Posted by Editoress on 05/10/08
Pan Am Championships Omnium Report - Bookend Wins in the Omnium Garner Bell a Silver Medal
By Denise Kelly - Team Manager
Photos by Jenn Turner
Zach Bell started and finished his first Omnium ever in the same way - using his explosiveness to overpower the competition. He was the fastest in the opening 200m time trial, besting all the sprinters.
A Mexican snuck away to gain a lap in the 5 km scratch race while riders marked any move Bell attempted. Attacks and counter-attacks ensued with Bell finding himself at the front with one lap to go. The sprinters got the better of him this time as he settled for 5th place.
There were a few surprises in the pursuit as the Columbian and Dominican Republic riders rode the fastest two times. Bell started out a bit too slowly and despite having the fastest last kilometre of the event, his 3 km time saw him finish in 5th.
At this point Bell was sitting tied for third with the Domincan rider; the Columbian and Argentinean sat in the first two spots. The Mexican wasn't far behind in 4th. Bell had his work cut out for him in the Points Race. He rode a smart race and again the Mexican gained a lap on the field. Points were being spread out in a dangerously close fashion but Bell rallied on the last sprint to secure third spot behind the Chilean.
Going into the final test, the Kilometre, the Columbian and Argentinean were tied with 13 points and Bell had 14. It was game on! Bell was the second last pairing and blasted around the track for the fastest time of 1:10.01. The Columbian and Argentinean crossed the line in 1:10.05 and 1:10.07 respectively. The win for Bell was bittersweet. Although he was tied for first with the Columbian on points, the tie breaker went to the fastest accumulated time in the Pursuit and Kilometre. The Columbian's win in the pursuit gave him the edge.
Bell was content with the silver lining, as he felt that he got stronger as the event unfolded and over the course of a few days of racing on the velodrome in Montevideo, he found his track legs.
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