“We are very happy and honored to be invited to the USA Pro Challenge this year,” Champion System General Manager Ed Beamon said. “The race was a highlight of our season in 2012 and is one of the most prestigious events on the world calendar.”
In Champion System’s inaugural year at the race last year, Chris Butler finished in the top 20 and the team featured in numerous breakaways. Heading into this year’s race, Beamon said he selected a dynamic roster that will support Butler in the general classification while also letting them hunt for stage wins.
“We plan to bring a strong team combining our North American and Asian riders,” Beamon said. “Butler will have strong support from countrymen Chad Beyer and Boulder resident Craig Lewis. We look to race aggressively with an eye on potential stage victories.”
Butler, a fourth-year professional, said that he always enjoys the USA Pro Challenge because race organizers keep the course fresh, tough and exciting every year.
“It really gives a bike racer a lot to look forward to,” Butler said. “I was happy to finish in the top 20 last year against some of the world’s best stage racers, but I am really focused and motivated to improve on those results. I’m ready to see how I stack up against the best guys in such a significant event.”
Champion System’s title sponsor is a leading Hong-Kong based custom cycling clothing manufacturer and Beamon said the race allows the team to showcase the company’s apparel in America.
“The USA Pro Challenge gives us another great opportunity to represent Champion System and show off the great technical wear the company is producing,” Beamon said. “The potential variety of weather conditions we’ll face are the ideal venue to highlight the company’s diverse performance line.”
The seven-day, nearly 600-mile stage race begins in Aspen and features altitudes of over 12,000-feet.
In addition to the USA Pro Challenge, Champion System has also accepted invitations to two other North American races: the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah (Aug. 5-11) and the Tour of Alberta (Sept. 3-8). The team’s roster for all three races will be announced at a later time.
Craig Lewis (USA) – Age: 27 | Years Pro: 9
“This is the biggest race of the year for me. I’ve had my sights on it since the finish in Denver last year and I’m really happy the Champion System Team has received this prestigious invitation. I came close in stage 2 last year and I am really motivated to get a stage victory this year.”
Ryan Roth (CAN), Canadian national champion – Age: 30 | Years Pro: 3
“What I love most about this race is the opportunity to race in front of such enthusiastic and knowledgeable crowds. Colorado is a beautiful playground and the level of competition is as good as it gets in North America…and maybe the world.”
Chad Beyer (USA) – Age: 26 | Years Pro: 5
Earned the Amgen’s Breakaway from Cancer® “most courageous rider” jersey following Stage 3 at the Amgen Tour of California.
“What more can I say about such a great race…it is going to be fun to do.”
Chun Kai Feng (TPE) – Age: 27 | Years Pro: 1
Winner of the King of the Mountains jersey at the Tour of Taiwan.
“I love to compete for KOM jersey in many races in Asia. I know the Colorado mountains are the most famous in the world so I am really looking forward to an opportunity to race there.”
Biao Liu (CHN) – Age: 25 | Years Pro: 6
“My race in USA Pro Challenge last year was the most exciting racing experience of my life. I am from the high altitude of Tibet, and I can see how the big mountains in Colorado create a most difficult challenge for every rider.”
Champion System’s Chad Beyer will be in action in his home country at the USA Pro Challenge.
(Brian Hodes, VeloImages.)