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Track rider bounces back from disappointing result in 2011 to win silver months out of Olympic Games

(Melbourne, AUS – April 6, 2012) Canadian versatile cyclist and international track star Zach Bell, a rider from Watson Lake, Yukon who currently resides in North Vancouver, BC won the silver medal in the men’s omnium at the 2012 UCI Track World Championships.

The silver medal comes a day after Canada won two medals in the women’s team pursuit and points races, adding to the Canadian medal tally now at three.

Bell, who is part of professional cycling squad Team SpiderTech but races track event with Team Canada, was sitting in second place of the overall standing as he entered the second day of competition.

As the day started, Bell posted the second fastest time of the Individual Pursuit, crossing the line with a time of 3:20.371, before finishing in second place of the 100-lap points race.

The suspense at the Melbourne velodrome drew bigger as, with two consecutive second places, Bell jumped to the first place of the overall standings tied with Australian and home crowd favorite rider Glenn O’Shea, with just one event to go – the 1-kilometre time trial.

As the last ride of the day unfolded, Bell posted the eighth fastest time of the groupn—1:04.216, and unfortunately for the Canadian track star, O’Shea was the fastest of the two, posting a time of 1:03.042 to win the World title.

Bell, who won the omnium silver medal at the 2009 edition of these World Championships, has been a consistent and performing rider at international events in the grueling events. Since the omnium has been presented at UCI World Cups and World Championships, Bell climbed on the podium in each but one of the events in which he took part. In 2011, Bell was crowned the UCI World Cup Tour Champion, a title that is awarded to the best overall rider of the entire season, but had failed to win a World Championships medal.

This season, Bell competed at two UCI World Cup events –Cali, Colombian and London, GBR–, and stepped on the podium at both events.

With a ticket to the 2012 Games secured for the men’s omnium, Bell can now focus on his training plan and preparations for optimal performance. Bell will carry with him some valuable Olympic experience in the next four months, as the only rider on the current National Team showing Olympic Games experience. At the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, Bell came in seventh of the points race.

“We are extremely proud of this well deserved silver medal by Zach bell, as well as the two medals won by the women’s team pursuit and the points race. We have invested significant efforts and energies in our programs targeted by Own The Podium, such as the omnium and the women’s team pursuit,” said Jacques Landry, Director of High Performance for the Canadian Cycling Association.”

“Canada is enjoying remarkable success with its track program, as well as with our other disciplines. With only four months to go before the Olympic Games, we are confident our riders are among the best in the world.”

In the men’s sprint, Canada did not fare as well as hoped. Joseph Veloce of Fonthill, ON and Travis Smith of Calgary, AB, who both raced the men’s team sprint on Wednesday, placed in the 34th and 41st respectively in the qualifiers, and did not advance to the elimination rounds.

Tara Whittenof Edmonton, AB also began her day of racing in the women’s omnium race. Whitten, the two-time defending World Champion, is currently sitting in eighth place of the event, after three races.

The 2012 UCI World Championships in Melbourne continues tomorrow with the conclusion of the women’s omnium, as well as the women’s keirin, in which Canadian rider and 2012 Panamerican Champion Monique Sullivan of Calgary will participate with the objectives to solidify her Olympic spot.

Full results and live timing of the event can be found at or by visiting





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