May 8/08 9:31 am - Pan Am Champs Madison Gold for Bell & Tuft: report and photos
Posted by Editoress on 05/8/08
It's a Hat-trick in Uruguay!
Courtesy Denise Kelly - Team Manager
Canadians continue to dominate the competition at the velodrome in Montevideo with another convincing win in the Madison. Zach Bell and Svein Tuft controlled the race from start to finish en route to another gold medal. They took the first sprint then a lap with the Chileans and never looked back.
The teams rode a few laps warily as they waited for the Canadians to animate the race. Content to let the race the unfold, Bell bided his time and won the first sprint (of eight to be contested) convincingly over the American, Columbian and Argentinean riders. A Mexican rider escaped just prior to the second sprint when an American rider had the misfortune to be taken out by the Uruguayan home team. Bell narrowly escaped the incident and the pack sat up for a bit. The Mexican took the next sprint with Canada finishing second.
At this point the field was reduced as neither rider in the crash was able to continue - US and Uruguay headed to the sidelines. The Mexicans were caught and the Chileans chopped at the Canadians lead as they won the third and fourth sprints, coming dangerously close with only two points separating the leaders.
Tuft and Bell ramped it up and took the fifth sprint leaving the Chileans to chase down the leaders. Neither team was content to sit with the group and worked together to gain a lap on the field with just over fifty laps to spare.
There was a tense moment while Tuft was off the front and a Columbian was just hanging out for the exchange sending the Canadian off his intended course. They rallied and Bell got the sprint win for the 6th sprint extending their lead over the Chileans by seven points. With Tuft's sustained motor and Bell's explosive power, they took turns with Tuft winning the 7th sprint.
The Canadians executed exchanges flawlessly throughout the race and the final sprint was a formality despite the Chileans attempts to break away. Columbia took the bronze after the Mexicans faded in the last quarter of the race.
Thursday, Bell will contest the Omnium event on the track while Tuft and David Veilleux check out the Time Trial course for the opening of the two road events on Friday.