July 21/07 9:36 am - Tour De Delta: Stage 1 report & photos
Posted by Editoress on 07/21/07
Tour De Delta July 20th, Delta BC
Stage 1: Brenco Hill Climb
Photos by Greg Descantes
The Yukon strongman, Zach Bell of Symmetrics Cycling Fuelled by Farm Pure Foods, survived a slippery start on a cold, wet night for a record third victory in the Brenco Hill climb, the opening event of the 7th annual Tour de Delta.
"It was real slick out there," said the Watson Lake native who now calls Burnaby home. "It was hard transfer the power to the road in the firsts 15 meters. I spun out 3 times before I got going."
Despite his problems with a steady rain that fell all race long, the 24 year old posted a winning time of 1.09.52, more than 3 seconds faster than his Symmetrics teammate Will Routley of Whistler. Defending champion, Ryan Hopping of Fort Mcmurray was 3rd.
It's the 2nd victory of BC Superweek for Bell who also took the tour de White Rock criterium. It was the 3rd victory and 9th podium finish of BC Superweek for the men on the Langley based Symmetrics squad.
"We expected to do well this week," said Bell. "The wet weather favours us. We're used to it. I'm a little unhappy because my time was 4 seconds worse than the record I set a couple of years ago (in 2004) but it was tough out there tonight."
A hardy 32 of the 36 registered riders showed up at the start line for the Women's race even though the 700 meter course had turned increasingly slick in the steady rainfall that began only moments before racetime.
"It was a little bit slippery but it wasn't that bad as long as you took clean lines and were comfortable on your bike," reported Malindills "You Can Now Call Me Malindy" Maclean of Clevedon, New Zealand. No one was more comfortable than her. The 18 year old was the fastest of the night, 1.25.92, posting the first win of her road racing career. Leah Guloien of Port Moody was 2nd and 3rd went to Maclean's Kiwi teammate Alison Shanks.
"I"ve only been road racing for 6 months so it feels great to win, especially because now I can use my real name," she said laughingly. "Malindy is what I've been called all my life but my teammates (Jazz Apple Cycling Team) said I would have to be called Malindills until I won a race. It gave me a little extra motivation."
After 2 months on the road in Canada and the US, "Malindy" and her half dozen teammates are looking forward to returning home where she'll enter her 2nd year in pre law and psychology at the University of Aukland.
"We've been on the road for a long time but it's been great," said the former Track Sprinter who recently finished in the top 10 at the Junior World championships. "BC Superweek has been fantastic. It's wonderful to see the support you get here from the volunteers and the fans To see all these people turn out on a night like this and to see those big crowds in Gastown despite that weather the other night. It's pretty special. I hope we'll be back again next year."
They'll all be back tomorrow night for the Lehigh Cement criterium from 4.30 to 9 pm in downtown Ladner. The Tour de Delta concludes with the White Spot Road Race at 9 am Sunday from North Delta to Tsawwassen.
1. Zach Bell (Can) Symmetrics Cycling, 1:09.52
2. Will Routley (Can) Symmetrics Cycling, at 0:03
3. Ryan Hopping (Can) La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries
1. Malindills Maclean (NZl) JAZZ Apple Cycling Team, 1:25.92
2. Leah Guloien (Can) Team Giant
3. Alison Shanks (NZl) JAZZ Apple Cycling Team
Full results when available