to pass on my experience helping some of the younger guys. and, of course, play a supporting role to our sprinters and climbers when and where I am needed."
Gazvoda, 31, arrives from Ag2r-La Mondiale. The three-time Slovenian national time trial champion (2005, 2008 and 2010) was runner-up in that event this past season. In 2011, he was the overall winner of the Tour of Qinghai Lake and champion of the single day Tour of Vojvodina I.
"I am honored to join a team that is young, motivated and eager to progress," Gazvoda said. "Cycling in Asia is developing very fast and I am proud to be a part of the first Asian professional cycling team and ready to give my best to help our team be more successful."
Jae Jang, 23, won Stage 3 of the Tour de Korea this year, led the race for two days and was runner-up on Stage 2 of the Tour of Thailand. Also a past stage winner at the Tour de Seoul (2010), he arrives from the Terengganu Cycling Team. His father is head coach of the Korean national team.
"I look forward to being the part of the team and am also the first Korean to join on," Jae Jang said. "I have heard that Europe and American racing are totally different styles, so I really want to experience that."
Nishizono, 25, was runner-up at